Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eclipse Aviation furloughs employees

UPDATED 21.00hrs GMT
This from the inbox, giving us the 'official' text:-

Wednesday February 18, 2009

Eclipsers,
We are sure that you have noticed that the sale of Eclipse Aviation is taking longer than
expected. The efforts of many people to finalize the sale of Eclipse to EclipseJet is still
on course but slower than we all had hoped for. Even with the difficult financial markets
around the world, all actions to date allow us to believe that the sale and closing of the
overall process is well within reach. In spite of this optimism, we now find it prudent to
take action to provide us the best possible chance of assuring a sale closing occurs.

To make the company’s remaining cash last as long as possible and give us the most time
to complete the sale, the Board of Directors directed management to furlough essentially
all of the company’s employees effective today. This means you can go home and unless
you are asked, you should not report to work starting tomorrow, Thursday February 19,
2009, until further notice.

You will receive Thursday’s paycheck as normally distributed for work through Saturday,
February 14, 2009. It is our intention that all benefit coverage will remain in full effect.
We regret the need to take this action but we ask that you see the necessity given the
circumstances. You will be contacted at your home address and/or by home phone to
notify you when to return to your job or to provide any additional updates.

While this is unpleasant and hopefully short lived, we are very thankful for all of the
ongoing support you are giving to Eclipse Aviation. We hope to have good news to
report to you in the coming days.

Roel Pieper
Mark Borseth
Michael McConnell


A sudden 'bloom' on the inbox always means big news out of ABQ. So it proved when I checked in this evening. At a meeting this morning, and via email for some, the staff were told of an immediate closure of the factory. Pay will be honored, but not for the past few days. As I get more detail I'll post it here, or as 'notice' on the blog.

The signs (behind the scenes) have been getting steadily worse for the past 10 days or so, with a number of missed deadlines in the Chapter 11 sales process. In the past few days, Roel has also gone 'walkabout', despite the crisis at the company. Various financial types have been deeply involved, trying to plot a way forward. I'd love to say more but I won't because today we need to think about the staff, their families and the supplier community.

I think I can speak for all of us 'critics' that this event, although long predicted, is not one that gives anyone a feeling of joy. My heart goes out to the breadwinner heading home to tell loved ones of hard times and disrupted lives and to the homemaker already struggling to stay upbeat in trying times.

One of the 'Honor Roll' has already offered help with those seeking jobs. I post his 'special purpose' address here, and will be happy to do so for others who's bona fides I'm happy with.

ColdWetMack@gmail.com

Coldwet (well known to all of 'us') is a solid professional, who will do all he can in the situation.

Every cloud has a silver lining, even if it seems bleak at present. Some suppliers are also in a very bad place, but can now at least move forward with other projects. Finally, it's almost inevitable that the next step will see the remaining stakeholders (owners, depositors and investors/lenders) left with little to feel cheerful about.

At least the speculation is coming to an end. One way or the other, this matter draws to a close.

Shane


550 comments:

1 – 200 of 550   Newer›   Newest»
Shane Price said...

Thanks to Coldwet for his offer of help to the employees.

Anyone else can get me at the usual address:-

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

Just be mindful of my location in the GMT zone. Yes, I really, REALLY do live in Ireland.

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Experienced D&DT and UG guys, I have direct line to a trusted recruiter with immediate needs - drop me a line

ColdWetMack@gmail.com

eclipso said...

JSFIRM.com has the most, but here is a list of contract houses. More to be added.

Shane,
I'm also trying to set up a gmail account and will post it soon> (may need some help)

According to my former lead, they will get paid for the two weeks past, but he will confirm that tomorrow when he checks the bank.

I addition, since more the 300 were laid off it DOES fall under the Trade Agreement Act. For all those laid off, go to www.dol.gov for more on that...and I cannot emphasize enough...GO FILE UNEMPLOYMENT NOW!!!!!




Advance Aerospace-512-583-0294

Aerotek- 972-348-1829

Airmate-800-669-5627

AIS – 817-424-0893

APA – 888-272-7868, 817-560-6675

Avgard – 817-640-5135

Butler – 972-572-4577

Global – 817-847-6673

Hq Management – 866-447-2376

Onsite – 972-348-1800 (same as Aerotek)

PDS – 800-657-0997

Planetechs – 800-891-9345

Sharp Aviation – 877-460-8065

SMART – 800-842-0891

STS – 800-359-4787

United Tech – 817-488-1054

Ex_AEE_Eclipser said...

R.I.P. EAC

To my former colleagues and all those who were Eclipse employees up until today... you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

airsafetyman said...

Bell Helicopter has 85 openings on their website (bellhelicopter.com).
Some are for highly specific skills, but many are not.

baron95 said...

Having been in this situation before (Start-up company running up against a funding deadline and laying everyone off), I can say that, it doesn't matter if you know it is coming, when it does it is still a very traumatic event to those on the receiving end.

It is like losing a loved one to a terminal illness. You know it is coming, but when it does it is very tough indeed.

Silver linings?

- I know this is a double-edged sword, but, given all the economic dislocations in our country these past 12-18 months, it is easier to communicate the event to family and friends. Even kids are more attuned to the issues around parents losing jobs.

- There are recent increases and expansion of unemployment benefits.

- There are still active aerospace programs and related industries hiring.

- Programs to help you modify mortgages dues to reduced income are starting in a big way on March 4.

- Despite all that you read/hear here and elsewhere, this is still the greatest country with the most dynamic economy in the world, and things will get better very soon and much better soon enough.

Take a few days (it is winter brake this week in many states), spend some quality time with your loved ones, then hit the pavement for better opportunities. They will be found.

B95.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Agree with eclipso - file for unemplyment right away (today). There is typically a lost week or two depending again on state regulations before you are technically 'eligible', so file right away and start that clock ticking.

Most states have a simple online system, all you need are start and termination dates, SSN, employer name, etc.

Be advised that for other than unskilled positions it will probably not be but a fraction of what you were making, but for engineers and designers it will probably get close to a mortgage payment. It takes a while to get processed, and I am unsure what the sitiation at EAC will do to making the determination.

Beedriver said...

In some ways this might be more hopeful for the existing owners

rather than dying a slow expensive death with fixes etc difficult to get. perhaps what will happen to it as happened to the Aerostar years ago when Piper went bankrupt. A good small smart group of engineers bought all the rights to the PA 60 and for the last 15 years or so has taken good care of us owners.
They do up grades as necessary, solutions to AD's, adding capability like the pressurization upgrade and gross weight increase, certifying new options etc. While it is not cheap to maintain an aerostar now (no more expensive than any other complex twin) the Parts and information have always been available.
The major problem purchasing Eclipse now, is that whoever buys the rights to the Eclipse will need to spend the money to retrofit the avionics with G1000 or equivalent and separate out the other airframe control systems so they are more standard and easy to fix.

The Aerostar owners had real AOG problems until Aerostar aircraft bought all the rights the problems. but having a small smart dedicated group to solve the needs of the owners solved all the problems.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I said it before on the last thread, there may be a significant business opportunity in supporting the preemie jets but it will take among other things experienced leadership and a realistic business plan.

This will need input (and potentially good-paying work) from folks with experience in engineering, manufacturing and procurement at Eclipse.

Interested parties drop me a line at ColdWetMack@gmail.com

Shane Price said...

UPDATE TO HEADLINE POST

Wednesday February 18, 2009

Eclipsers,
We are sure that you have noticed that the sale of Eclipse Aviation is taking longer than
expected. The efforts of many people to finalize the sale of Eclipse to EclipseJet is still
on course but slower than we all had hoped for. Even with the difficult financial markets
around the world, all actions to date allow us to believe that the sale and closing of the
overall process is well within reach. In spite of this optimism, we now find it prudent to
take action to provide us the best possible chance of assuring a sale closing occurs.

To make the company’s remaining cash last as long as possible and give us the most time
to complete the sale, the Board of Directors directed management to furlough essentially
all of the company’s employees effective today. This means you can go home and unless you are asked, you should not report to work starting tomorrow, Thursday February 19, 2009, until further notice.

You will receive Thursday’s paycheck as normally distributed for work through Saturday, February 14, 2009. It is our intention that all benefit coverage will remain in full effect.

We regret the need to take this action but we ask that you see the necessity given the
circumstances. You will be contacted at your home address and/or by home phone to
notify you when to return to your job or to provide any additional updates.
While this is unpleasant and hopefully short lived, we are very thankful for all of the
ongoing support you are giving to Eclipse Aviation. We hope to have good news to
report to you in the coming days.
Roel Pieper
Mark Borseth
Michael McConnell


This is the 'official notice' sent to employees.

Shane

eclipso said...

For unemployment online:

https://uiclaims.state.nm.us/uiclaim/html/UICHome.html

Albuquerque
501 Mountain Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Telephone (505) 843-1900
Fax (505) 843-1990
TTY/TDD 1-800-659-8331 the 3-digit short-cut is 7-1-1





http://www.dws.state.nm.us/

http://www.dol.gov/

airsafetyman said...

229 jobs listed with just the Sikorsky division of United Technologies. Go to sikorskycareers.com/joblist.asp

For some reason it seems the helicopter industry isn't being hit nearly as hard as the business jet makers

Zed said...

Not to spoil the enthusiasm, put Piper and Mooney are advertising for positions as well ... and we know that they have either laid off folks or shut their temporarily doors.

This is a competitive market, so in addition to the general company sites, leverage your time and put some recruiters to work for you.

Apply for everything that interests you -- cast a big net -- get a job offer before ruling out a locale, industry, or employer -- be aggressive and open -- let the power of the Internet work for you.

In the interim, file for benefits ASAP, and go get that job at Home Depot or McDonalds ... it s-cks, but will help keep you engaged and will provide a trickle of funds.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Got a source looking for Stress, Liaison and Weights Engineers.

ColdWetMack@gmail.com

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Starting to hear from former-vendors as well - there appears to be interest in supporting the preemie jet going forward under the right circumstances.

airtaximan said...

OK.
Any ideas on the process from here?

Smells like RP returned (probably via phone) and informed the board that his rubles were sorely missing. They shut down the expensive "front"... and now what?

Sorry about y'alls jobs.
Call Ken... perhaps he has a job for you? The group was cooking something important... perhaps they are going to do maintenance support and upgrades, and needs your help.

Probably did not plan that accurately or for this risk...just a hunch.

In all seriousness, best of luck... if the gov't would lose it hardon for GA and back off the dumb remarks while flying their jets... perhaps we would need more of you.

Dave said...

It sounds like Eclipse employees might not be eligible for unemployment since Eclipse isn't terminating them. I think this came up before when Eclipse furloughed employees and the Workforce Development head basically said that it was up to Eclipse to say whether those employees were eligible or not.

Shane Price said...

From Controller, posted yesterday

2009 ECLIPSE 500 $883,000
S/N: 360, N360EA, 0 TT, IFR, This Will Be The New Company. Fully Operational/Full Warranty , 2009 Paint, 2009 Int , 6 Seats

All I can say is that God truly loves a 'tryer', who's also a real optimist. I'm pretty sure not even 'our' Ken would pay that much for an FPJ now....

Shane

airtaximan said...

cw,

how do you envision this? how do you see a support company forming?

I think airworthiness is directly tied to EAC, or its future owner no?

baron95 said...

Nice touch keeping the benefits in place - one less source of stress.

I find it hard to imagine a source of funds that didn't materialize in the months since filing, but can materialize as described in the email to employees.

Unless this is a term sheet condition issue that needs to be ironed out. Prime example would be a funding term sheet contingent on getting all suppliers on board, and one or two are still negotiating for better terms.

Still doesn't look good - apparently there is nothing related to Eclipse that is straightforward.

Oh well.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

"Eclipse closed the doors today, laid everyone off."

I doubt this is the end of the story.

Bad news can't be considered confirmed till Ken gets on here and tries to sugar coat it.

My experience with a failed company turned out to have been a big advantage in the long run. Those ex colleagues scattered through the industry are a wonderful network, the value of which raises with time.

I wish good luck, and speedy reemployment to those laid off today.

baron95 said...

Dave,

Employees should file for unemployment NOW. Unemployment office will contact employer by phone and/or mail with the unemployment claim. If employer does not dispute it, unemployment payments start.

At least that is how it is in most states.

However, if employees eventually get back-pay, that will be reported to the state and they'll have to reimburse the state for any unemployment benefits received.

airtaximan said...

apparently there is nothing related to Eclipse that is straightforward.

apparently there is nothing related to Eclipse that is straightforward.

apparently there is nothing related to Eclipse that is straightforward.

apparently there is nothing related to Eclipse that is straightforward.

this my friend IS the key

what is said is not what is meant
what is meant is never said

its all been a huge riddle and the guys who put up cash missed the meaning of the riddles... the one who refrained seemed to understand

baron95 said...

Oh, and before someone raises the point, continuation of benefits are not disqualifying for unemployment benefits.

Basically if you were told involuntarily to go home without pay, you are unemployed, as defined in most states. It doesn't matter if it is a furlough or layoff or firing.

The only gray area is if the company tells you to report for work, but does not pay you (doesn't make payroll).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM,

Since I am only just starting to think about it myself I would be lying to suggest I have a plan.

But I will bet a dollar to a doughnut that the vendors, many of whom have not been paid in six or more months, have given it some thought - same goes for some of the non-executive leadership team, and some of the employees.

