Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CWMoR Comprehensive Options and Alternatives for Eclipse 500 Owner/Operators

Well, he is one of 'us' (which makes a refreshing change) and it's a more mature plan that any of the other's I've seen. It's interesting, and makes a very wide sweep in an effort to meet with almost all 'stakeholders'. So here it is, fresh from his own laptop, and written by our very own member of the Honor Roll, ColdWetMackarelofReality

I'm sure it will generate some comment....

Shane

The normal warnings and cautions apply. This is not an offer to sell or solicit securities and is very forwarding looking – no guarantees are being made, explicit, implicit or otherwise. This is an overview only.

Philosophy
– Provide the closest thing to win-win for majority of owners
– Realistic, achievable and practical way-forward
– Flexible approach to meet needs/desires of most owners

Situation Summary
– There are ~260 aircraft with varying configurations and states of completion – all with a 10 calendar year fatigue life
– There is presently no source for parts, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, or Means of Compliance for AD’s or upgrades/repairs
– EAC Assets are in Chapter 7
– Development of new support concepts by 3rd party following Chapter 7 will likely take months to get operational, potentially leaving aircraft AOG into the summer
– Many current plans for support from third parties are focused on restarting production on the backs of the long suffering owners
– The owners are likely divided into several camps with competing interests
• Those who just want ‘out’
• Those who want to continue operating the plane
• Those who want to see the plane re-enter production
• Those who want/need safe effective transportation but are not dedicated to specific airframe/form factor
– The only way the owners community can act as a cohesive group is to address the needs of all owners, not subsidize the needs of a few

Identified Needs
– What is needed is a clearinghouse for the various capabilities needed
• a central management point for the various support activities
• a reliable source of objective information and guidance for the owners
• experienced technical and management leadership
• strategic understanding of the complex big picture
– Efficient exit strategy for those who want out
– Cost effective parts availability for those who want to continue operating the EA-500 (both individually and commercially)
– Experienced support for continued airworthiness
– Development of immediate, short, mid and long term objectives
– Identification of alternatives and risk management
– What is needed is a comprehensive set of overlapping options and alternatives that collectively serve the needs of the majority of owners
• This means realistic and honest evaluation of the situation
• A focus on mutually beneficial approaches to meet the needs of the majority of owners

CWMoR team are willing to fill this central clearinghouse role
• Bring 60 years collective experience in aerospace and defense
• Have existing relationships and experience with FAA
• Have existing connections to the needed skillsets from the former Eclipse
– Excel-Jet brings an alternate airframe possibility and significant design and systems integration experience

Options and Alternatives
– Those who just want ‘out’
• Need an option for assisting in sales or outright purchase for spares
– Those who want to continue operating the plane (individually or commercially)
• Need reliable source of known pedigree parts
• Need source for documentation/means of compliance
• Need experienced strategic management for PMA/STC and other options
– Those who want/need safe effective transportation but are not dedicated to specific airframe/form factor
• Need an alternate airframe that can re-use the PW610’s while placing bulk of airframe and system parts into circulation for spares use
• This frees up the most valuable and portable components on any delivered airframe for re-use and makes purchase of near complete airframes for spare reasonable
– Those who want to see the plane re-enter production
• Need insight into challenges for start-up and certification efforts

Proposal
– Our recommendation is to NOT seek the assets from CH-7
– Intent is to provide sufficient alternatives to keep any other players honest in their dealings with the owner community
– Excel -Jet Ltd. has offered to produce a modified experimental Sport-Jet 610 design to accommodate the PW610’s based on the airframe of the JT-15D powered Sport-Jet II
– The new Sport-Jet 610 provides speed and range profiles equivalent to or better than the EA-500 Spec but does so at FL250-280 (more easily and inexpensively insured)
– Estimate that there is a need for 5-10 current owners who are interested in alternate airframe to make this a reasonable possibility
– Examining alternatives re: Avio hardware and software
– Excel Jet estimates 12 months from receipt of funds to flying demonstrator aircraft
• Modular design of Sport-Jet II supports development of a new aft-section for PW610’s and associated equipment without requiring redesign of wing, gear, or cabin (all originally sized for single 2,100 lb thrust P&W JT-15D turbofan)
– These owners can then sell their Eclipse airframes (sans engines) into a fleet support spares pool
• Could get the new airframe nearly for free after selling EA-500
– The spares pool provides the time necessary to identify willing vendors, qualify replacement vendors where needed, and lay the foundation for PMA/STC and other options
– CWMoR Team will assist owners to establish a business to manage fleet spares pool and continued airworthiness issues
– Focus immediately on AOG situations
– Prioritize analysis and support needs for A, B. C and D Check, Phased Inspections as well as other inspection requirements and life-limited parts
– Identify vendors interested in upgrading known weak parts (already identified for tires and brakes)
– Identify qualified MRO providers and A&P’s to support the fleet
– Eventually work to remove 10 calendar year airframe life limit and expand to 20,000 hrs
– Excel-Jet Ltd. has offered to honor up to $80,000 in lost Eclipse deposits towards purchase of Sport-Jet II kit

Sport-Jet 610 Preliminary Specifications
– Dimensions
• Length - 34 ft.
• Wingspan - 35.2 ft.
• Height - 9.6 ft.
• Performance
• Maximum Speed - 380 kts
• Normal Cruise - 350 kts
• Economy Cruise - 320 kts
• Rate of Climb - 2,500 ft./min.
• Operational Ceiling - 28,000 ft.
• Stall Speed - 70 kts
• Landing Speed - 85 kts
• Range w/IFR reserve - 1,000 m
• Take-off Distance - 2,300 ft.
• Landing Distance - 1,800 ft.

– Weights / Capacities
• Empty Weight - 3,060 lbs.
• MTOW Weight - 5,500 lbs.
• Payload w/full fuel - 800 lbs.
• Wing Area - 150 sq.ft.
• Fuel Capacity - 260 gal.

– Engines
• (2) PWC 610F 950l b thrust turbofans (1900 lbs total thrust)

– Cabin
• Seating - 4+1
• Cabin Size - 62”w x 49”h x 105”l
• Baggage Area - 27.5 cu.ft.