As Beedriver pointed out, and as I have even argued with Baron over before (he being pro, me not), there are examples where a group of former employees or dedicated customers have ponied up to buy the assets, such as they are, from the ashes - Aerostar, Twin Commander and Commander Premier come to mind.

This would be totally different than those approaches due to Avio - everything else can be dealt with easily but Avio is the real monkey in the wrench so to speak.

Right now I am just gathering contact info, maybe I put an idea together, maybe just put names together and let someone else do it - not sure.

With 260 in the field, Baron is correct that IF the owners' want it, someone will provide support.

Not sure about the WIP aircraft given today's developments - were any of them completed in the last month?

How great would it be if someone or a group of someone's could put it together so that some of the employee's, the vendors and the customers all get something useful?

The key IMO will be adult supervision, a realistic business plan, and, I think, deep pockets in terms of commitment and finances.

baron95 said...

ATM, sadly you are correct in your assessment.

And even more sad is the fact that it hasn't changed a bit with Vern's departure.

Now, defensive communications are typical of companies in trouble, but the Eclipse obfuscation is meritorious of their name.

Ken Meyer said...

Shane--he's offering his position for sale, at his cost, no premium.

Ken

Dave said...

I've read this now:
Michael McConnell said the furloughs are indefinite until a planned sale of the company to ETIRC Aviation -- Eclipse's largest shareholder -- in completed.
Eclipse furloughs workers
Seeing how employees are contractually required to be fired upon the sale to ETIRC, those employees shouldn't be considered on furlough and as such should be able to collect unemployment.

baron95 said...

CW, don't let Avio deter you. Remember that the Avio architects, developers and suppliers can be brought in as consultants or partners to the venture.

Sure it is an extra risk factor, but not a fatal one.

Just think of Avio as a subsystem with its own ecosystems of suppliers, architects, etc.

For a buck, a lot of the suppliers and ex-EAC SW designers can be brought in to finish it or fix a bug.

baron95 said...

As a matter of fact, CW, there is a case to be made to form two supporting companies.

One for airframe and one specifically for Avio. If Avio ever gets finished as originally designed plus SVS, support network, etc, it will actually kick-ass.

baron95 said...

Shane said ... I'm pretty sure not even 'our' Ken would pay that much for an FPJ now....

That is the same deal that every depositor has in front of themselves.... money already paid plus difference between old and new price.

Why the heck would someone bother to even list such a lousy deal on controller is beyond me. Maybe they are trying to snare the unaware.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

agreed baron...

CWMR thank you for your efforts.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I agree that it is possible Baron, but my interpretation right now is you may need to own the TC, an STC might be very difficult/impossible - I will look into that later.

If there is a CH-7, my current expectation BTW, somebody will pick up the TC for sure.

The EAC customers have been nothing but good sports in terms of dealing with EAC (I am being generous), assuming a similar level of patience and support it is possible something good could be made of this.

The real key though would be finding experienced leadership who are a) interested, b) willing and c)capable of not just turning a sow's ear into a silk purse - but this particular sow's ear.

baron95 said...

If I were Roel, I'd set up Eclipse Jet and Eclipse Avionics (to maintain finish Avio as a supplier).

This way, Eclipse Jet, would be free to entertain other avionics options in the future and pitch Eclipse Avionics against other suppliers.

Kind of like Boeing did with Spirit or GM with Delco or Cessna with ARC or United with Boeing and Pratt.

Not that any of those deals, save the last on, worked out well ;)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Interesting idea on two entities Baron.

Perhaps one of the owners could let us know which 'options' had not been completed yet to get a feel for where some non-Avio focus might be possible.

Modestan said...

Hopefully to add to the preceding sage advice to Eclipse employees consider the following in regard to your employment journey.

1. Get an email or letter of recommendation from Eclipse HR, your supervisor and anyone else who you have supplied your faithful and skilled service. They should want to aid you in any way during this transition where you demonstrated your loyalty through the eleventh hour.

2. Contact your creditors and inform them of your employment situation. They are the same as you, don’t keep them hanging or offer a surprise down the road. I think you may find them willing to work with you and appreciative of the advanced notice. They are as human and honorable as the individuals who supply them with honest intent and information.

3. Although you manufactured aircraft for Eclipse, consider a broader definition of your skill sets. The initial response may be aviation centric (avionics, subsystems, airfoils) without consideration of customer requirements. You manufactured a skill based, labor intensive, high reliance and specialized low volume product. Consider medical equipment, specialty machinery (all disciplines) or any on-demand manufacture as within your sphere of expertise.

baron95 said...

I don't think so CW.

The key would be to find $MONEY$ to fund such a venture.

The professionals are there. Particularly in the case of Eclipse that hired and trained 2,000+ people.

Without funding this is a no-go. The due diligence alone on this deal would cost $10M+.

I can't put a price on Eclipse until I do a vendor contracts review, Avio code review, SDR mitigation review, etc.

This is a complex venture. Very complex actually.

I'd come in as a consultant with my fees in escrow. Resume in your in-box shortly ;)

Dave said...

The real key though would be finding experienced leadership who are a) interested, b) willing and c)capable of not just turning a sow's ear into a silk purse - but this particular sow's ear.

And that it not be anyone from the Vern or Roel universe. It is a neverending string of drama and broken promises with them. If Roel actually had paid by now and was given the company to take over, I think we'd just see a repeat of that Eclipse was going to break even with this cash infusion and then repeatedly running around to ask for more money while not delivering on time or as promised.

baron95 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

baron

“Take a few days (it is winter brake [break] this week in many states), spend some quality time with your loved ones, then hit the pavement for better opportunities. They will be found.”

With all due respect, I fully agree with spending time (quality or otherwise) with your loved ones. And “Thank you, baron”, for a lead-in to some comments. You, are what we call a “straight man” . . . setting up the “zinger” for the “clown” . . . and I recognize the fact that “I am the clown” . . . so “here goes”:

Anyone employed by Eclipse reading this blog should have hit the pavement (running) many months ago.

Twice I was “fired”, whether fair or unfair, made no difference. Both experiences were two weeks apart. “Fired” on a Friday . . . and working again the following Monday. By God’s grace, I never lost an hour’s wage . . . but those were better times, unlike this national financial farce going on today. (The second company fired the guy that fired me . . . and hired me back to manage another company six months later . . . but that’s another story.)

For the people at Eclipse, you should be pounding pavement even as we speak . . . you don’t have the privilege of “taking a much needed break”. Your next employer will soon enough learn how you spent your time between jobs. As an employer, I pay attention to these “minor” details. I don’t hire people that “sit back” and “let things happen” . . . I can’t afford that attitude.

Now, get off your “assets” and show how much you want to work. And don’t ask for a “position” . . . positions, just now, have more to do with the position of your “body” than where you sit at a desk.

gadfly

(And speaking of “quality time” . . . you are not in any position, just now . . . or any other time to judge the quality of your time . . . maybe in ten, twenty, or fifty years . . . your family will tell you “which time was quality”. Each of us is given the same time each day . . . spend it wisely. God is the time-keeper!)

(“Modestan” is a new blogger to me, but seems to have some good advice. The bottom line: Don’t wait . . . get “with it” right now. Time is not on your side.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

"I'd come in as a consultant with my fees in escrow. Resume in your in-box shortly ;)"

I think this will be the problem Baron - someone will need to pony up BEFORE the tough work even begins.

I doubt the DD phase to be the magnitude you suggest, but it will not be a cakewalk either.

I see some high rate consulting for the 2 or 3 guys who were doing the heavy-lifting on Avio to identify the known issues and the best way forward, plus the same/similar effort for any propulsion, systems and structural issues.

Then a prioritized plan to address those issues, rebuild vendor relationships, keep the customers informed, and then methodically execute the plan.

I bet $1.5M to figure out what you know and don't know, then another $.5-.75M to develop and price the fixes, rearrange the support network, and get to it - EXCLUSIVE of Avio fixes.

The Avio/no-Avio decision is the tough one - 2what do the customers want - a replacement cockpit that works like everybody else, or wait for a finished Avio NfG V2.0?

You are correct though, extremely complex for sure. Doable, but complex.

baron95 said...

baron95 said...

By the way, my experience is that the half life to do this deal is about 4 weeks. After that time with doors closed, all the employees and the "knowledge" of the company scatter too wide to rebuild instantly.

In Sept/01 I went to Israel to do due diligence and make an offer to acquire/merge a local company whose VCs had shut down employee funding just 3 weeks prior.

It was not fun at all having to track down the managers and key employees and meet with them at restaurants near their homes. Most had moved on, etc. It was impossible to properly value the company without more time, but spending more time would make the value ZERO.

In the end, all I could do was make a token offer of 1% of the stock in the acquiring company (itself a VC funded start up). Incredibly the VCs accepted at a mtg at Ben Gurion airport as I was about to depart.

I landed in the US Sept 6 (IIRC), 2001. Sep 11 2001 at 9:00 AM we had in mid-town NYC a board meeting to approve the merger.

We all know how that day ended. ;(

bill e. goat said...

Well,
...
I don't want to discourage anyone from moving if the right opportunity comes along.
But.

I think there is a future for Eclipse.

I'd say don't wig out for another couple of weeks.

Probably no pay for these next days, but health benefits are a nice touch while waiting- a REALLY nice touch, so I appreciate RP doing that, and yeah, I think it WAS prudent.

I figure payroll burn rate was about $1.5M/week, whereas benefits are around $250K/week, so if RP can keep everyone insured, that's FANTASTIC in my book.

So,
Put your resume out.
But don't wig out.

Sorry- that's not meant to be trite.

If RP thought the gig was up, he'd have locked the doors weeks ago.
Let's hope he is able to pull it off- I for one (maybe the only one here) really do think he is on the level and is trying his best.

Good luck to all our friends in ABQ.

baron95 said...

Gad, each situation is different. Each individual reaction is different.

But most people benefit from a couple of days, absorbing the shock, surrounding themselves with loved ones, finding their footing/balance before talking to a recruiter.

No recipe here. To each his/her own.

But jobs come and go. Loved ones and ones emotional well being are tough to come by once lost.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

I was under the impression with Avio NG 1.5 with the Garmin 400s this airplane should be good to go as far as avionics wise. This is excluding any "bugs" in the system.

Other than that there are the issues of other promised things such as a 6th seat or "minibar" etc.

I don't think there would have to be much work done on the avionics with the certification of the new 1.5 system. Therefore, I think the only real hurdle would be putting the system in the planes that do not have it, which would be all of them. i am sure because the system was certified then Eclipse had to have some sort of a plane to upgrade these planes, at least on paper somewhere... Correct me if I am mistaken.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

Shane--he's offering his position for sale, at his cost, no premium.

But that position is worth exactly $0, right? The BK cut any claim depositors had any aircraft built in the future.

If he did manage to sell it to someone who was so clueless as to not know that, then the seller knowingly sold a worthless item. That's fraud and possible jail time.

eclipso said...

I just got off the phone with Workforce Solutions in ABQ. The lady was VERY gracious and has been getting bombarded. (Good for them)Sha says three ways to file:

1)www.uiclaim.state.nm.us

2)505-841-4000

3)Temp staff Orientation (People to help file) 8AM, 9AM, 10 AM, and 11 AM each morning. ( which leads me to believe it falls under the TAA)

She is not "allowed" to say about furlough vs. laid off, but said EVERYONE should file immediately!!!

baron95 said...

Hey CW, I was including my fees in the $10M - I think that was the difference between your numbers and mine.

I agree with all you said though. It is tough to do anything with the cloud of RP/Mann/Etirc/Russians hanging over everything.

It is the acid rain cloud. You never know when it is safe to go out.

B.E.G. I agree, for many employees, a continuation with Eclipse Jet would be a better outcome. But they can't count on it. They need to have options on hand.

baron95 said...

Now it is time to go tend to the loved ones.

See ya l8r. Keep the details coming.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Omsiv, apparently there is one plane with 1.5 the 400's and FIKI - that plane is subject to a suit as discussed on the previous thread.

My concern about Avio stems from what seems to be unknown, and what will certainly be needed field upgrades in the future.

I can't tell you with any specificity what might need upgrading, I can only assure you experience says SOMETHING will need to be upgraded and that is a potentially huge unknown.

Also, the A/P is still apparently unfinished unless 1.5 makes it completely functional AND does away with the uncommanded disconnects and preselect changes, etc.

Then, are the 400's truly enough for the owners or do they want the integrated functionality they were promised?

What about when new glass is needed?

What about changes to navigation data (type not content)?

These are a few of my favorite things.

Beedriver said...

I think AVIO needs to be dumped. we had a lot of computer development work done at my old company to build machine tool controls. we were successful for only two reasons. 1. there were no other sources for the controls we needed with the capabilities we needed available at any reasonable cost. We needed features and capabilities that were not available anywhere. 2. I found the right person to do the system architecture and oversee the hardware design and software.

If you can buy the capability you need, anywhere at a reasonable price and they are selling a lot more systems than you , buy it you will never be able to build a software based system with the same capability at anywhere near the same cost. We found the old rule of thumb about writing software was true. a good programmer can only write an average of 10 lines of quality debugged documented code a day.

therefor. there is no way AVIO is ever going to be as good as or as cost effective as the G1000 or its competitors. AVIO has to go and be replaced by Standard avionics and simple conventional control systems or the avionics will never be competitive with what other manufactures of small jets will offer.

eclipso said...

"...but health benefits are a nice touch while waiting- a REALLY nice touch..."

NOT a nice touch. By law, the insurance carrier HAS to carry you through the next month, then offer you COBRA. (very expensive)

airtaximan said...

"If RP thought the gig was up, he'd have locked the doors weeks ago."

so, who cares what this moron thought?

Many have tried to claim the investors had better insight than outsiders like us - guess what - they didn't.

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

I think RP has been laboring under the same illusion that Wedge did before him, it has to look like everything is OK or else people will panic.

Keep up appearances or confidence will fall away.

Now that we have that ridiculousness out of the way, maybe someone can step in who actually knows and does whatever the hell it is they should be doing to actually make this a going concern instead of looking like a going concern.

The time for smoke and mirrors and political favors is over. If there is to be a real 2nd Act, it has to come from people who know airplanes and the airplane business.

Ken Meyer said...

Mike/Flyger--No; that's not quite right. The position may have value when/if the EJ deal is consummated. If he does find a buyer, he'd undoubtedly have to disclose what the path to value is for the position.

Wet Fish--there are two aircraft with NG 1.5, Garmin 400's, and FIKI. And 2 others (that I know of) with Garmin 430's.

Ken

gadfly said...

baron

The "shock" has had plenty of time to "wear off".

The local baseball team in Albuquerque was called the “Dukes” at one time . . . but of late are called the “Isotopes” . . . Who but a bunch of geeks from the “Sandia Labs Club” could have come up with such a name. But there it is! It speaks for itself! If only we knew their “half-life”!

Your comments using a “half life” of four weeks . . . in this case, the half life began about a year ago . . . and the half-life of “four weeks” has about the same value of “C14" determining the exact time of the “Big Bang”*. Now, I believe in the “Big Bang”, the “Bible”, and the “big event” of Eclipse closing its doors (finally, to the relief of many) on about this date (i.e.: “today”). “Big Bang” . . . 13.5 thousand-million years ago (adjusted term to comply with our UK brethren) . . . the “Bible”, tried and true . . . demise of Eclipse, the current “big event”, affecting the lives of many, local and otherwise.

What more can be said: A long time ago, someone said that not one complete E500 would ever be produced . . . the score still remains at “zero”. I stand by my claim.

Scams come and go . . . for anyone who cared to examine the comments of those who had long experience in aircraft manufacture and business, “Today” does not come with any surprise. But the heartaches of innocent workers and their families are no less real.

That’s enough of a load for now.

gadfly

(* “Big Bang” was a derogatory term coined by Sir Fred Hoyle, deceased, who said that the original creation event could not have happened only about fourteen to twenty billion years ago . . . because that would imply a “Creator” . . . evolution requires many times that much time to allow for “evolution”, and therefore cannot be true. But the term “stuck”, and continues to be a problem to both evolutionists, and the “young earth creationists’” group. C14 half-life is far too short to be of any value. Some of us don’t hold to either view.)

bill e. goat said...

Eclipso,
"t is our intention that all benefit coverage will remain in full effect."
It sounds like Eclipse is continuing to fund insurance coverage, not the insurer itself.

(But this is probably a good litmus test, if anyone knows the answer).

But if not, at least it gives our friends two weeks- let's hope there is some good news by then.
---------------------------------

ATM,
Correct- my point is RP is making a good faith effort. Which I think is a significant change- for the better.
---------------------------------
CWMOR,
Sincere Thanks from all of us for helping out with the resume distribution.

"I think RP has been laboring under the same illusion that Wedge did before him, it has to look like everything is OK or else people will panic."

I think the BoD had that problem in keeping Wedge. Wedge suffered from a different illusion- that everyone was stupider than him. (Sorry Wedge- that's a pretty small slice of the pie).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks for the info Ken, are the 430's EAC installs?

Are you aware of how 1.5 has held up for the aircraft with it installed? I ask because previous Avio versions were certified and still found to be buggy.

Given your druthers Ken, which would you prefer in your plane - a completed Avio even if it meant another $4-500K, or a conventional non-EFIS panel for maybe half that, or a G1000 with the delay and cost associated.

Please humor me, this is a serious question.

airtaximan said...

"With 260 in the field, Baron is correct that IF the owners' want it, someone will provide support."

my personal advice... if you care:

Reverse engineer (rule of thumb and intuition/experience will do) a proposed hourly maintenance rate and if somehow it does not equate to less than 65% of the Mustang all in plan, forget it.

Then, figure the upgrade package (to FIKI, most current) and if all told the upgraded jet cost is not close to 65% of a Mustang...

forget it.

Its actually worth it to just throw the $1.25 million plane in the garbage and buy a relaible supported Mustang or SEJ when the time comes, and forget the mistake.

bill e. goat said...

Baron,
"They need to have options on hand."

I agree- and encourage everyone to put resumes out.

And if something good comes along, take it. Heck, if something mediocre comes along, take it anyway.

But, by golly, I like that little airplane, and think it can make it's way in the market place, at a reasonable production rate (in today's economy, maybe 50-75 per year*). I AM confident Eclipose will be "open for business", hopefully in a few weeks, maybe in a few months. (But, I would expect sooner, rather than later). IMHO.
----------------------------------
*A lot depends on pricing. I still say, most of the buyers were just going to "flip" the plane. At $2.xM, the speculators go home, but still 50-75 buyers/keepers are there, I think, maybe even a little more.

gadfly said...

Goat

'Give it up. It's over, already!

'Let the next of kin say their last respects, and bury the thing . . . it's beginning to stink . . . real bad.

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, I can foresee the Eclipse Completion Package ending up at between $600-800K per bird for the early birds, and maybe only $150K-200K for the later birds - allowing a support company to itself make an actual profit.

Couple that to a real-world inclusive support plan, also priced to provide a realistic and fair margin - and I think a reasonable, SMALL business case could be built.

Later, if there were an interest, the plane itself could go back into limited serial production (40-100/yr if there is sufficient demand at the $2.5-2.7M price).

But the ONLY focus for a new company should be getting the existing fleet to one configuration, or as close to that as possible, as soon as possible - otherwise, there can be no real economies of scale re: support, and support from the customer base will evaporate.

IMO

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

CWMR,

this is what I have been thinking all along.

eclipso said...

"Employees are eligible for unemployment benefits, and several said they would apply when they returned home."

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/business/business_krqe_albuquerque_eclipse_employees_200902181202

eclipso said...

Eclipse Issues Furloughs For 800 Employees

POSTED: 1:03 pm MST February 18, 2009
UPDATED: 4:33 pm MST February 18, 2009


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Eclipse Aviation officials sent about 800 workers home Wednesday on an unpaid furlough but expressed confidence they would be able to return when the company's pending sale goes through.

Eclipse president and general manager Michael McConnell, during a hastily arranged conference call with Albuquerque reporters, called it "a bit of a good news and some bad to terrible news."

McConnell said the good news was that Eclipse is "very close" to closing a $188 million sale to European-based EclipseJet Aviation International Inc., an affiliate of ETIRC Aviation.

He said the bad news was that furloughs were necessary while Eclipse waits for the sale to go through. Last month, a federal judge in Delaware approved the sale to allow Eclipse's reorganization under bankruptcy protection.

The aerial industry news site www.aero-news.net posted reports about the furlough early Wednesday before the press conference.

According to the report :

An anonymous source close to the matter tells ANN all employees at the company's plant were furloughed following an all-hands, last-minute meeting called Wednesday morning.

All workers are furloughed immediately; according to our source, employees will receive their last paychecks at the end of this week, and will receive benefits through the end of this month. It's unclear at this time whether employees may be called back to the company at a later date.

Details remain sketchy at this point. Calls to Eclipse Aviation personnel were either unanswered, or routed to voicemail.

Industry sites Aviation Week and http://www.avweb.com/ were not reporting the alleged furlough as of 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The Eclipse critic blog Eclipse Aviation Critic NG also was not reporting any developments.

http://www.koat.com/news/18742776/detail.html


WTF?

airtaximan said...

yup,

and the jetcomplete package?

this is the key... $50 per hour too much and Ken is a monkey...

Looks to me like eventhough guys are stuck with this lame duck, they cannot contnue to burn cash (they are the cheap jet chasers, remembeer) so MRO at $300/hour is a no-no.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
"But the ONLY focus for a new company should be getting the existing fleet to one configuration, or as close to that as possible, as soon as possible - otherwise, there can be no real economies of scale re: support, and support from the customer base will evaporate."

I B.E.G. (ahem) to differ.
The critical item is keeping the supplier base intact. THAT's the real economy of scale. With a highly integrated avionics suite, there HAS to be a flow of OEM parts- with only 260, low-hour, relatively reliable airplanes, there isn't going to be enough R&R business to make it worth while for the vendors. There HAS to be new airplanes rolling out the door, at least 50 per year, or the vendors walk. Then try to get a replacement widget.

gadfly said...

Let’s see if I got this right: . . . Say, “$200K” per bird for a max of 260 birds . . . to maintain an unfinished flying contraption . . . according to my “Reverse Polish Notation” HP Calculator . . . $52M . . . shucks, that’s more money than Shane and I make in a year (including my Social Security checks). But even at that, I doubt it’s enough to titillate the imagination or “lust for wealth” of anyone I know. A job as “greeter” at the local Wal-Mart would provide better return on investment . . . and probably include health benefits, as well (at least, that what I’ve heard in rumor).

Ken, fly that thing ‘til it drops (no pun intended . . . although probably near the truth), then trade the thing in on something else . . . maybe not quite so exciting, but at least with a ready supply of parts, and mechanics willing to work on the beast. Think what you would gain . . . safety, easy repair (all aircraft require repair, from time to time), and a “potty” . . . no more quick “turn-a-rounds” for a potty stop after too much Colombian “tea”. Think what you would lose . . . all those “come backs” to the critics . . . and you would join those that quietly go through life, simply flying from A to B . . . whenever . . . without ever having to “prove” something to the “great unwashed”*.

gadfly

*(Being a member of the “great unwashed”, I am privileged to enjoy vicariously, the experiences of friends, that “on a whim”, jump into their jet . . . take the family out for pizza in a neighboring state, and come back for a good night’s sleep at their home in the mountains of northern New Mexico, or southern Colorado . . . that’s enough pleasure for me . . . to know that “some” can do that sort of thing. And that I had a part, somewhere in my life experience, to make that happen . . . safely. I am more than content! And you know . . . unless I press them for answers, I would never know that they even owned a jet . . . or two . . . or an oil company!)

airsafetyman said...

"Not to spoil the enthusiasm, put Piper and Mooney are advertising for positions as well ... and we know that they have either laid off folks or shut their temporarily doors."

Bell and Sikorsky both have helicopter and support contracts with the government that are not affected by the economic downturn as well as their civilian helicopter orders. Why sit in ABQ and wait for Roel to do whatever it is that Roel does when he is not out yachting?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG, if I thought that a continuation of the production line, and Avio, were the smart bet I'd agree.

But I don't.

The new support company will almost certainly be of limited means relatively speaking - the resources necessary to produce jets (and the people to buy them) are in very short supply.

I propose a complete change in paradigm - support and consolidate the existing fleet, maybe offer FSW technology and tooling support, and only ofucs on boutique production after the existing customers are served and there is one baseline configuration.

It ain't sexy, it ain't cool, and it likely would not be Avio - what it is, is realistic, and achievable.

IMO of course.

eclipso said...

Lockheed Martin is FULL of openings from Assembly to Engineering to janitors. The F35 WILL be going for a long time

Dave said...

Might the BK court have something to say about today's turn of events? It would seem that technically firing all the staff would mean that the BK court would at least have to say something about what that means for Eclipse's future as well as Eclipse's standing. I would also think the BK court would want to question about the viability of Roel's buyout offer seeing how he had to let hundreds of people go due to lack of finances. It might sound nice that Roel says the sale is going through, but even without the allegations made against Roel, this course of events today might change how the BK court feels about the transaction.

airtaximan said...

CW,

I remember a bunch of flights to europe...

how many planes are there?

How many on Eact/West/midwest US...

how do you cost effectively maintain 230 planes or so, when they are all over the place, AND their owners are the cheapest "bastads" in the jet world?

These guys only bouth the plane, as Ken keeps reminding us, because they cost $50/hr less to operate...

Imagine trying to service this bunch.

Sorry, ain't no way IMO... no way.

Also, If I know you, you'll want to inspect the planes before you touch them (liability) and need to conform them. I can almost see the laughter - "YOU WANT WHAT TO REBUILD THE EMMPENAGE AND TAIL
?" WHAT DO YOU MEAN REPLACE ALL THE ACTUATORS"

Anyhow, I am sure bringing the planes into conformity and up to FIKI will cost north of $400-$600k.

The, you'll want around $400 per hour to keep the ting in the air, plus engine MRO.

It simply does not make any sense.

There's no scasle... just a buch of pot committed guys who wanted a cheapo jet, and this DREAM is all but over. Once the plane becomes too expensive, as in real jet costs... they are out

airtaximan said...

Dave,

nice touch on the heals of that idiot's report to the ABQ investment board yesterday

airsafetyman said...

eclipso, you nailed it.

"Lockheed Martin Open House
in Arlington, TX
Tuesday, February 10th
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sheraton Arlington Hotel
1500 Convention Center Drive
Arlington, TX 76011

Join Lockheed Martin, one of the foremost systems engineering, software, and systems integration companies in the world.