Initial and ongoing Costs
• Sport-Jet 610 design, tooling and demonstrator aircraft estimated at ~$1.75-2.0M
• PW610 powered Sport-Jet 610 Kit is estimated at ~$700K for the aircraft, options and build assist
• Purchase of 8-12 airframes for spares ~$6-8M
• CWMoR initial management consulting establishing an Owner’s Group business entity ~$250K
• Needed whether or not owners bid for or win CH-7 assets to provide control over maintenance destiny
• Prioritize engineering focus for AOG, scheduled maintenance, and life limited components
• Target for maintenance costs and TC support is in the $400-500/hr range + fuel
• Final cost to be determined based on results of analysis of maintenance concept and risks
• Intended to restore balance of JetComplete concept
• Operations Budget for Owner’s Group Business Entity are estimated at $12-16M/yr funded from per-hour cost above or on a quarterly subscription basis
• Includes Mgmt consulting
• Spares and repair parts
• Most Scheduled/Unscheduled Maintenance
• Continued Airworthiness/Means of Compliance
• Engineering Development (e.g., AMP/SLEP, PMA and STC)

Harlow plan will result in ~$1.78M costs over 9 years, not including upgrades, fuel or unscheduled maintenance (@150 hrs/yr)
• $300,000 initial investment, $800/hr for maintenance and support
• Approximately $198,300 per year in lifecycle costs incl. insurance w/o fuel

Owners Group plan will result in ~$1.24M costs over 9 years, not including upgrades fuel or unscheduled maintenance (@150 hrs/yr)
• $200,000 initial investment
• $70,000/yr for TC support ($467/hr)
• ~$300/hr in maintenance and insurance
• Approximately $137,200 per year in lifecycle costs w/o fuel
• Neither plan provides for immediate or near-immediate spares
• Neither plan provides for immediate engineering support
• Neither plan provides relief for current AOG aircraft
• Neither plan hits the ground running with specific plans for maintenance significant parts and inspections

Savings for CWMoR plan compared to Harlow Plan
• Save $1,060,000 over 9 years
• Equivalent to 250,000 gallons of fuel (5,000 plus hours of flight time)
• Roughly 2-3 times the cost of needed upgrades
• Approximately $100,000 per year savings in lifecycle costs incl. insurance

Savings for CWMoR plan compared to Owners Plan
• Save $510,000 over 9 years
• Equivalent to 127,500 gallons of fuel (2,500 plus hours of flight time)
• Roughly 2 times the cost of needed upgrades
• Approximately $60,000 per year savings in lifecycle costs incl. insurance
• Savings for Sport-Jet 610 compared to EA-500 under Harlow Plan
• $1,350,000 over 9 years (and can operate beyond 9 years out of the box)
• Equivalent to another plane or 337,500 gallons of fuel (6750 hours of flight time)
• DOC estimated at $450-500/hr incl. fuel and insurance

Principals
• CWMoR, Logistics Management Consultant
• 18 years in industry, 23 years as a pilot
• 12 turbine aircraft programs, 6,000 – 70,000 lb MTOW
• Bob Bornhofen, CEO Excel-Jet Ltd.
• 30 years in design, manufacturing, TRW and Hughes
• Designed original Maverick TwinJet aircraft in mid-90’s
• Currently finishing detail design and prototype construction on JT-15D powered Sport-Jet II

Summary
• This is the only plan to recognize and address the needs of the owner community as a whole as well as individually thus providing real leverage in dealing with any potential entity for service or support
• This plan does not require universal adoption, only needs $10-12M and 5-10 willing owners looking for an alternative for the engines
• This plan does not result in the owners investing $20-40M initially, and a further $100-200M over 9 years supporting a restart of production
• This plan takes advantage of existing regulations and existing, experienced and capable service providers while providing realistic and honest guidance for owner community
• This plan allows the owners to control their destiny without burning an unnecessary additional $100-210M over the next 9 years by providing reasonable alternatives to help keep 3rd parties honest
• The principals of this plan are willing to speak with the owner community directly via telecon, e-mail, or perhaps even a customer summit to answer your questions

438 comments:

1 – 200 of 438   Newer›   Newest»
bill e. goat said...

(quick diversion before we investigate CW's proposals),

Dave I
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that at the moment, EAC still exists, and Mike McC is still in charge of running the debtor-in-possession."

True, but...I think there is normally a functioning QA process- with documentation, etc. Mike M might still be "on the payroll"- I wonder about the other folks though.

airtaximan said...

from AIN

"New Investors Could Restart SPn Light Jet Program
Former Grob Aerospace chief executive Niall Olver confirmed to AIN that he is trying to put together a deal to restart development of the SPn light business jet, which was suspended when the group had to initiate insolvency proceedings last year. One option being considered in talks with undisclosed interested parties is the establishment of a fund with which they would jointly buy the SPn assets from the main Grob Aerospace creditor. The SPn assets are now held by a new, and as yet unnamed, company that is wholly owned by the creditor. The insolvency process is essentially complete and the German administrator who handled the process for the group’s Germany-based operating company Grob Aerospace GmbH no longer has any involvement in the resale of the assets. The main creditor has now mandated Olver to assemble the group of new investors to buy the company holding the SPn assets. According to Olver, almost two-thirds of former Grob engineers have indicated that they would return to the program and, therefore, certification work could resume immediately after the ownership issue is resolved at a new location in southern Germany."

nice to know

gadfly said...

This has all the earmarks of a “business plan” that someone would submit to a banker . . . An attempt, if you will, to gain from the advantage of another’s dream, without recounting the nightmare.

It’s an attempt to make something useful from a pile of something, without actually picking it up off the lawn.

If this is a charity for ex-Eclipse owners, then, so be it. But remember that most charities operate under a 501(c)(3). And if a “charity”, it should be labeled as such . . . along with a list of the underwriters. But speculations about “money saved” are just that, and no more real than the stuff that young bankers require.

Three suggestions:

1. Design and build a great little plane . . . using the best of conventional proven designs. Most great ideas are simply using the combined learning of others, rearranged in new and unique ways . . . manufactured and sold by honest people.

2. Avoid any and all connections with the failed bird from Albuquerque. There aren’t yet any detergents, stain removers, bleaches, perfumes, deodorants . . . effective enough to remove the “traces” from contact with the little bird. ‘Just when you think you covered everything, someone will notice a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.

3. Don’t ignore the folks that got burned by Eclipse . . . but let them bring up the subject, AFTER you have a great product, ready to deliver. Until then, you may sound a whole lot like a certain ex-Microsoft “exec” . . . and decent folks will be looking for the nearest “egress” (that’s “exit” for those from Rio Linda, but “egress” makes it sound like I actually know something).

gadfly

(Ain’t it amazing what comes from the “wit” of a “nit”?)

exGNVtech said...

Mac isn't the only 'ex-exec' playing this game. Others will surface shortly.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Do you mean me exGNVtech?

I am not an ex-exec.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Great advice Gad.

Take a look around, and take a look at your money swirling around the bowl.

Before you flush any more money down that Ecorpse drain, invest in something with some chance of a return.

GM shares are a better bet :)

For most owners the best rate of return on an eclipse would be to sell it on Ebay - no reserve!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

ColdWetMac

If the owner is going to sell his value proposition, sans engines what it is worth? 50K? 100K?

Why keep the engines? Why not sell the whole thing as a "complete" (TM Ecorpse) aircraft and then finally take an unbiased look at what is truly available for the ex-owners remaining budget?

This Excel Sport Jet II. Is it to be certified in the Experimental - Amateur built category? How do they intend to address the FAA's new interpretation of the 51% rule and builder assistance?

Does the EXCEL Sport Jet pass the Homebuilt vapor ware sniff test?

Five customer built aircraft flying at Oshkosh within five years of the prototype?

Who is going to do the FADEC for the PW610 in the homebuilt? PWC? Doubt it!

I think you have to be insane to fly hard IFR in a composite homebuilt (and I am a homebuilder). Have you ever seen the effects of Lightning on a composite airframe not tested/ protected for lightning strike?

exGNVtech said...

No I was refering to M.M.

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

CW, It is a big plan - I want to read it carefully later tonight before commenting to do it justice, but one quick comment.

Please ask Bornhofen to update the ExelJet website ASAP. The home page of that site will turn off all comers dropping in to take a look.

It is dominated by three strikes:
Strike 1: The latest news is from 2007 - implying lights out since then.
Strike 2: The front page is dominated by news of the crash of the prototype.
Strike 3: The front page is dominated by news of legal action between the company and the FAA

None of these things should be on the front page. This may seem small, but that is the first impression people will get from the company and one of the men behind the plane.

If it were me, I'd change, pronto.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT asked "If the owner is going to sell his value proposition, sans engines what it is worth? 50K? 100K?"

With a complete airframe that would include actuators, ECS, interior, flight controls, fuel system, various sensors, avionics boxes, displays and such? The market will of course determine that but it should be I think substantially more than $100K and substantially less than $1M.

In the absence of readily available NIB spares serviceable and as-removed parts will have signficant value to those who whish to continue operating the plane.

Why keep the engines? Why not sell the whole thing as a "complete" (TM Ecorpse) aircraft and then finally take an unbiased look at what is truly available for the ex-owners remaining budget?

I wanted to provide a series of alternatives including the possibility of decoupling the most portable and valuable components (thus saving the cost of new engines) while allowing an opportunity to recoup some of the overall cost of the airframe as well. Call it out of the box thinking.

Who is going to buy a complete aircraft right now? I do not suspect there will be any 'new' owners for the next 2 years or so while this thing sorts itself out. With the reliability of turbine powerplants and the availability P&WC PBTH support, the engines have little value as spares, but potentially significant value as a major component for a new airframe.

This Excel Sport Jet II. Is it to be certified in the Experimental - Amateur built category?

Yes.

How do they intend to address the FAA's new interpretation of the 51% rule and builder assistance?

Live within the new rules (already evaluated the new rules).

Does the EXCEL Sport Jet pass the Homebuilt vapor ware sniff test?

Five customer built aircraft flying at Oshkosh within five years of the prototype?


Not yet, but the program represents several million dollars and thousands of manhours invested by the CEO, mostly his own money.

Who is going to do the FADEC for the PW610 in the homebuilt? PWC? Doubt it!

An excellent questions for which there is an answer but I would have to kill you if I told you.

I think you have to be insane to fly hard IFR in a composite homebuilt (and I am a homebuilder). Have you ever seen the effects of Lightning on a composite airframe not tested/ protected for lightning strike?

I understand your concern both about hard IFR as well as lightning FJT, however the SportJet design has a carbon composite fuselage with properly grounded metal horizontal stab and wings. Have you ever seen the effects of lightning on a certified metal plane?

If the builder equips the plane with a G900, OP or Chelton avionics suite, the avionics are essentially identical to that in high-end certified planes. I was blown away by the Chelton system when I flew the Epic LT for example, very capable.

My position is that we each determine what our equipment minimums are, same for weather - if you don't want to fly hard IFR in a million dollar twinjet because you built it (or because a factory did not) that is your prerogative.

As I have stated before, I think the current and upcoming crop of ultra high-end experimentals to be tremendously capable machines.

Thanks for the great questions.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Great suggestions Baron, thanks and Wilco.

baron95 said...

As I said, I'll comment later after a thorough reading, but the idea of trying to unlock the value of the engines (by far the most potentially valuable single piece of the owners' asset) is a good one.

The PWC610 can only be used as a) a spare for the EA500 or b) if some other airframe uses it. Right now "a" is not needed and "b" does not exist.

I think the thinking of unlocking the potential value of those engines is very smart.

As is generating a pool of parts from parted out frames as I commented before.

I'm not sure if ExelJet is the right vehicle to do that or what any owner's appetite will be to sign up for yet another developmental project. But unlocking the value of the engine is the right thinking.

I'd like to see someone explore other alternatives for the owners that want out. E.g. sell them out as experimental planes to NASA, foreign militaries, universities. [You can even try sell them as high-speed target drones - remove one engine, interior, windows, other parts, send them up over the desert for AIM 9x off-boresight practice, shot from the side with no engine.] You know crazy "s$@#" like that.

gadfly said...

Today, for the first time, I examined a “stir fried weld”, right here not more than “inches” from this keyboard. It was impressive, to be sure. But the conversation drifted to “inclusions” in the weld, and salt-air induced corrosion . . . and just now, our friend from “Gainsville” shows up on the blogsite, and I remember back almost forty years . . . driving along the highway during one of the two “love bug” seasons . . . clogged windshields, radiators, etc., . . . and the yellow corrosive mess of millions of insects . . . and have wondered about the effect of this “natural” enemy of 70xx series alloys . . . and what in the world would Dayjet do to protect their little birds against this invasion into anything moving through the air, twice a year, in Florida. So those who used to kid the “gadfly” about “aluminum eating bugs” . . . well, there’s probably more truth than poetry to the remarks.