For an opportunity to be a part of technology history, attend our Arlington, TX Open House. On-the-spot interviews. Please bring multiple copies of your resume and information to fill out employment applications.

Opportunities are currently available in these locations: Edwards AFB, CA; Fort Worth, TX; Grand Prairie, TX; Johnstown, PA; Littleton, CO; Marietta, GA; Orlando, FL; Palmdale, CA; Patuxent River, MD; Pinellas Park, FL; and White Sands, NM for:

Touch Labor
• Aircraft Maintenance
• Aircraft Mechanic
• Avionics Technician
• Field & Service Mechanics
• Inspectors - Assembly, Flight Line, Tool Room
• Mechanical, Electrical, and Electronic Assemblers
• Painters
• Tool Makers
• Welders

Experienced Professionals
• Engineering (Applications, Electronics, Flight Test, Industrial, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Research & Scientist, Stress, Systems, Test, Quality, Reliability, Value)
• Engineering Project Controls
• RF / Radar / Antenna Design
• Systems Engineering
- EO Systems
- Guidance and Control
- Image and Signal Processing
• Software Engineering
- C++/C#/.NET experience
- Real Time Simulation
- Simulation System Software-MITL
• Systems Modeling
• Contracts, Subcontracts, and Procurement Administrators
• Finance & Cost Analyst
• Information Technology (Networks, Computer Information Systems, Computer Engineering)
• Large Scale Architecture & Integrator
• Planning/Scheduling
• Human Resources
• Industrial Security Representatives

Some positions may offer relocation assistance."

GettingReady2FileSuit said...

Ken,

Do you care to tell us all the truth about what happened this morning at FL350?

gadfly said...

If this were a “conventional” aircraft in any sense of the word, there “might” be an aftermarket. But such is not the case . . . no matter how you stretch the “Eclipse truth” (pardon the oxymoron). No person in their right mind will support this fiasco . . . either before, or after the final burial services. Send flowers . . . cry at the grave-site . . . and move on. It’s all over but the shoutin’ . . . and there won’t be much of that, except in anger.

gadfly

Relief . . . finally! (But don't tell the local politicians . . . their problems may have only begun.)

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

No; that's not quite right. The position may have value when/if the EJ deal is consummated.

It *might* have value *if* the deal goes through? Gee, consider how few *promises* come true with Eclipse, that's a pretty weak offer!

And what exactly would that value be?

If he does find a buyer, he'd undoubtedly have to disclose what the path to value is for the position.

I've seen that path... dead end.

PS: I'm not Mike. Maybe someday you'll come to know that. It does take along time for you to realize some things.

ea500s said...

My thoughts are AVIO is a total integration, so it would not be a simple case of finding a new vendor such as Garmin to install their system. To my knowledge no other aircraft uses Electonic Circuit Breakers, so the logistics of trying to take existing airframe and engines and incorporating those into new production planes using an alternative avionics suite I think would be almost insurmountable. With the size of the fleet already out there it makes sense that if Eclipse goes into chapter 7 it might be easier for a third party to develope a business plan to support the existing fleet that would be profitable.

EFIS 1.3 as I understand it supports FIKI where 1.5 supports FIKI and Garmin 400's. There is btw an existing SB that allows for the installation of dual diversity transponders along with dual Garmin 430's and an Audio panel with circuit breakers. To my knowledge only two were ever done.
As far as unfinished items with AVIO my aircraft has installed and connected a stormscope and radar alt. but lacks the code to make it functional. Auto throttles also remain an unfinished item So to finish off Avio other then Garmin 400's,and deice which has the code written already, the stormscope, radar alt., and auto throttles still need to be coded into AVIO. I would love to see AVIO become open source but we all know that will never happen.

I wish everyone that was affected by todays news the best of luck.

P.S. I have seen ads in the controller ever since Eclipse filed for bankruptcy that still advertise warranty, jetcomplete, and free upgrades to AVIO 1.5. And most of those ads show they were recently updated. So either fraud or stupidity, I can't figure it out. I guess the old saying applys
"buyer be ware"

bill e. goat said...

ea500s
"I have seen ads in the controller ever since Eclipse filed for bankruptcy that still advertise warranty, jetcomplete, and free upgrades to AVIO 1.5...either fraud or stupidity, I can't figure it out. I guess the old saying applies: 'buyer be ware'"

Well, we've been wondering what Wedge was up to lately.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Just an update.

I've received a lot of e-mails today, most from Eclipse employees, a few from folks offering to help them, and even a couple from vendors interested in some post-BK support concept.

It is heart rending hearing from the employees - I was honestly not prepared for that.

I want to make certain the employees understand, we have never wished you ill - our problem has been with the head shed, mahogany row, the executive leadership (or lack thereof) with a few notable exceptions (Don Taylor, Oliver Masefield, Perry Denker, Jack Harrington, Mike Brown).

The leadership team at Eclipse, enabled by the Board of Directors and by a now-victimized customer base that kept accepting promise after broken promise, are responsible for this mess.

The offer to help is genuine, and we do really wish you all well.

If you do contact me please indicate what your primary and secondary skills are (e.g., UniGraphics, Quality Inspector, Avionics Tech), or attach a resume, makes putting you in touch with recruiters or other programs easier.

eclipso said...

"no other aircraft uses Electonic Circuit Breakers"


Perhaps you've not read up on the F35, F22 and even the F16 ( as old as it may seem)

Dave said...

I want to make certain the employees understand, we have never wished you ill - our problem has been with the head shed, mahogany row, the executive leadership (or lack thereof) with a few notable exceptions (Don Taylor, Oliver Masefield, Perry Denker, Jack Harrington, Mike Brown).

The leadership team at Eclipse, enabled by the Board of Directors and by a now-victimized customer base that kept accepting promise after broken promise, are responsible for this mess.


I wouldn't give Masefield a pass. Actually I hold him high on the list for being responsible for the scam. This was the guy whom Vern used to tout the 600 hours to build each unit that was a huge part of the Eclipse business model...well, it was the business model. If Vern didn't have this guy with his technical qualifications saying how Eclipse could build all these hundreds of aircraft per year, Vern wouldn't have gotten as far.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

On the ECB front, there is also an experimental firm that offers ECB like preformance for homebuilts in a self-contained unit - pretty slick.

www.verticalpower.com

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I've met Masefield, he is not a scammer IMO. A victim in this passion play for sure, but not a scammer.

eclipso said...

ColdWet,
Check your email when you get time.

E

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

For all interested in Lockheed, please be sure to go online and fill an application. (lengthy, but worth it)

www.lockheedmartin.com

then to search jobs, then apply for job.

It HAS to be in the system, even if someone takes them a hard copy

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Dave, to be clear I'm not sayinjg any of these guys are or were good managers, there's evidence they were not in fact.

I am just saying that in my experience they are good people (by reputation or in meeting them).

Dave said...

I've met Masefield, he is not a scammer IMO. A victim in this passion play for sure, but not a scammer.

So the whole "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity" thing

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Not really Dave.

In a sense, it would appear that at the least Masefield allowed himself and his credentials/reputation to be used to extend the jig - and I can agree with you there.

But he seemed like the kind of guy who would be trying to right the ship from the inside.

I don't see him willingly cooperating in a known scam - I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Bubba said...

GettingReady2FileSuit said...
Ken,

Do you care to tell us all the truth about what happened this morning at FL350?

This is the type of flight track a plane usually takes when something critical quits working! Did something quit working Ken?

eclipse_deep_throat said...

IMO, the critical thing everyone needs to focus on is McConnell's comment "...we made no promises." I only found that on aero-news.net

That comment, of course, is VERY ominious. The cynic trapped inside my brain says that could be their plausible deniability if/when they have to answer why they couldn't call back ALL 800-850 people affected today. I suspect this could be yet another cost cutting move by Roel/ETIRC to get EjAI as lean as possible on day one. Hmmmm, come to think of it, I remember that Dutch article that said of the 2/3's **remaining** at EAC, another 1/3 of EAC staff would be cut for even more savings. That's the article I had forwarded to the Abq Journal and then they later had to do a retraction because EAC claimed the translation was wrong. Ha! We just need to wait longer before what we learn elsewhere becomes reality. It may come true once we see who gets called back...

And has anyone else noticed the shrinkage in body count? Last number I heard was 950 employees at EAC, including Albany, NY and Gainesville, FL service centers.

Ken- any chance you know if all 3 service centers are kaput for the time being? Good luck to you and all the other owners that were willing to role the dice on this. It may be a stain on my resume, but I'd rather explain EAC to potential employers than the nightmare in TN working for my father-in-law.

e.d.t.

ea500s said...

eclipso sorry I wasn't aware you are a military fighter pilot, thanks for sharing.

I figured discussion here on the Eclipse is centered around general aviation aircraft, and to be honest with you I never even thought about military or oommercial aviation aircraft when I said that. Wonder if Boeing is using it in the 78 ?

Also if you are going to quote me, please quote what I said, not some portion that can give a different context.

Thanks

Dave said...

That comment, of course, is VERY ominious. The cynic trapped inside my brain says that could be their plausible deniability if/when they have to answer why they couldn't call back ALL 800-850 people affected today. I suspect this could be yet another cost cutting move by Roel/ETIRC to get EjAI as lean as possible on day one.

The thing is that when/if the sale goes through whatever employees are there get automatically fired no matter how many or how few employees Eclipse has at the time. I don't see RoelJet gets a benefit by doing this, but rather Roel has put himself at huge risk. I see this as only threatening the deal rather than putting him at an advantage.

Zed said...

CWMOR,

Vertical Power was started by a former Eclipse engineer ... one of the nice ones.



Eclipso,

What do/did you fly?

baron95 said...

The Avio vs a more conventional G1000-based system is not an either/or type question.

In the short term, for AT LEAST the next 2 years, Avio will be the ONLY choice on the 260 EA500s in the field. It will need to be supported, as it will take a minimum of 2 years to certify anything else.

In parallel you can entertain bids for alternatives to Avio - a longer topic.

Supporting Avio happens at different levels.

1 - Upgrading aircraft to Avio NG 1.5 + G400s as presently certified by FAA/EASA. Assuming there is a Service Bulletin or STC or the like already developed and approved, and vendors still produce component, then this is a simple task and no R&D needs to be spent. It is just schedule, upgrade, bill. Any decent avionics shop can be lined up to do this.

2 - Supporting the above as installed/as certified. Again, no R&D needed, so long as a plan for vendors to produce parts is secured. It is break, replace, reload, bill.

3 - SW/HW Fixes when problems are found (and they will be found). That will require R&D to identify, develop a fix, re-certify, reload, return to service, bill. Not terribly complex, but quite a step up in complexity.

4 - Continued development, certification of missing items (AT, SVS, full FMS, etc). This is a different game with tens of millions in R&D and certification required per item, with some, A/T and full FMS, likely not achievable at economically viable terms unless production continues into the many hundreds of planes.

bill e. goat said...

Electronic Circuit Breakers went mainstream in the late 90's, simultaneously on the Global Express and C-130J.
Astronics is a player on other platforms besides Eclipse.
Astronics
Hamilton Sundstrand

baron95 said...

Jet fuel deliveries slipped nearly 9 percent in January, even though Jet Fuel prices are the lowest they've been in years.

GAMA Q4 and Full Year figures released yesterday - not good. Shipments took a dive for the year and last quarter, outlook not good. Big move upmarket, pistons down over 20% for the year, while overall shipments down 7% (by volume). Revenue still way up as the move from piston to jets continues.

Ken Meyer said...

Bubba asked, "This is the type of flight track a plane usually takes when something critical quits working! Did something quit working Ken?"

Nope. Nothing quit working. Plane was performing fine.

Whatsamatter, you don't like Colombian coffee? :)

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Ken,
We're all relieved everything was okay.
I suspect you were "relieved" some too.
.)

Dave Ivedorne said...

has anyone else noticed the shrinkage in body count? Last number I heard was 950 employees at EAC, including Albany, NY and Gainesville, FL service centers.

I noticed that as well. Though I figured there might be some funny math going on, it's as likely a reflection of people fleeing on their own terms. Shane's alluded to the latter being ( at least partly ) the case, several times since the BK filing - and he's the guy with the inbox.

-------------------------------------

It would be appropriate to express condolences to everybody affected by today's news. And though I do, I feel even more strongly the highest aspirations for all of you. This situation is the thing opportunities are made of - even in the tough financial & job environment that we live in.

------------------------------------

"Stranger Things Have Happened"

Pigs fly. Hell freezes over. I agree with every freaking word that Baron95 has posted since the announcement. More pointedly, I endorse the spirit in which he wrote them. He has the right idea:

Though the situation sucks, he doesn't even think about how it sucks - he contemplates, "What's the best thing to do immediately in this situation?"

Though Eclipse squandered an almost infinite number of opportunities, he knows that opportunity still exists, "What are the opportunities in front of us?"

It does not end. Something new begins.

I could hear the wheels spinning in his head from here.

------------------------------------

ColdWet, eclipso, Modestan:

A tip of the hat in your general directions. Bravo!

------------------------------------

To the people who obviously hijacked a couple of owners' accounts:

Who are you?

And what foul thing have you done with Ken Meyer & EclipsePilotOMSIV?

------------------------------------

Sometimes life hands out sh*t sandwiches - I've eaten my share. Just remember: "Everything tastes better with bacon."