Love bugs are “real”. They are extremely acidic . . . and have few natural enemies, except cars, aircraft, and anything moving through their airspace as they “fly united”, twice a year.

The trip, back then, was on business . . . and eventually, for me, was an important part of my life . . . and another trip down there brought into being a series of events that not only affected me, but anyone who ever finds themselves in a hospital, with an “IV” plugged into their arm. (But that’s a story far too long for here and now.) ‘Interesting how things come about!

Florida has their “bugs”, but most activity of the little jet will sooner or later be close to corrosive elements . . . and from the standpoint of an “A&P”, or anyone concerned with inspection and maintenance, it is imperative that all aircraft have easy access for inspection where-ever corrosion may occur. This is one of the realities of aluminum aircraft . . . especially those constructed of high-strength alloys . . . and something that seems to have been almost totally overlooked in the “design” of the little jet from ABQ.

But those “aluminum eating bugs” . . . actually, they don’t eat aluminum, but their “acidic” remains are a real and present danger . . . and should be of concern to anyone flying an Eclipse through Florida airspace. All aircraft have such things to deal with . . . but an aircraft with “painted over” inspection covers, and fabrication methods that are subject to hidden corrosion . . . this is not a good mix.

gadfly

(The gadfly lives in a strange world, a "pilgrim", a sojourner, yet with blessings beyond measure . . . a list too long! 'With more concern about the "people" who may use my, and other's inventions, than the inventions themselves. Wouldn't it be great to get together, after the "final rites" of the little bird, to share the real issues of life . . . instead of the trivia.)

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Great suggestions Baron, thanks and Wilco.

It just dawned on me that it would had been more effective if sent to your email rather than here - sorry.

I'll be glad to delete the comment, if you so desire.

I have to run to do the evening part of my day job. See you all later.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No worries Baron.

While I can't speak directly for Bob I can say that he is a very straightforward kind of guy - that data is up there because it is the truth - no sugar coating, no window dressing, no dog and pony show and most importantly, no smoke and mirrors.

There are developments and progress that should be there IMO, but what is DESPARATELY needed now IMO by all the stars of this passion play called Eclipse is brutal honesty about all the parts of the puzzle rather than a snazzy storefront, awesome website, cool animations and videos to the Top Gun soundtrack. We all know how that went the last time.

But I will visit with him and see what we might add to the site.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Just to add, I can say that the intent that brought Bob and I together in this concept is to be the anti-Eclipse in a fashion.

We both favor small highly motivated and well-compensated teams to more conventional staffing levels and we both can be a little rough around the edges.

To play off the Eclipse WCSYC idea, I would say that WYSIWYG applies to both of us.

HiFlyer said...

I see on the owner's site that the Chinese may be interested in the assets. Doesn't say what they may want to do with them, but infers it could be moved to China.

airsafetyman said...

I think the owners need to realize thet with the avionics glitches and problems with Avio they really have, at least for the short term, a day, VFR weather, sport airplane. And there is nothing wrong with that. No one has yet come up with a required fleet spares list and matched that against the available spares list and qualified vendors for rotable overhaul. I don't think not being able to get parts from Eclipse will be the problem people think it will be. I was in a flight department that operated two MU-2B-30s for seven years and I can't recall every ordering ANY parts from Mitsubishi. Same for a Piper Navajo. Once the rotable pool is established and the serial-numbered parts are cycling through the overhaul shops the OEM is out of the picture. To state the obvious, a lot of the O-rings, seals, gaskets, wheels, tires, and brakes, are available right now as they are standard aircraft parts and hardware. If the owners have a question about the Pratt and Whitney support they should pick up the phone and give Pratt a call. I don't think there will be any problem with Pratt at all, which solves a tremendous portion of the maintenance question. A lot of the airframe work will involve, over time, ripping out the over-complicated stuff Vern designed in and replacing it with simpler, more reliable off-the-shelf equipment under Form 337s. I really don't see the need to reinvent an (almost) round wheel.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Well stated ASM - it is all doable.

Also, don't be too sure that there isn't a significant effort underway already to identify and deal with fleet spares requirements.

Even the issues related to PMA and TSO are solvable.

The concept presented centers around decoupling the owners as much as possible from the EAC IP, to maximize options and minimize overall lifecycle costs.

Not even the pentagon would accept investing more than the airframe cost in less than 10 years just for support but that is exactly what the other plans seem to be offering - pay a million dollars between now and when the freshness date on the bottom of the can expires - before you install a single upgrade or buy a single ounce of fuel.

Hardly a value proposition and not a cheap jet.

flyger said...

• Empty Weight - 3,060 lbs.
• MTOW Weight - 5,500 lbs.


So, you are going to build a composite twin engine airplane, using the same engines as an EA500 and roughly the same size, and it will end up 600 pounds *LIGHTER* than the aluminum EA500? Where are those 600 pounds in the EA500 *RIGHT NOW*?

The original EA500 empty to gross ratio was 57.4%. The redesigned EA500 ratio is 60.6%. The SP610 ratio as stated above is 55.6%. No way a composite twin jet achieves that.

The 3 major issues with the EA500 are not addressed: avionics, FIKI, and support.

And owner's have to put together 51% of it?

Fails the sniff test, sorry.

My suggested plan: sell what you got for what you can get for it. If you got more money, buy a Mustang. If you got less, buy a used turboprop or older jet. You bet on a dream, you lost, now get over it and move on.

airtaximan said...

well, well well,

IMO, IF PWC does not endorse the sportjet 610, forget it.

Seems like a fancy way for SPrtjet to get engines they really otherwise cannot, for "some" reason.

PWC is really picky about turbofan homebuilts, and WI less so... but both have their criteria.

I would be careful when thinking about creating a back door to obtaining turbofan engines for any airplane.

CW, I like you, always have, and I respect what your noodling has created here.

To me, the weak link is the Sportjet... even these die-hard risk takers will not easily opt for the Sportjet.

If I were you, I would make myself available to Bornhoffen and the "smart" EA50 owners, who understand they need real professional help, on an hourly or contract basis, and relinquish allegiance to any plan or airframe.

Just like you added value to Gunner in his selection of epic... you can be ahuge resource for the owners, and Bob B.

FWIW.

PS. sorry, I just think your plan is complex, and does not really address the salient issue. It add something of a very risky twist in the Bornhoffen deal.

I would concentrate on creating the pool of parts (as I have always stated)... and offer:

only 1/2 the fleet max will be able to participate.
1- first 50 sellers get $500k for their ea50
2- next 5- sellers get $400k for their ea50
3- last 30 sellers get $300k for ther planes, payable over time with 8% P/A interest accruing, but their planes are OG at your hangar...

You'll tie up the aftermarket. I figure 1/2 the owners are scared/fed up enough to realize their planes are worth nothing and will be AOG or really expensive to airworthy. You'll be making money and you'll control the market with half the fleet.

WIN-WIN... 1/2 the owners who want out, get out... the other half have planes that fly for a long time, probably.

Joshing, sorta...

airtaximan said...

flyger,

you misunderstood the offering... its a new twinjet, and with 2 engines, it will have higher weight... also, the paper plane will grow to reality just like the rest of the development world.

Good points

gadfly said...

The design was “locked in” years ago . . . “tooling” decisions and costs were set in concrete before the little jet ever made its first fluttering attempt over the western slope of the Manzano Mountains, so many years ago. There was then no opportunity for a second “chance”, they bought and paid for the farm . . . with no further credit. “Back then”, it was a “done deal” . . . the “P&W”, in retrospect, was a “band aid” . . . combined with hype and fluff that would have done P.T.Barnum proud, yet Barnum had “Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale”, and “she was the real thing”, unlike the little jet from ABQ. Jenny Lind (1820-1887) was greater than “ABBA” . . . and she made no compromises with her integrity.

Today, we like to use “P. T. Barnum” as something funny, or underhanded. But when he presented Jenny Lind to America, she was the “real thing”, and an example of ethics of the highest order. Her earnings were beyond anything before or since . . . and she gave most of it to Christian ministries. (Many others, of course, used her “name” to make a quick profit.) History stands as her firm character witness. (I would give much, to hear her voice, as she sounded a century and a half ago . . . come to think of it, I fully expect to hear her, beyond time, in a great chorus.)

We come back down to things like “ethics”, and conducting business, and other silly things that seem to maintain center stage. Someone has said, “It’s all going to burn!” . . . and that’s true. God said so! But in the mean time, we design and build toys . . . the “many” doing the designing and building, while the “few” enjoy the efforts of the “many”. And that’s actually a wonderful set-up. I’m content to read a book . . . a story of someone else’s experience . . . Right now I’m reading a book, “Blossoms in the Wind” . . . I relate to some of these survivors of the “Kamikaze” . . . men who loved their families, and saw their service as a last opportunity to protect their families, wives, and daughters from the enemy . . . yet although as an ex-submariner, I relate to them, I do not wish to have shared their experiences. I once shook hands with the last man on the moon . . . correction, he came over to me, put his arm around my shoulder . . . and I was honored. Harrison Schmidt was a nice man . . . in a small way, I, among many others, contributed in a very real way to his trip to the moon and back, I actually tested some of the material that made his “re-entry” into the earth’s atmosphere a safe transition . . . I’m glad he went, and returned . . . and have not the slightest envy . . . it’s enough that he did it, and I am more than gratified by him being able to do something that I could never do.

“The “last man on the moon”, a singer from a century and a half ago, a little jet from ABQ . . . so, what’s the point, gadfly?” It all comes down to ethics, and simply enjoying life . . . allowing others to do things that we cannot do ourselves, yet applauding “their” success . . . and recognizing the short time we have to get serious about life, in light of that which is yet to come. There is much more to this story, but as I recall, this blogsite has to do with the success or failure of Eclipse. Of late, this “blogsite” has touched just about any and all subjects, with an occasional reference to the disaster in Albuquerque, so I joined in, with a little license of my own.

But the main subject remains Eclipse . . . and, believe it or not, it still remains “un-buried”, “un-interred”, lying there in the New Mexico sun, awaiting the “hearse”, that will soon carry it away into the “sunset” or “landfill” or “aluminum re-cycler”, depending on what the “nearest of kin” are willing to pay.

gadfly

(One of these days, soon, we should come up with a “head stone” for the deceased . . . that honors those who have put so much effort into the dead bird, without honoring those who used it as a tool, to exploit their own ego.)

(And you folks that are all “hung up” on the avionics . . . remember that the electronics, no matter how excellent, must be mounted on some sort of “hardware”, and to date, nothing produced at Eclipse is worthy to be the basis, the “chassis”, of state-of-the-art avionics . . . not by any stretch of your imagination. Get your priorities in the correct order before you proceed. And that is a most serious warning.)

airtaximan said...

Opps, maybe it was me who missed the point...

nice catch - yes, irresponsible marketing hype which will come home to roost...

After a bunch of die hards make deposits?

eclipse_deep_throat said...

FYI:
The story on China has already hit today's Albuq Journal. The link mite not work until you watch an ad first... so I've posted the whole thing too...

e.d.t.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
China May Place Bid on Eclipse

Journal Staff Report
The China Commercial Aircraft Co., which China's central government launched last year, is interested in bidding on Eclipse Aviation's assets in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the Journal has learned.
The company's local representative, Robert Liebman of Edgewood, declined comment on the reported interest.
China Commercial Aircraft Co. was established in May to compete against Boeing and Airbus in making jumbo jetliners. A manufacturing facility is being built for the company in Shanghai.
CCAC's interest will depend on any limits imposed on the transfer of Eclipse's intellectual property and technology to China. In what appears to be a comparable situation, no limits were placed on Eclipse in September when the company announced now-aborted plans to manufacture its very light jet at a plant in Ulyanovsk, Russia.
CCAC has not indicated what, if any, plans that it might have for Eclipse's manufacturing operation in Albuquerque, which closed about one month ago.
Eclipse, which manufactured and delivered 259 planes, filed for a Chapter 11 business reorganization in November. The company's bankruptcy filing was converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation earlier this month.

http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/17932290745biz03-17-09.htm

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Flyger, it is a physically smaller airframe, only 4 seats (+1), and that number is a predicted value based on real world weights measured for the previously FJ33-4A powered SEJ prototype (which were lower than predicted).

Also, while the airframe is composite, the wings and horizontal are conventional metal - similar to the design philosophy of the Hawker Premier 1 and Hawker Horizon.

As for Avionics, FIKI and support, are you asking about the SJ-610 or the CWMoR plan for the EA-500? As there are efforts underway for both - ask a more specific question and I will try and put together a specific reply.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, SportJet had extensive discussions with Pratt and flew with a Williams - and remember, we only see in the public a fraction of what most airframers, even experimentals ones, have going at any given time.

Thanks for your kind words. What you suggest is essentially what my angle is - provide assistance.