DI

easybakeplane said...

One of the 'technical' concerns with ECBs was how to keep pilots from easily, I mean accidentally, 'uncollaring' things (such as windshield heaters?) during flight. One suggestion was to use password protection that only the mechanic would know...not exactly foolproof.

Anybody know if the E500 has such protection on their system?

----------

PS - I am sorry to say I'm close to the Gadfly on this one, there's not much sympathy left in me for any employees still at ABQ. I know several who were offered plum jobs in the last 6 months who turned them down on the 'hope' that everything would turn around at EAC.

eclipso said...

Zed and EA500s,
Just a GA pilot, but most of that info can be found in Jane's.

EA,
Didn't mean to seem like I was trying to change what you said. Just staing that ECBs are not exclusive to EAC.

Shadow said...

I hope the Church of Flyantology drive-by members are still amused now...

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

DI don't worry I'll go back to my normal self as soon as this Columbian bang bang wears off....

bill e. goat said...

EPx,
"Correct me if I am mistaken..."

In case you haven't noticed, around here, we get corrected a LOT!
(Whether we're right or wrong!!)

Moral of the story- "speak your piece", and don't worry about the consequences !!
(Because they can't be avoided !! :)

LongGone said...

"PS - I am sorry to say I'm close to the Gadfly on this one, there's not much sympathy left in me for any employees still at ABQ. I know several who were offered plum jobs in the last 6 months who turned them down on the 'hope' that everything would turn around at EAC."

I agree! Geez we've seen the writing on the wall for months and months. What's up with these guys who refuse to face reality. I wonder how many are going to sit around and wait for the big bail out? People it's over, get the hell out of Dodge.

flyger said...

I think we've all missed the really big news today:

There are no EA500 service centers operating any more.

Think about what that means. Ken, how many hours and months do you have left? What are you going to do when those run out?

Also, planes in progress at service centers are trapped until Eclipse starts operating again. If they start operating again.

If nothing changes, well, it's the end.

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

Bassmaster, does Wedge at least give you a reacharound after each post?

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

well , it was expected , no ?

things not coming as a surprise should not surprise anybody ...!
(or it is at best politeness or plain BS!)

i always hated the "I told you so" reaction , but long ago i reported a comment someone knowing RP much before anyone approaching anything in this fiasco had the kindness to tell me ....

"meet RP once , and think you won't have enough days left in your life to feel sorrows about it !"
i suppose he was right ...

here now , what do we have ?

an orphaned thing which at present time does not even exist as something finished in any ways ...


a bunch of guys who happen to own one or to be glued to have one ...

read Mr Gadfly wisdom : if you are not among those = run , run fast and away ...!

if you happen to be a victim-owner , you may join a "brotherhood of maintenance" which is going to be expensive ...
or rely on some private firm(s) which are going to treat you like an hostage ...

alternative path is not spend more than fuel and few bucks on minor things ... when hard-work will be needed in exchange of big-sum , get infos on metal-scrape-price ...you may eventually make some money , for the first time !

for the most unlucky ones (60%'s) : consider that you HAD a good show , where humor ,stunts bad faith , etc ... was very well played ...kinda entertaining , no ?

off-course , it's on you ...so drop the matter , breath deeply , put a big smile on and move on ...

BECAUSE remember this :

should consider that the story has been this long BECAUSE you were still around ...

if you're gone : what's next ?

if you stick around : how much more do you want to loose ?

Tail.Dragger said...

The FADEC are separate cards in the AVIO chassis, and are essentially stand alone units. Repackaged into their own LRUs they could be easily interfaced with another avionics suite. However since they're certified under the engines, the engine cert would have to be opened up to accomplish this. I don't see P&W spending one more Loonie on the 610.

The real achilles heel are the ECBs.

Dave said...

Avio WILL become open source should shit hit the fan

How/why?

Shane Price said...

Bassmaster,

I've always maintained that we be civil to each other on the blog. Your last post is beneath both you, and the standard we've all come to expect.

Please reword it to rebut Shadow's (tongue in cheek) remark. I read him as teasing you, not being malicious.

In your defense I should add that we all know Wedgie only TOOK money from people.

He never paid it out....

Shane

ea500s said...

FYI collared CB's can not be reset or uncollared while the airplane is in flight. I believe (but could be wrong) that the option to uncollar a breaker must be done in the first 2 minutes after power is applied to AVIO. After that the line select key to uncollar goes away. (pulled breakers can be reset anytime)

I did speak to one service center yesterday, and it was confirmed that all the service centers are closed and was told that parts are not avialable for shipping out of ABQ. It was also reported that service centers were mostly empty at the time of the furlough.

Beedriver said...

A few more thoughts on why AVIO has to go.

first, It was designed wrong using the wrong architecture. It has all the evidence that it was designed by programmers not experienced in programming real time software/hardware systems. Building real time systems is a far different game than designing software for systems for information handling systems like PC's in PC software for instance if there is too much information the whole system just slows down so it will not make mistakes. in real time systems that are interacting with the realworld like Machine tool controls and aircraft control systems any time an event occurs it must be dealt with. it cannot be put in a cue for action when you get around to it. This can cause great problems in normal information software. The primary symptom of this problem happening in AVIO is the random changes in altitudes, alerts showing up when they are not supposed to, etc. this is the clue that the computer is being interrupted in the middle of another task and it then does strange things. Thus the total design philosophy of AVIO is flawed and probably will need to be totally re written. it is not a robust real time control system and will always be dangerous to fly with.

second, based on the fact it still has bugs and is incomplete, even if designed correctly, I would estimate that only 50% of the time/cost needed to perfect it has been spent. It usually takes 50% of the total cost to finish the last 10% of the functionality of a software program.

there is a huge amount of knowledge on this blog about aircraft and business, but it sounds like no one has been involved with designing and building computer control systems for real time control and the huge expense and complexity of doing that task.

In this instance perhaps AVIO could be salvaged just as the system that controlled the very defined and limited mechanical tasks such as FADAC, flaps, heating etc. this much information might might be within its capability to be reliable however critical tasks like navigation, the autopilot, communication etc should be moved off to other proven systems like the G1000 and dedicated autopilots and Garmin 530's etc.

Vern came from the PC world where, if their was too much information, the computer just slowed down and thus he probably hired programmer's that were expert in that area not real time controls. He did not know enough to realize the real software problem he was dealing with. He had never had a robot go crazy in the middle of a program for no apparent reason and after weeks of work the problem was traced to an external input from a over temp limit sensor on the chiller that directly interrupted the program and locked it up.

AVIO has to go in its present form. I would not fly the eclipse as transportation as Hal may do something crazy one of these days and try to kill me.

We need to thank all the present owners and pilots of Eclipse airplanes for their service in offering to be test pilots to see if they can outwit Hal

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

To all those who contacted me about placement I have your info and am forwarding it to the recruiters and projects I am aware of.

To all those who offered help standby, I will be forwarding contact info for some of these folks to you as well.

I am specifically interested in hearing from folks intimately aware of Avio's CURRENT status - development, planned fixes, known bugs, etc. I do not want the actual info (NDA's and all that, at least until EAC is liquidated), just want to find out who knows what. Thinking electrical/avionics engineers, techs, company pilots, and buyers.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

CWMR wrote:
With 260 in the field, Baron is correct that IF the owners' want it, someone will provide support.

With 260 in the field, Baron is correct that IF the owners' want it, someone will try to provide support.

As correctly identified, with that Monkey on your back (Avio), there is a very high likelyhood that support can not be assured.

The AVIO A/C may be better off than Avio NfG? I don't know how autonomous Avidyne is with AVIO, but if they have the source code, they may be able to address shortcomings which get AD'd.

If Wedge took AVIOnFg in house, and the software cert team got scattered on the four winds, I find it very unlikely that a sustainable model exists to provide a software team competant to certify changes in this level of software.

Time will tell.

BassMaster said...

Fair enough Shane.

Beedriver said...

Cold wet

thank you for thinking about saving the Eclipse. If you get real serious and get your hands on the actual code and hardware design for AVIO I know of people that are very expert in real time control systems that might be able to help you. beware though, I have found that fixing major problems in an existing software based system is usually as expensive as starting from scratch. Thus many times the best thing to do is start over now that your prototype effort (AVIO) has really defined what the problem is.

Until you see the code and get it analyzed you really will not know how bad it is.
I would base an estimate of the cost required initially to bring the EA500 existing AVIO up to full control capability on what it would cost to retrofit other good proven control systems into the EA500 not on what some estimate would be to fix AVIO.

FlightCenter said...

FreedomJamTarts you are right on the money about the probability of anyone providing support for Avio (or Avio NG) given the latest announcements.

However, the situation is worse than you suggest.

Let's assume that Avidyne and all the other Avio suppliers have all their source code and a desire to support the aircraft, the big hole in this line of thought is Eclipse.

Remember that Eclipse wrote much of the software in Avio and Avio NG. It is Eclipse software running in the ACS and other parts of the Avio system that ties all the other 8 or 12 or 15 (depending on how you count) avionics vendors' products together.

Without access to that code, an Avio vendor will still need someone at Eclipse to coordinate with the other vendors, write system requirements, write integration code and manage the certification process.

Bottom line -- without access to that code and people who are intimately familiar with that code, there will be no new Avio 1.x releases.

Ken Meyer said...

BeeDriver--you're a version too late in your analysis. The issues with occasional random changes in altitude, frequency or transponder codes were corrected in NG 1.3. Those problems have totally disappeared in my Eclipse with the new software.

Ken

Zed said...

Upgrading AvioNG

There should be 1.5 and/or 1.6 upgrade "instructions" available as part of the FIKI and EASA certification process.

Upgrading AvioNG aircraft to 1.5 or 1.6 should be an achievable process for a competant shop.

Upgrading baseline Avio aircraft will be more difficult ... but ... whether iterative or big-leap ... getting them to AvioNG 1.6 should be achievable as long as the PFD/MFD hardware is available (as harnesses, etc. can be manufactured by other than the OEM).

Like many have discussed before, converting to something other than Avio or AvioNG is a huge task, as functionality is distributed to a number or LRUs besides the PFD/MFD.

If the effort focuses on getting AvioNG 1.6 aircraft, there is a path ahead.

Jim Howard said...

Does anyone know what Real Time Operating System that Eclipse used for Avio?

flyger said...

Zed said...

There should be 1.5 and/or 1.6 upgrade "instructions" available as part of the FIKI and EASA certification process.

Yes, and somewhere in the process it says something like "install software binary image file version 2.3.06" or whatever number it is.

Upgrading AvioNG aircraft to 1.5 or 1.6 should be an achievable process for a competant shop.

They can't make up binary files out of thin air.

Like many have discussed before, converting to something other than Avio or AvioNG is a huge task, as functionality is distributed to a number or LRUs besides the PFD/MFD.

Converting to something else is a *smaller* task than reverse engineering Avio so you upgrade and maintain it. I am sure that yesterday, some very vital knowledge between the ears of a few software developers walked out of the factory and will never return.

If the effort focuses on getting AvioNG 1.6 aircraft, there is a path ahead.

Your inexperience in managing a certified software project is very evident in this post.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

There is a reason I am looking for the guys who have been doing the heavy lifting on Avio design.

It needs to be known if Avio NfG 1.5 is the final version, or if there were more upgrades planned.

Are those upgrades developed?

How solid is 1.5?

Is 1.6, or 2.0, etc., 6 inches from the goal line, 6 feet, 6 yards, or 60 yards?

It does happen where projects like this fail only inches from the goal line - my suspicion is it not 6 inches, but maybe not 6 yards.

This makes a HUGE difference in the effort re: Avio.

The logisitical issues related to hardware, glass, etc., are all significant in their own right, but the status of the code is the prime mover in any discussion about getting to a unified configuration.

Without a unified or at least very similar configuration (all NfG for example) the support business case would require both startup and ongoing expenditures that make it untenable IMO.

Now is the time to be asking questions and making contacts, not insulting each other about comprehension of airborne HW/SW development, IMO.

TBMs_R_Us said...

Beedriver,

I think your post about realtime control systems software is right on. I have had experience implementing such systems, albeit in telecommunications systems, not avionics. You're right that it takes a completely different mindset and a completely different software architecture. Also, I discovered that most software engineers haven't got a clue about the basics of real-time software, let alone the construction of complex, multi-faceted control applications.

Having said that, I don't think it's possible from where we sit to know much about how Avio is put together. It does seem to exhibit some symptoms of poor design that you point out, but it also seems to go on working more or less, as Ken claims. Your estimate of 50% done is probably good. I also agree with your assertion that it should have been two systems instead of one, which had it been done, would today allow replacement of the navigation/FMS system.

This leaves a terrible dilemma: There is no way that anyone could afford to do the development work to put the G1000 (or even G600) into an Eclipse fleet of 250 aircraft (probably many fewer than that still operating). That's just way too expensive for no return. So that leaves the fleet stuck with Avio, I think for eternity. No one can afford to do the remaining 50% of the undone work on Avio either. So Avio is an albatross on the fleet: can't replace it, can't improve it, and probably shouldn't trust it.

Ken and those of similar thinking will probably go on flying these aircraft until something forces it to go AOG. Avio will probably go on working pretty much the way it has for Ken, especially for those lucky enough to have or get 1.3 installed. I doubt that Avio itself will be the cause of some ultimate AOG condition. But it's stranglehold on the aircraft will prevent anyone from making substantial investment in or improvements to the EA500.