The solution is complex because the problem is extremely complex, multiple configurations of aircraft, no OEM support, some want out, some may be interested in a new airframe, and some want to keep the Eclipse.

There can be no one-size-fits-all solution IMO.

airtaximan said...

edt,

I believe in the China bid. Here's why:

1- in China the benefits of the EA50 are greater than in the US... it can be configured as a 8 place.

2- the Chinese may not be able to read all the press and they may not understand the situation for what it is

3- The Chinese are knock-off artists, which means that certain assets might be worth a lot to them and they may not need the whole shebang to make a go of it

4-they can promise Ken cheap parts and support together with reliability, convenience and quality and he'll believe it...

If they win, this blog could face some challenges it did not foresee... and it also might be around for a lot longer than I thought.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Eclipse, by Harbor Freight, made by the lowest common demoninator among 2 billion.

On the other hand, they already have the orange paint.

Wow.

airtaximan said...

CW, did you visit the motoart site I posted? Could be one size fits all!!!

Somehow, being all things to all position-holders (which is how I see them all again) seems like a good goal.

Again, you could help them individually, and as you state, there's no single answer - and THAT's the problem... low cost anything requires scale in aerospace... if there really are 4 owners groups... you are SOL, and so are they.

I bet 20 owners would pay you $20k each to help them finad the right solution... in advance. Just promise the right thing... Sportjet is not it, I do not think.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM,

I actually have met the MotoArt guys, pretty cool stuff and their artwork is amazing - a piece or two will eventually adorn an office of mine.

The SportJet is among the options, Bob is not looking to build 200 twinjets - he is a big SEJ proponent in fact. The genius of what the SJ-610 part of the concept does is provide an alternative for moving the engines and then making airframes and systems components available at a reasonable cost - who wants to pay $1M for a spares bird - not likely to happen - but maybe $400K is reasonable (maybe not - too early to tell).

As an airplane lover I hate to see planes grounded and parted out no matter how problematic the company or the design is.

The concept is to provide a series of alternatives that collectively meet the need - hence SJ-610, fleet spares pool, and support for eventually enhancing the lifetime and even replacing problematic items via 337, 145, PMA, STC, etc.

gadfly said...

‘Just about the time when we couldn’t figure anything more ridiculous, we’re confronted with a “Walmart special” . . . “Check out the new Eclipse 500SX on aisle 17 . . . a quarter mile north of the tire store, along side the new “Subaru’s”.

Groan!

‘Time to pack it in, and go home!

gadfly

(Battery not included! . . . Three landing guarantee on “main gear” . . . just return receipt proof of purchase. “No tickee, no returnee.” And remember, always use “Sam’s Jet Fuel” . . . guarantee keep flying rickshaw in mint condition. Not available in all states.)

Beedriver said...

FYI,

FSW is not a very big deal. the IP is fairly well known around the world. Between Edison welding Institute, the
British welding institute,several german institutes, Esab and at least 3 good small FSW specalized systems houses in the US I know of, FSW is a well known technology. I am sure China knows a lot about it and if they bought the Eclipse assets, I bet the eclipse would turn into a mostly riveted airplane. China understands that process very well and are cheap at doing it. Also Remember any rights to any patents that Eclipse has are useless in China as violating international patent laws is an art form over there.

the real IP technology from the EA500, if any really exists, is in the manufacture of the PW610. I am sure that China would like to have that knowledge for use on their cruise missiles.

I hope China buys the rights to the eclipse and trys to copy AVIO, it will set their aircraft industry back many years

I spent most of my life building advanced laser processing systems including welding systems and FSW was a competitor that we needed to understand very well. FSW has a few niche applications that it works well on, but FSW never has achieved the grand promise that its inventors envisioned.

Shane Price said...

Gadfly on top form....

(Battery not included! . . . Three landing guarantee on “main gear” . . . just return receipt proof of purchase. “No tickee, no returnee.” And remember, always use “Sam’s Jet Fuel” . . . guarantee keep flying rickshaw in mint condition. Not available in all states.)

I got a good laugh out of that one my friend...

As it happens, I've had experience with a range of equipment from China. Some of it was quite good, some was plain average and, well, some was dangerous.

Trouble is, you find all of the above conditions inside one machine.

Shane

flyger said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

it is a physically smaller airframe, only 4 seats (+1), and that number is a predicted value based on real world weights measured for the previously FJ33-4A powered SEJ prototype (which were lower than predicted).

It isn't meaningfully smaller, certainly not 600 pounds smaller. Just tell me where those 600 pounds are in the EA500.

You are peddling the same Kool Aid that Eclipse did. You can't achieve the weight ratios stated for a composite pressurized twin jet of this size.

As for Avionics, FIKI and support, are you asking about the SJ-610 or the CWMoR plan for the EA-500?

SP610. What avionics? FIKI? Support?

I don't see current Eclipse owners going for this fanciful concept. Maybe a click of some high end homebuilders will buy up derelict EA500s and do it for a toy airplane, but that's not what EA500 buyers wanted.

baron95 said...

CW, another quick drive by...have you analyzed to see if you can turn the existing EA500 into kit builds.

Make offer to buy a dozen or so EA500. Disassemble them into CKD units. For a representative set of amateur built tasks, further disassemble a piece of the component. Sell the kit plus builder assistance. So the kit would have say one complete wing plus one wing missing a panel and 6 ribs, one main landing gear and one SKD set of landing gear components, etc.

This would probably pass the kit built rules and is a faster and safer way to create experimental twin jets to use the 610s.

It has a drawback that it consumes EA500 potential spare part donors, but given that for the kit built you can source components at will, it would be trivial to substitute the EA500 in-demand parts (e.g. IS&S displays) with other parts for the kit built.

Anyway, I think you'd have a better shot of getting EA500 owners to re-buy and EA500 experimental kit built rather than wait for a long time for paper plane to materialize.

I still repeat that the strategy of finding use for the PWC610 is a great one. But why not find use for the rest of the EA500 (not in high demand parts)?

Just a thought.

Anyway, if I were trying to create demand for the PWC610, I'd be thinking single-engine drones, not twin engine passenger jets.

gadfly said...

Well, Shane, before my last curtain call (I told the wife I'd be home before "NCIS" was over), I can say that "Beedriver" seems to have the picture adjusted 'just right'.

The Chinese will reverse engineer that little "Pratt", backwards and forwards, and every which way from Saturday. But with the software for the avionics . . . it will all be "Greek" to them. So, for the moment, we're safe. And besides . . . they wouldn't attack their own stores . . . Walmart and Target . . . would they?

gadfly

(As they say down our way, "Hasty Luigi, y'all!)

Tail.Dragger said...

couple of things....

1) from the mouth of senior P&W engineering, the 610 will never be used for anything other than the FPJ.

2) without the FADEC you have no engine. P&W does not supply the FADEC.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Flyger,

EA-500, empty 3550, MTOW 6030, useful load 41%

SJ-610, empty 3060, MTOW 5500, useful load 44%

Epic LT, empty 4200, MTOW 7329, useful load 43%

IOW, the SJ-610 compares favorably to the useful load percentage of another pressurized composite airframe of similar construction and also designed for a similar speed and pressurization range (350 KTS and FL250).

FWIW, the SJ-610 is smaller than the EA-500, has less wing area, no tip tanks and related structure, and is designed for FL250-280 vs FL410. I think it makes sense that it would be lighter.

Also 3550 - 3060 is 490 not 600 pounds - almost 20% difference.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

TailDragger,

The PW610 and FADEC question have been considered - rest assured we believe it to be workable.

flyger said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

EA-500, empty 3550, MTOW 6030, useful load 41%

EA500 empty is 3,634, MGTOW is 6,000, 39.4% useful load. Examples in the field are running only slightly over the predicted weights.

SJ-610, empty 3060, MTOW 5500, useful load 44%

Hypothetical and unrealistic.

Epic LT, empty 4200, MTOW 7329, useful load 43%

Hypothetical. Show me the weight and balance worksheet for an *actual* *equipped* airplane at those weights. You are using one lie to justify another one.

FWIW, the SJ-610 is smaller than the EA-500, has less wing area, no tip tanks and related structure, and is designed for FL250-280 vs FL410. I think it makes sense that it would be lighter.

Not 600 pounds lighter. And all that smaller size stuff probably won't even cover the composite weight penalty.

Also 3550 - 3060 is 490 not 600 pounds - almost 20% difference.

3,634 - 3060 is 574 pounds, with typical EA500 options, it is over 600 pounds. It pays to check your numbers.

Don't you see how you are doing the very same thing Vern did by promising unrealistic goals? You are headed for an overweight airplane that will strain it engines and brakes.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, Cert to EXP is really a non-starter and of little value in the overall scheme of things IMO.

My desire was to present a series of options that, taken together, provide real flexibility for the owners.

By identifying methods for decoupling the owners from the EAC IP it opens up the possibility of investing in specific items like life extension, further options development, etc., at the direction/discretion of the owners, rather than spending $40M and having nothing more to thosw for it than a lousy tee-shirt and some computer disks and tooling that will probably never be used again.

Until we all learn more we will just need to accept that there are some very encouraging developments going on behind the scenes as well.

Believe me, I would not be spending any time or resources on this if I did not believe it has a reasonable chance of success.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Flyger, how many airplanes have you designed and built?

The original SJ flew on 1500 lbs thrust, hit more than 300 kts and FL250, and climbed at better than 3000fpm - the tires and brakes are spec'd from the TBM, there is no strain there, they are more than adequate.

As for the Epic weights, and the Eclipse weights, I am using public source data - while I agree there are typically differences in equipment, they are not significant enough to change the overall comparison of preliminary spec's on the SJ-610 to the brochure weights for the other two.

As I explained before, the predicted weights for the SJ-610 are based on the actual weights of the earlier FJ-33 SEJ prototype. which, once again, came in under the weight bogey.

If you don't want to recognize or trust that it is your choice but have the integrity to clearly state that you are choosing not to accept predictions based on real world data - calling it a lie is a bit unfair I think.

exGNVtech said...

Well well well WELL! I've seen it all....almost....there is more to come, but in the interim this takes the cake. CWMOR if nothing else why not try to line your pockets, everyone else is. Why on earth you want to open another 55 gallon barell of worms is beyond normal reason. Good creativity though.

bill e. goat said...

Well,
Hmmmm.

Still thinking about it. Very interesting idea, recycling maybe 20-35% of the EA500 fleet into "can jets".
I would suspect that at this point, most of the EA500 owners are pretty risk-adverse, and won't want to pursue the Excel project.
But that's not to say they won't sell their airplane as a parts donor, if the price is right. I suspect by now, they are contemplating two options:

1) Fly it until it breaks, while trying to sell it for $1.x M

2) If it breaks, park the thing in a hangar for two years until the dust settles

These are folks that waited YEARS to get an airplane, so I'm not sure they will be in a hurry to give up right away.

(Now, a lot of them were not THAT interested in a wonderful VLJ- they just wanted to flip it, and make 30% profit. Theses folks wanted to make a profit, and it makes sense that they won't want to take a loss. I'm guess they'll wait it out.

But,
On the other hand.
There is certainly a market for the Excel Jet.

And,
There is certainly a market for EA500 maintenance, spares, upgrades.

Best wishes to CWMOR- sounds like you are pursuing both markets. I think customers in both markets would be well-served by your expertise- and ethics.

That said,
In a rational world, the Eclipse facility is just too good of deal for somebody to not buy it. If it is a domestic firm, I believe it will go through a series of BK, as others have mentioned.

If a foreign entity buys it, I suspect it will operate at a loss, but continue to operate via subsidization, to acquire not the IP, but the various technologies and expertise.

I would -MUCH- rather see Harlow buy the factory, even if he fails, than have a foreign entity acquire it.

In the near term, I am torn between thinking CWMOR can provide less expensive support, and hoping Harlow, et al, can get the factory going again- for which they would need that maintenance revenue.
--------------------------------

If the Chinese acquire the factory, Wedge has succeeded in making my worst fears materialize.

Way to go, ASSHOLE.
--------------------------------

?? Hasn't happened yet ??

The fact that we are talking about -THE RISK- of losing a national jewel- aerospace technology- to our most ruthless economic competitor (for now- expect MORE evolution on that front- rapidly, I suspect), has me pretty annoyed. We are doing it to ourselves- in this case, a large part of the "we" is spelled Wedge.
--------------------------------

(Not the only part though."senior note holders", compliant technology transfer laxness by congress, public apathy over imported goods, etc are root-causes; but Wedge's train wreck is a big "enabling" factor).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks for the kind words and wishes BEG, I think you get it.