Dave said...

It needs to be known if Avio NfG 1.5 is the final version, or if there were more upgrades planned.

1.5 isn't the final version. Actually with Eclipse I don't think there ever was a final version planned, just it had been at what point Eclipse could claim to have made the product to spec. With s/n 260 Eclipse claimed on the hardware side that it was up to spec and it was with 2.0 that Eclipse claimed would be to spec on the software side. 2.0 was supposed to have already come out ages ago.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Baron please lend the Mackrel some of your Meds. He's lost his marbles (actually it looks like somewone spiked his drink with KoolAid).

CWMR wrote:

Couple that to a real-world inclusive support plan, also priced to provide a realistic and fair margin - and I think a reasonable, SMALL business case could be built.


Worthless theory. We all want a fusion power Delorean which runs on trash, and costs $3K. Barons $10M to do DD is a great post. Since the entire software team at Ecorpse needed about a year to certify AvioNfG 1.5 (how many many years), but is curretnly disintergrating as a team, do you really think you can get a grip on the magnitude of the future liablity with 2-3 guys in a couple of weeks? That is Hubris, which this program has already had in sufficient quantities.

Later, if there were an interest, the plane itself could go back into limited serial production (40-100/yr if there is sufficient demand at the $2.5-2.7M price).

There is no interest. How many sales did Ecorpse close in the year the plane was in production and the sticker price was ~$1.6M. At $2.7M what idiot buys an EA500 rather than a Mustang?

I propose a complete change in paradigm - support and consolidate the existing fleet, maybe offer FSW technology and tooling support, and only ofucs on boutique production after the existing customers are served and there is one baseline configuration.

Consolidate the fleet? Lovely headline for a VC Powerpoint presentation. Put a dollar number on that proposal. Add the cost of certify the changes. Add your fudge factor for the unknown unknowns (How identical are these 260 "conforming A/C" - I have heard that the Antonov 124's vary in length up to meter?)

Boutique production? Another bullshit bingo sound bite. How are you going to do "boutique production" on a SMD multi layer board where COTS components are constantly being phased out of production, and you need to constantly qualify replacements. Any change needs to be requealified agains DO160! Of course it can be done. Put a price on this!

**********************
Eclipse Issues Furloughs For 800 Employees

So there were 800 employees, but only 80 cars in the car park? Did Roel buy Dayjets Antfarm software to generate this new paradigm of car pooling?

***********************
EA500s
Forget your A/T dreams. There will never again be an organisation with the resources to certify feature addition requiring a big flight test program.

***********************
Owners:

Here is my proposal for an EA500 business model capable of turning a profit on you investment.

Location Arizona desert, best on edge of town on a road to a main tourist attraction. Slightly raised section of the road, where you can be seen for a couple of minutes by drivers.

Golf driving range on side of road, EA500 located about 120 yards away, and 30' lower, $1 per ball. Prize for hitting the plane.

Staffed with University students.

It'll take you about two years to recoop your investment.

The one at Lake Taupo doesn't have plane to aim at, it is a gold mine.

Dave said...

But it's stranglehold on the aircraft will prevent anyone from making substantial investment in or improvements to the EA500.

Hopefully now this lesson will show more people how integrated proprietary systems are bad rather than a benefit - at least for aircraft. If not for Avio the existing fleet would have a higher resale value and be easier to maintain. These systems really put you at the mercy of the aircraft manufacturer.

Dave said...

Location Arizona desert, best on edge of town on a road to a main tourist attraction. Slightly raised section of the road, where you can be seen for a couple of minutes by drivers.

Golf driving range on side of road, EA500 located about 120 yards away, and 30' lower, $1 per ball. Prize for hitting the plane.


Vern lives/lived in Arizona, so set it up next to his house that way a if there was an [intentional] hook shot, it would hit his place...that would be a prize in itself.

Zed said...

Flyger wrote ... Your inexperience in managing a certified software project is very evident in this post.

Steady cowboy. You assume that folks within EAC actually wrote all of that code. Perhaps I actually know where those files are.

The documentation exists, the code base exists, the certification artifacts exist ... reverse engineering is not an issue at this point.

Once the intellectual property rights are sorted out, any s/w that has not owned by the applicable vendor is an asset of the estate that may be purchased at the fire sale.


Jim Howard wrote ... Does anyone know what Real Time Operating System that Eclipse used for Avio?

AvioNG PFD/MFD employ an IS&S proprietary RTOS.

Avio PFD/MFD and the various other systems on the aircraft employ several of the industry standards.

flyboymark said...

Naw-Naw-Naw-Naw


You guys got it all wrong!






Continue present production under the following criteria:








"EXPERIMENTAL"

Category


HEY! That resolves jus'-a-'bout all the issues!



He-He-He....!

flyger said...

Zed said...

The documentation exists, the code base exists, the certification artifacts exist ... reverse engineering is not an issue at this point.

Nobody questions if they exist. The question is can you get the legal access to all the files and artifacts, *plus* the talent that wrote it in the first place, and setup a viable support team to work on it? Note that much of the software is a mash up from various companies, as you point out, which makes the job harder to organize.

Once the intellectual property rights are sorted out, any s/w that has not owned by the applicable vendor is an asset of the estate that may be purchased at the fire sale.

Oh great, we'll look for the pieces in various ABQ yard sales. Maybe we'll find all of them someday.

There's a lot more to this than collecting the files. Supporting this kind of software is hard enough when the original developers are *helping*. But if anybody is going to try this, it would be someone who doesn't fully understand the challenge. Best of luck to you!

I think whatever version Avio each airplane has right now is the last version they are going to have for a long time, possibly ever.

If one has all the source to AvioNG, then I think it is easier to G1000 the airplane than to continue to support Avio. In the long run, Garmin is going to keep G1000 updated with new stuff (synth vision, ADS-B, datalinks, etc) and that's just too much effort for Avio. Also, how would your answer change if you knew IS&S was soon to declare bankruptcy?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT, methinks maybe you need the meds.

I am just thinking out loud and trying to gage if there is an opportunity worth pursuing.

Based on the replies in the inbox, it seems there might be.

I did not say 2-3 guys and weeks, I just said 2-3 guys - the guys who were doing the heavy lifting, who know where the skeletons are burried and what the product plan was.

I stated before, I bet $1.5-2M to figure out what is known and unknown and formulate a plan - no parts, no facilities, just due diligence and plan formulation.

Among my specialies, such as they are, is doing a lot with a little (in terms of engineering team size)which I think will be necessary on any effort to support the preemie jet, if a true case can be made for a profitable concept.

Don't care if anyone or everyone agrees, I am just exploring options - there are afterall about 260 of these things in the wild and those in customer hands are owned by folks who have shown a lot of patience and more than a little financial wherewithal.

If you have somtheing positive to add I am glad to have it, but I am interested in possibilities solutions and suggestions at this point. I think this collapse is just what the product needed - and I have basically always said that.

TBMs_R_Us said...

CWMOR,

Sad product where collapse is it's best outcome! Attempting to pick up the pieces of such a collapse most likely will have the same property: re-collapse will be the best outcome. Good luck!

Shane Price said...

Bassmaster,

For deleting the 'offending' comment and the good grace to tell me you had....

Thank you.

Shane

Beedriver said...

Re up grading AVIO I would not build a business based on that assumption.
Having a proprietary software based system tied to the aircraft is OK and probably a good business strategy if you are Boeing. You have the resources to keep up and can spread the cost over enough units for it to be worth it. however if you are one of the small guys in the market your cost to keep up with the Jones's is so expensive that you will not ever be able to compete with other players on price. the large volume players in a market can afford and probably make money with proprietary systems but the small guys need to piggyback on suppliers who's only business is to supply the leading edge components in a market. thus if Eclipse was going to sell 2000 airplanes per year having their own system was a good strategy. if they are going to sell 50 or 100 units and be competing with other small guys, they must use systems like the G1000 in order to have the latest and the best avionics on the market. if any player do not have the latest and the best it is an absolute disaster trying to sell anything. If you do not show that your capabilities in all areas are at least competitive with everyone else you have virtually no chance of selling the advantages you do have.

Shane Price said...

Flyger,

Be careful before you tangle with Zed on the subject of 'complex software'.

Consider yourself given 'fair warning'.

(That's the best laugh I've had in a few days, 'Zed' not knowing complex software....)

Shane

Shane Price said...

For the record.

Roel had contracted to supply the Production Line Group their aircraft complete with FIKI, AvioNG 1.6 (including the G400W's) and EASA certification for $1.375 million, on closing. My understanding is that the '1.6' was required to meet the EASA spec.

U.S. aircraft have everything required (except EASA) in AvioNG 1.5.

In my opinion that's the 'last' version of AvioNG anyone is ever likely to see.

And it's also the biggest liability overhanging the aircraft. Too much integration can be a bad thing, in a GA context.

But that's only my opinion.

Shane

bill e. goat said...

Zed,
Regarding someone "porting" the available code (assuming it does become available)-
That's not going to happen in the USA.
Maybe China.
Eventually.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

TBM said:

"Sad product where collapse is it's best outcome! Attempting to pick up the pieces of such a collapse most likely will have the same property: re-collapse will be the best outcome.'

Can't say I fundamentally disagree with you TBM. My point has always been the product needed to be separated from irrational management to have any chance.

That is, I think, about to happen.

I agree that unless Avio is to be completed and supported, it would make more sense to make a switch to G1000, etc.

I think there are other alternatives that provide much of the same capability, such as the Aspen unit, coupled with modern digital nav/com, etc.

The real key though is a stable baseline - for the physical plane (wheels, brakes, transparencies, extended range tip tanks, FIKI equipment, etc.), and then the same for the avionics.

The make/buy decision re: Avio/Garmin, fill-in-the-blank is the complex issue. Replacement actuators can be qualified, better wheel and brakes can be identified, that is easy by comparison.

Would be nice to hear from some owners - I am hearing from lots of former Eclipsers at literally EVERY level from within the adventure, vendors, and the critics - what would the owners really want/accept, and at what price?

x said...

Haven't posted in a long while, and only read the top line.

Has the actual business plan of RP (as opposed to the public, court approved plan) been discussed or "stress-tested"?

It appears to me that the chief salable assets are the 28 (?) half completed frames in the factory, and the Dayjet craft (?).

That seems to be about 75 M worth of inventory, if RP could convince the yet missing supplier (P&W) to send the parts to complete. In order to receive another jet engine shipment on credit, RP needs to make world+P&W believe he has a go-forward strategy.

The fall 2008 factory activity of building craft without the jets available seems consistent with a BK plan of front loading the costs of inventory to the creditors, and capitalizing the new co using the stored inventory.

I suspect RP is solely trying to sell the in-the-factory half-completed frames and perhaps some 50 other pipeline craft. ISSC has written down inventory it owns of AvioNG, RP will likely make a offer to obtain that below cost.

He will earn back his parties investment if he can wring 100M from the inventory.

This plan only uses the Spanish/Russian money as a masquerade of a future plan in order to obtain the parts necessary to sell the half completed jets cluttering up the factory floor in ALBQ.

Discuss....

Shane Price said...

To anyone brave enough to take on FPJ support, I have one piece of advice:-

Charge like a wounded elephant.

These 'marks' are committed (some would say they should have been committed , but that's water under the bridge) to their aircraft. The only way they can fly them is with parts from a certified source. EAC were clever enough to lock down contracts for a huge range of the 'bits' they used.

Get control of those supply contracts and you can make enough money to pay for the ongoing support.

Be ruthless with the owners. They can't fly these turkeys without you...

Shane

flyger said...

Shane Price said...

(That's the best laugh I've had in a few days, 'Zed' not knowing complex software....)

It is one thing to "know software", and yet an entirely different thing to support software, mashed up from multiple places, in the aftermath of a company liquidation. To simply get back to the day when you can compile the code again will be a major achievement, not because you need talent, but you need all the pieces and the tribal knowledge that put it together. Part of this is that I expect Avio, once you see the insides, will be this tangled mess that isn't even truly supportable by Eclipse, much less a third party.

There has never been a third party take over of a certified software system like Avio. Avio doesn't impress me as likely to be the first.

It is easy to sit back and proclaim somebody can do it. It is quite another to actually go do it.

Adam Hunt said...

What are the chances that Avio is actually based on Windows XP?

Shane Price said...

X,

You clearly don't have access to the Court documents.

I do.

Roel has SOLD the 27 (plus one)* aircraft on the line as of 25th November 2008 for $1.375 million each. That's only just over $37 million.

What's remarkable is that there were ONLY 28 in the entire factory. So much for 'high volume' production....

Roel's plan is not known to us. In fact, I'm pretty sure what he got the 'senior note holders' to sign up for in October or early November 2008 is now pretty much waste paper. He was shaping to (probably) charge about $2.5 million for a new FPJ, offering a coupon to the deposit holders which would see him get out at about break even and then make a right few quid on the upgrades.

My thinking is that the price increase/low value coupon would have driven away many of these 'orders' instantly. He could have charged as much as he wanted for the upgrades required to the 'pre s/n 105 birds. Where else could the owners get the required bits? The (mostly) software updates for those 'post' 105 birds would have been 'jam on top'.

Trickle out say, 4 a month, for a mere 6 months, always promising to do more real soon. Then shut production down in ABQ and move lock stock and (two smoking) barrel(s) to Russia.

Might even have worked, executed properly. in 2008

But not in 2009 or 2010.

Shane
*27 v 28. One of the PLG refused the $1.375 million offer.

airtaximan said...

I find it hysterically humerous, that an avid EAC critic is working on providing support services for the ea50.

Imagine if Ken had to take his plane over to COLDWET/EA50-Maint-ctr for periodic maintenace, repairs, upgrades... and PAY CW for keeping his plane airworthy!!!???

I don't care who you are, THAT's funny right there...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Irony Aviation Corporation, Proven Right on Tuesday since 2006.

I am not making any promises or offers, just exploring opportunity.

FWIW, I am getting some fantastic info in the inbox.

Shane, let's have a competition to name my non-existent Eclipse Support Bidness idea.

Usual prize - and if I put something together I'll fly to the Emerald Isle to join in the prize presentation.

Competition closing Monday.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

CWMR,

Don't take offense at the Meds call. You post have been some of the best ever on this blog, but I have been amazed that you feel there is a viable business in there.

I wasn't kidding on the driving range thing. I truly believe that such out of the box, marketing gag, type stuff is far more realistic than "supporting the fleet".

You can get a better return on investment from bottled beer.

Reading those testimonies to the senate subcommittee told me that this company never had a handle on conformity.

Retrofitting anything to these planes is likely going to be a exercise in hand fitting.

Due diligence based on 2-3 key people from the Ecorpse software development team? The same team that took over a year to produce V1.5? I do not doubt there are some brilliant people in there, but I doubt anyone in that team has ever had a chance to develop their brilliance in a well managed project.

How do you choose the 2-3 people from the software team to advise you? How do you check if they were trying to fix the problems, or part of the problem?

Do you know what flight test costs? How differcult it is to get to an working understanding/agreement of the requirements between your flight test team and the authority team?

Gadfly and ATM have a long reliably history. The fat lady is wailing into her encore.

I don't doubt the attempted resuscitation will occur.

It will fail.

In ten years, the only EA500's still flying will be experimental category, and operated roughly like the warbirds, cannibalizing the rest of the fleet.

Shane Price said...

Adam,

It's not Windows XP. Bill Gates would never have flown in one if it was.

Trust me on this....

Like almost every avionics suite in existence, it traces it's core back to that OS fondly known as:-

"30 years of tradition unhampered by progress"

I can remember when we used to say '20 years' but I'm showing my age now.

For those of you not laughing (softly) I should be a little clearer.

It's (probably) a microkernel of UNIX, modified so as to 'present as' proprietary to IS&S.

And the real benefit of using a microkernel of a weird sub variant from the 'Berkeley Software Distribution' of UNIX 5.3?

It's FREE...

But that's only my opinion.

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT, I have said there MAY be a viable business, but there are a lot of questions.

These are the questions I am asking. I do have the names of the 2-3 guys BTW.

Really, why should anyone be surprised that there are critics with an entrepreneurial bent, relevant aviation experience, and the desire to help people?

Seems like that has been our focus all long.

Shane Price said...

Coldwet,

Shane, let's have a competition to name my non-existent Eclipse Support Bidness idea.

Tidy up the wording a bit and I'll update the headline post. It's a good idea.

Can I be one of the judges? That way I can exclude this entry:-

"Wedge Avionics"

With a snappy sub heading:-

"The Simplest Tools in the Industry"

Do you think owners would buy the upgrades from us?

Would Ken?

Oh, no, I forgot, Ken's FPJ is perfect, in every respect. And he never, ever, needs to fly anywhere near ice....

Shane

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Do I have any names? I live about 8000 miles from NM, and have only ever seen an EA500 once, so know, I have no idea who is who in Ecorpse.

That stench has been so strong and unmistakably for so long, that even someone 8000 miles away, with no inside knowledge or contact could clearly read the writing on the wall.

Sorry CWMR, I think talk of sustainable support models, consolidating the fleet and boutique production helps no one. It just creates more smoke for people who really want to believe to see mirages in. I know you are trying to help, and I think it is great that you are helping the ex-staff with referrals, and job connection. This is the best thing you can do.

Gadfly, ATM and I are trying to help people.

Ecorpse is dead. Wear black. Cry a bit. Buy flowers. Move on.

Zed said...

It’s Only Software!

Thanks Shane, you’re too kind.


Flyger, et al –

To clarify my postulate on Avio and AvioNG futures, espoused today and previously …

1) What software exists now is all that will ever exist!

2) It is irrational to believe that –any- further software or avionics hardware development or maintenance is possible by anyone other than the original vendor or development and certification teams. To be very clear … no one other than the original house using their tools will be able to compile a certified load.

3) It is irrational to believe that any software or hardware reverse engineering is possible without huge amounts of time and money (even if it was legal).

4) The last certified version of the various Avio and AvioNG software loads exist, and are owned by the estate.

5) Absent a new purchase from the original vendor, the unique avionics spares on hand are the only spares that will ever be available.

6) A qualified software team could prove, using the available documentation and artifacts, that the software files are identical to the certified code.

7) A qualified avionics shop could upgrade early E500’s to a later configuration using only the hardware and software components available from the estate (absent harnesses, and other common components).

8) A successful “ongoing support” organization could hire a small but sufficient number of former EAC staff to support the existing aircraft until critical parts run out.

9) G1000 conversion is possible … given sufficient time and money … which makes it (choose one) unlikely : impossible.

10) Avidyne is probably best positioned to support both Avio and AvioNG aircraft … that is if they are still operating when this whole thing pans out.

11) A consortium lead by the E5C or another advocacy organization could organize the purchase and preservation of available intellectual property, software, components, etc.

12) To preserve spares for the various aircraft configurations, this group may decide not to allow upgrades … because every box used for an upgrade is one less spare for that group of owners.


Adam

WinXP Embedded may be used in certified avionics, but not in the Level A, B, and C systems in the E500.


Shane

The IS&S kernel is elegant simplicity. There isn’t a lot of “there” there, but it works very well.

Most folks use a qualified package from LynuxWorks, Green Hills, Seaweed, etc.

TBMs_R_Us said...

ColdWet,

You are living in a different universe!

There is NO POSSIBILITY of putting G1000 in EA500. There is no meaningful "make/buy" analysis you can do. Any such surgery to Avio is beyond the collective means of the owners (well, if not beyond the collective means, certainly beyond the collective willingness to pay!).

You can't just pick up where EAC left off and make a go of it -- not without uncountable millions of dollars to invest.

I always looked to you to be the voice of reality on the blog, and now you've left the land of the rational because you're getting a bunch of email?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

TBM what is wrong there buddy?

All I am doing is asking questions to see if a viable business case can be built. I AM getting some great e-mails, but I'm not running out to put anything together based on hundred emails over a 24 hour period.

There are a lot of questions to be asked and answered, most probably not here in the open, but there has been some great discussion so far here on the blog and in the inbox.

I am living in the same universe I have always been in - one of opportunity and vision. That said, I am still a critic.

I have always been critical of how the plane was developed, marketed and supported.

But I am also an undeniably entrepreneurial kind of guy, I love my industry, and I would like to see something good come from this $3B smoking hole. If I can turn an honest buck at the same, more power to me.

Reports are that the plane, physically, is a nice little machine with some known deficiencies (brakes, tires, transparencies, etc.).

There are clearly at least 100 or so customers, perhaps more, who are 'pot-committed' and who want to see the plane supported.

As discussed before, there are aftermarket support companies for the Aerostar, the Twin Commanders, and the Commander singles.

However, there are about 1000 of each those in the wild - compared to only about 260 preemie jets.

AND none of those companies have to deal with the issues that Avio creates - and those MAY be significant issues.

We simply do not know how close to 'done' Avio actually was, nor what development plans existed. We don't know about spares availability via IS&S who are themselves in trouble. We don't know if the customer base would accept a retrofit to a more conventional approach.

Lots and lots of questions - no harm from asking them.

The biggest obstacle to Eclipse has always been the irrational leadership, and trading Vern for RiP only exascerbated that as evidenced by the results since.

Only by changing the core objective - support vs production, can anything good possibly be accomplished. The 60%'ers have been screwed, blued, and tattooed - and the possibility of resuming production seems limited at best in the current economic situation.

What the venture always lacked, and the primary focus of the blog over several years and two able caretakers, was adult and rational leadership. This was because the business plan did not call for it.

Any new business plan has to be a truly NEW business plan - make a supportable product that can be operated cost effectively. Production is a non-starter for many reasons, but lack of sales being a major contributor.

The only way to re-establish the severely damaged brand, is through results - words are irrelevant.

The best way to accomplish results is to support the existing planes, not make more promises and waste resources.

Updating the fleet, and supporting it in the fashion most jet owners would expect is the only way, IMO, to potentially lay the framework for resumption of production, but at no greater than boutique rates. Think American Cjhampion, with jets.

I appreciate your concern for my health but I assure you, I am the same fish I've always been.

airtaximan said...

CW,

I meant no disrespect - I sincerely doubt "cost effective" support is possible for this fleet, but I have no idea.

You are at least looking under the floorboards, so to speak.

Have at it man... I have an idea for you, but you better jump on it now. Ready?

Here is how to go about it, buddy:

1- keep posting things on this blog (for another day or so) like "I have the core AVIO developers onboard"... "I am in discussions with some of the suppliers" you have already started this - jolly good - continue and spark some interest... exaggerate as much as possible... DO NOT WORRY

2- Next Tuesday, announce a plan, actually announce 4 plans:

a- avionics conformity upgrade package - (pick a price - it does nt matter, just any price that's appealing to the Owners, and no too high.. say $237,000. This is the guaranteed price, IF you send in 50% right now.

b- same as above, but if you send in 25% right now, there's CPI and you are not given priority in line to have the work done. You'll probably be in 2011 or later.

c- JetReplete (yes -REPLTE look it up, its TLC imbued with the spirit of the Reformation - get it?) this is an all inclusive program for Maintenance. Pick an hourly price, not too high and not too low... we want them to believe the price... again, it really doesn't matter what the price is, this is just the marketing phase...get it? Say $112 pr hour. Make up a long list of things included, make sure you can "refresh" this list later, if need be. Anyhow, off to guarantee this price for 5 years (yes, 5 years, you will be LONGGONE before then, BTW) and demand upfront - 2 years payemnts based on 500 hours a year.

d- same as above, price locked in for 5 years at $129 per hour, based on 300 hours a year - pony up years one and two, now.

So, then... you have say:

100 plan-a folks sign on = 237k x 100 x 50% = almost $14M

100 plan-b folks sign on = $237k x 100 x 25% = almost $6M

100 plan-c folks sign on = $112 x 500 hours x 2yrs = just over $11M

100 plan c folks sign on = $129 x 300 hrs x 2 yrs = almost $8M

So you can collect, in advance, I figger:

$41 million in advance

Heck, I'd even promise to leave it in escrow until you open the MRO Center.

Leave the offer open for a week... it should be long enough. Let them know that after the week is up, Support will be on an hourly basis and could very well be 2 or 3 X the guaranteed prices in the plans as stated above.

Within a week after, make a deal with an MRO shop in the midwest, and claim you are open for buinsess. immediately

Take the money out of escrow.

- The End -

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Very funny ATM.

I said a NEW business plan.

LOL

gadfly said...

". . . tarts"

After while, you 'just have to leave them alone and walk away. "Them" that don't want the truth are ready to believe the lie. For them, there is no remedy!

gadfly

(Sweet lies are far more tolerable than bitter truth. Besides . . . think of the endless excuses they'll be able to tell their families and friends.)

airtaximan said...

CW,

YOU are Funny!

Man, looking back, what a farce.

- I can almost smell Roel and the Russians at the upcoming BK sale bidding $10M.

I think there's still some story left.

Regarding your ideas on Support. Perhaps a "Support Group" for the Owners would be better?

Let them admit they are SOL. Admit, if they want to keep flying their planes, it will be VERY expensive.

I do not understand how anyone can support this fleet at an affordable price. Same with bringing the fleet up to FIKI.

This plane is rapidly revealing itself as the LameBirdghini

ppith said...

To all former employees reading this post, have heart! The job market for engineers in aviation is much better than you think. We are a very specialized industry and at times it seems a very small world.

baron95 said...

Beedriver said...there is a huge amount of knowledge on this blog about aircraft and business, but it sounds like no one has been involved with designing and building computer control systems for real time control and the huge expense and complexity of doing that task.

Beedriver - good post

I don't want to sound like Gad and going into what I did years ago, but HW and SW architecture for real time systems (including flight simulators for military/NASA craft) was paying my salary.

The architecture of Avio (as I understand it from afar) is actually a very modern architecture on par with the 777/F-22/F-35 general architecture. The concept of redundant central general purpose computers controlling most ship functions (as opposed to multiple dedicated function boxes) is the future of avionics.

The problem?

As you correctly pointed out, the development of the SW in such systems is incredibly complex, with the SW having to prioritize the handling of multiple functions.

When you can amortize the costs over programs that sell tens or hundreds of billions of dollars of airplanes (777, F-22, F-35) you can put the proper resources on it. And even then, it is a multi-decade program (with all improvements and variations).

Trying to do it on a shoe string and in a couple of years is just not do-able. As Eclipse found out.

Avio should have been planned from the outset as an incremental development effort, with new function coming on line gradually. Instead, they planned as a "big bang, full function" and only when they failed (twice) did they fall back to interim releases.

ANY, and I mean, ANY good avionics SW developer would have stood up to Vern and said, "this is not do-able". We need to crawl, then walk, then run.

I still think that Avio NG can prob be salvaged, but I'd need to do a full program, architecture, and code review. It is very easy to see how troublesome (or not) it is. You just look at the effort to correct a flaw and/or add a simple function. If it can be turned around relatively clean (e.g. no adverse impact to previously implemented functions) and fast, then the system (HW, code, deve processes, people) is basically OK. Else it is in trouble.

Anyway. No rocket science. It is complex, but the processes that work are well known to a good team leader.

Now, if you have a weak avionics leader and combine that with a CEO that does not want to hear reality, it can't work.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I'm glad some of you find it humorous but consider this:

Beryl D'Shannon, Robertson Conversions, Rocket Engineering, Sierra Industries, Clay Lacy, Lake Aero, Tradewinds, JetPROP, and many, many more.

Somebody has to do it - and money has been made.

Could it happen with the preemie jet?

Maybe, maybe not, but the questions need to be asked to get the answers.

gadfly said...

baron

Even I don’t want to sound like “gadfly”, but your comments are excellent. And, believe it or not, some of us would welcome knowing more about “what (you) did years ago”. The newcomers to aircraft hardware . . . and software, have attempted to over simplify the process (sometimes for less than honorable motives) . . . forgetting the solid foundations of past efforts, bought at high price in dollars and lives.

Carry on, my friend . . . you certainly have my attention!

gadfly

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

Ken is HERE asking for help, once again.

CW, I think he read my long post and got excited about the prospect of having affordable Support!!!

Ken, since your NDA is now null and void... do tell.. what secret inside scoop did you have, that would lead to, I think it was, "Shane having Egg on His Face?"

I think we should start with admitting we have a problem...

supportgroup@gmail.com ...

is a nice start

eclipso said...

Step 1...Admitted we were powerless


or in the case of the EA500, could not get the power to shut off

eclipso said...

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity


...except for that 60% deposit that didn't seem so sane

bill e. goat said...

Hi Ken,
Can I sell my surplus Wedge Dolls (with stick pin accessory kit) in the new gift shop?
Thanks!
.)

(Although I'm expecting a run on them at this year's Oshkosh...)

eclipso said...

Step 3:Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God



....and our monies to Vern and RP

eclipso said...

Sorry folks...didn't mean to make a mockery of the 12-step program...but it does kinda fir im here...like an addiction, the EA500 make sensible folks do unrealistic things

gadfly said...

Ken

As much as some of us would even at this late date be willing to be of “real” help, the problems are akin to un-scrambling an egg . . . a “rotten” one, at that!

This is not a “put down” . . . merely facing reality!

The “seeds” of failure were sewn deep into the fabric of the beast “early on”. It’s akin to taking an old car . . . jack up the “horn”, and replace the rest of the car . . . and then for good measure, replace the “horn”.

gadfly

(It’s OK to admit failure . . . it helps build character, and a good basis to get on with life. Anyone who never made a bad decision . . . probably never made a good decision.)

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

If, and it is a big if, Eclipse Jet (or other alternative) gets funded as a going concern supporting, building more planes, I think there is a fair chance that you can go to for example L3 and they will take over Avio NG interim support and work on an integrated L3 flight deck replacement.

In fact, I believe, I could get L3 to PAY to PLAY. They spent a ton of money on their integrated flight deck suite and have no customers. They are desperate. In fact they did all the work for the Cirrus Jet prototype for free, with no commitment from Cirrus, just to try to win the business.

Avidyne will go out of business soon.

Honeywell is also going no-where on the low end (and may also pay to play).

There are options there. I'm not too worried about the Eclipse avionics.

If the airframe gets support and new production, the avionics issue is solvable.

Avio NG 1.5 and 1.6 have enough functionality to put it ahead of ANY currently integrated light GA suite short of G1000. It is much better than a 2007 BE90/BE200/TBM850/PC12 - not bad at all.

Upgrading to that version is a matter of getting the HW bits, code binaries and service bulletins.

Fixing bugs to the extent needed to satisfy a grounding AD should be do-able if you can fund a skeleton team plus a couple of retained consultants on an as-needed basis.

The only problem is that RP is burning time. And time is of the essence here.

Once the employees, vendors and pot-committed customers scatter, the opportunity is lost forever.

Shane Price said...

Ken,

Can I sell T shirts?

How about:-

"I'm the REAL Shane Price"

Do you think they'd sell well at the annual fly in?

Shane

Zed said...

ATM ... I think the new support program should be called:

Jet Confit

Confit (French) is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation.

For the FPJ that immersion substance would be, quite obviously ... MONEY !

TBMs_R_Us said...

Avio NG 1.5 and 1.6 have enough functionality to put it ahead of ANY currently integrated light GA suite short of G1000. It is much better than a 2007 BE90/BE200/TBM850/PC12 - not bad at all.

Maybe I missed it, but does AvioNg 1.5/1.6 have radar altimeter, on-board weather radar, and XM weather functionality? Those 2007 aircraft do. If not, then "much better" isn't true.

allen said...

Shane or anybody who can help with this. Eclipse said they are not going to pay us for the 2 and half days we worked and the vacation they owed us. I called the ABQ work and wages, and they said i had to contact the bankruptcy courts to file against eclipse. Does anybody have the number for the courts. Thank you

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

baron

“Once the employees, vendors and pot-committed customers scatter, the opportunity is lost forever.”

It would seem that the “smart ones” would have seen the train-wreck coming . . . and would have “jumped off” sometime back. If it were me, I would not be looking for a “start up” crew among those remaining. The “die-hards” are important, and have their place . . . after the company is established . . . or “re-established”, but the necessary talent probably left a long, long time back. Good talent usually learn the lesson at the first lie . . . and don’t need the possibility of a second lie. (And sorry to bring up the past, but “been there, done that!” . . . my “ex boss” served time . . . got out . . . and lived a few more years . . . very few! He came to me with a new product, actually a good product, after we started our own business. “Cash up front” got him some of our time and design . . . but old dogs don’t learn new tricks . . . the old dishonesty returned . . . but this time we didn’t get burned like the first time. He was quite likable . . . but seemed to always end up conducting dishonest business. Eclipse has all the same symptoms.)

Bottom line? . . . you said it: “the opportunity is lost forever.”

gadfly

Blogger “allen” has some good questions . . . ‘seems that investing in a DVD about the place he would have spent his vacation, and pounding the pavement looking for a new job would be far more cost effective than attempting to squeeze blood out of the “turnip”.

Ken Meyer said...

TBM asked, "does AvioNg 1.5/1.6 have radar altimeter, on-board weather radar, and XM weather functionality?"

We've had onboard radar since NG 1.0. No radar altimeter, but TAWS pretty much obviates the need for it (and the 500' callout is priceless). XM weather continues to be via 496 or, WxWorx which I use and prefer to the Avidyne EX-500 I used to have.

1.5 has flight path presentation on the MFD and PFDs (i.e. basic map function), full autopilot coupling, ALT-CHG functionality, TOGA, Flight Director and wind vector display. SIDs, STARs, GPS roll-steering, WAAS--most of the things a guy would want, but not everything on the ultimate wishlist.

Ken

airsafetyman said...

"Fixing bugs to the extent needed to satisfy a grounding AD should be do-able if you can fund a skeleton team plus a couple of retained consultants on an as-needed basis."

What about the liability issue?

gadfly said...

Take a look at this morning’s article in the Albuquerque Journal:

http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/191041432064newsstate02-19-09.htm

It appears that Eclipse is playing their last card . . . keeping the “employees” captive, with “health benefits” . . . to avoid paying their wages.

Come on! How low can an employer sink . . . while attempting to keep up the appearance of being a “real company”?

‘Ever heard the expression, “He’d steal the eyeballs off his dead grand-mother for a buck!”? . . . ‘Guess it was based on “fact”.

Pass the salsa and chips . . . the show ain’t over!

gadfly

(‘Don’t you just love these old tear jerkers? . . . Who needs “HDTV”? . . . it’s all in “black and white”!)

(Please forgive Ken . . . he’s busy re-arranging the deck furniture . . . his latest plan is truly elegant! Now, to find enough of the crew to carry it out.)

TBMs_R_Us said...

Ken,

Thanks for the clarification. How many aircraft have 1.5? What are the prospects for upgrading your aircraft from 1.3 to 1.5? BTW, one uses a radar altimeter for a different reason than TAWS. Radar altimeter gives you continuous AGL readout on approach, and a bell for DH.

Baron,

"much better" must be in your eyes sitting in your Baron. Those 2007 aircraft all have TAWS and 500' annunciation, as well as all of the other features Ken mentions. I've flown a thousand hours each with PFD and EFIS 4.0 with separate airspeed, altitude and VS indicators. The differences aren't meaningful. A 496 for weather isn't integration at all.

Dave Ivedorne said...

On Tuesday, LaBarge held their Q2 2009 earnings conference call. LaBarge wrote down their entire exposure of $7.9M due to Eclipse in the quarter. Their CFO, Donald Nonnenkamp, discusses it in a way which sheds a tiny bit of light on EJI's attempts to line up suppliers ( transcript provided by Seeking Alpha ):

Eclipse Jet has indicated to us that it intends to resume production of the Eclipse E-500 aircraft and would like us to continue as a supplier. We expect to being ( sic ) negotiations in the current quarter with Eclipse Jet on a new contract to resume production of cable assemblies for the aircraft.

It's possible that the negotiations may include a payment of some portion of the Eclipse Accounts Receivable, the old company's accounts receivable. However, no such offer has been received and Eclipse Jet is not obligated to make any payments since they did not assume the receivables in the asset purchase agreement.

Eclipse Jet has shared with us a production plan that would allow consumption of the raw materials and cable assemblies that we currently have on hand. However, as of today, the company does not have a contract in place, nor have there been negotiations regarding any such contract.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the Eclipse Jet plans, and the company's future role in the production of the E-500 aircraft if any, we have written down the inventory to a level we believe we can recover through use on other programs or through the sale of the raw materials.


President & CEO Craig LaBarge later drops a hint about the expected timetable:

...we do not have confirmation that they've ( EJI ) actually closed yet on the purchase of those assets.

We expect that it would happen this week and we don't have any confirmation whether that's happened ...

The suppliers are already certified, already approved and all ready to begin production presumably immediately. So we've not had that discussion yet officially. We anticipate that that would be happening sometime during this quarter and it may lead to an agreement.


His final words on the subject:

We would have to get comfortable with their capitalization. We'll have to get comfortable with the business plan and we certainly don't want to create another write off for some point in the future.

There is also a very brief mention of Eclipse in Albany International's Q4 2008 Earnings call yesterday.

DI

airtaximan said...

I just think its precious - Ken coming here after calling us idiots, telling us we'd be sorry, dismissing us as haters, nit picking and parsing our posts to try to make it look like we were always wrong - and now...

he's here asking the likes of US (CWMR - who calls him the Cardinal of the Church of Flyantology) for help, ideas, business plans...

Man... I just cannot believe it.

Dave said...

We would have to get comfortable with their capitalization

The deal not closing with Russia and the firing of 800 employees might not give LaBarge the warm and fuzzies.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken wrote but not everything on the ultimate wishlist.

Is that wishlist the one you signed and thought was a contract.

Stan and ATM have been right all along. There will never be a completed EA500.

FreedomsJamtarts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Hunt said...

Shane:

I was only kidding about Avio being Windows XP - it was probably an early version of Vista (kidding again).

Actually I thought it was most likely based on Linux, BSD or Solaris Unix. Now that would be really ironic for an ex-Microsoftie to go selling free open source software and go out of business doing it.

The truth would be amusing either way.

Of note: CERN uses Linux to run everything they do, including their own 20,000 servers and the Large Hadron Collider.

On the other hand the ISS runs Windows, that is they were until it got a high-flying virus.

I sure hope Avio isn't Windows!

(PS this was typed on Linux)

Dave Ivedorne said...

Regarding your ideas on Support. Perhaps a "Support Group" for the Owners would be better?

Al Franken might be available to do some Group Leading...

"I'm good enough, strong enough, and gosh darn it, People LIKE me! I'm going to go fly my jet."

DI

Ken Meyer said...

TBMs wrote, "BTW, one uses a radar altimeter for a different reason than TAWS."

Ya think?

I was pointing out that between the standard TAWS/EGPWS readouts and the aural "MINIMUMS" annunciation that Avio already incorporates, there is little purpose in buying the radar altimeter option; it's largely a waste of money. I cancelled it from my order after initially choosing it (I wouldn't have had it anyway of course, but this way I didn't pay for it).

Ken

gadfly said...

Anyone who does business with anything connected with Eclipse, past or present, deserves what they get . . . there is no further room for sympathy. Stupid begets stupid!

gadfly

(But then, we have the fine example of our own politicians at work . . . like termites, chewing away at our national structure . . . chomping as fast as their little destructive teeth can bite. We truly live in interesting times!)

airtaximan said...

Ken,

anyone, chime in... I am serious about this idea.

EXPERIMENTAL

Think about it, there's no real commercial application for this plane, and this designation will make life a lot easier for the owners.

No need to conform the parts/fleet
No need to maintain compliance to all those pesky FARS

there are other benefits.

CW, this might be a cool route for your EA50-Support-Group.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 550   Newer› Newest»