Your stick pin voodoo dolls are welcome at the FishStore, maybe Flyger will take the first CWMoR model ;^)

gadfly said...

Tail.Dragger said: “without the FADEC you have no engine. P&W does not supply the FADEC.”

That’s a comforting thought to many . . . maybe even P&W. Back in “olden times”, I was able to walk into a manufacturing facility, and in less than a half hour, trouble shoot a problem and inform the people within their own facility, more about their processes that even they knew, and understood. And I sometimes made good money, flying cross country, studying a problem for a few minutes, write up a report, and go back home . . . and send them my invoice.

You can count on something . . . The Chinese couldn’t care less about the “FADEC” . . . they have gathered and compared more computer code than you can possibly imagine. But the “fine art” of designing and manufacturing a small engine, is just that: an “Art”! And therein lies the secrets that they need. Simple little things, like investment casting of a compressor or turbine blade . . . the fit of the “Christmas tree” base, the inner structure of the blade, itself . . . the precise alloys that give it strength in high-temperature operation . . . the method of grinding the profile of stator and rotor rings . . . the heat-expansion joints/slots/seals. Knowing what to look for, and where to expect it . . . even all that is an “art form” . . . and in less than a day’s time, more secrets can be found than you can possibly imagine.

Sometimes, I have not even gone out the door of my own shop . . . and have discovered more about secret activities at one of the “Labs” than they even knew . . . ‘just by knowing the purpose of certain metals . . . certain parts . . . etc., etc. . . . and listening. The only true secrets are kept secret, and never discussed. It is my experience, that if two people work on any given project, and only the basic components are “farmed out” to any other shop, there will be at least one person in the chain of events . . . maybe a “third party” supplier of the raw material . . . the thing is no longer a secret. None of the parties involved may have had any interest in the thing, but never-the-less, sometimes “secrets” just fall into your lap . . . and you suddenly get a picture of certain technology of which you have not the slightest interest . . . but there it is, staring you in the face.

If such things are really this easy, by “accident”, think what is available to someone, like the Chinese, who are actively looking into the technology. FADEC? . . . No! Those folks want the hardware . . . the “FADEC” will come soon enough . . . not a problem!

gadfly

(Once, I was video taping an event . . . a social thing, and I had my big Canon camera and lens system . . . a cameraman soon becomes “invisible”, something I learned long ago. A couple “ladies” were being taped . . . they had blanked me out like wall paper . . . and I was picking up some gossip, that they would have never revealed to their closest friend, let alone a stranger, with high-resolution video and stereo sound. I quickly cut the take . . . and moved on to other events. In the technical world, I learn much . . . even though the other party doesn’t realize what I’m really hearing. And so it will be, if the Chinese get their hands on a little “610".)

bill e. goat said...

Er, sorry for the shrillness of that previous post.

I've been watching "The Universe" science program, and I'm still rather upset Pluto is not a planet. Or should I rather say, the planet known as Pluto is no longer acknowledged as such. These scientists- such a tacky, nea, tawdry act of- "disruptivenss", in an otherwise orderly universe. Tsk, tsk.

(It's pretty remote- about like EAC's original profit plan).

And I didn't mean to refer to the Galactic Prince of Disruption* as "A--H###".

Let just say, I consider him as "His Uranus-ness".
--------------------------------

(*sorry for the mention of another "royal", L9Z, - although rest assured, you are NOT in his family tree. Me humbly BEGs your pardon :)
The "House" of Disruption

bill e. goat said...

Thanks CWMOR,

Btw, I'm working on a new product for the gift shop: Wedge-head wheel chocks. (The pointy shape is certainly correct!)

"Use 'em to chock your airplane- or your bus" (You know, just 'throw 'em under it).

flyger said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

If you don't want to recognize or trust that it is your choice but have the integrity to clearly state that you are choosing not to accept predictions based on real world data - calling it a lie is a bit unfair I think.

Okay, I will call it a delusional dream if that makes you feel better. The Epic numbers are not "real world data", it is marketing fiction. It becomes a truth only when you weigh an actual airplane. The ratios you are quoting have never, ever been achieved for an equipped airplane and a homebuilt is very unlikely to be the first. The EA500 actually achieved a fairly remarkable ratio and no composite can beat aluminum for weight.

Time to start the Sport Jet 610 critics blog. Aviation never seems to rid itself of delusions and the believers who fall for them.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Flyger,

"The Epic numbers are not "real world data", it is marketing fiction. It becomes a truth only when you weigh an actual airplane."

Hmmm- I've been rather taken (?"taken"? :) by the Epic LT numbers. I'd be interested in seeing what the real world "delta" in numbers are. (I suspect there are some, but performance / capability is probably still "adequate" for personal use; perhaps handily so).

"The EA500 actually achieved a fairly remarkable ratio and no composite can beat aluminum for weight."

Quite so. I've been wondering why people use it- maybe because it really is so strong, which allows plenty of "margin of safety", at the expense of extra weight- more so because of overdesign, than inherently heavier material??

(I notice almost all the engine nacelles are composite nowadays, so there must be something to it- probably weight savings, rather than cost- there is no catastrophic effects if a nacelle cover blows off, so extra weight is not wasted "overdesigning" them ??).

"Time to start the Sport Jet 610 critics blog. Aviation never seems to rid itself of delusions and the believers who fall for them."

Well, if we see CWMOR saying he's got 2700 orders, sure !!
:)

But until then...I think we all root for a cool design. I agree with your observations about 'real world penalties" as a design matures. I have great appreciation for the rigors of product development for certified aircraft- the attention to detail, the test/redesign/test cycles. I noted CWMOR seems to have just such experience.

I agree: Eclipse did a stunning job of airframe development in this environment. Too bad the avionics system was so mis-administered.

I have followed the Epic story with some interest- and expect to do so with the Sport Jet, be it twinjet or original single. I do not expect a lot of EA500 owners to adopt it, but I do think it will be able to "stand on it's own" and compete with Epic's products in it's niche.

(And if EAC remains in limbo, it will in fact exceed the satisfaction of an AOG EA500).

airsafetyman said...

Lets see: the Chinese buy a defunct airplane company that in all probability does not have title to a single aircraft engine. They move the whole factory to China and begin to finish the airplanes partially complete and to begin new ones. Then they get the engines from Pratt and Whitney, not to finish the airplanes, but to diabolically reverse engineer the engines! Wouldn't it be simpler just to buy a handful of EA500s on the open market now? I understand there are a few airplanes for sale.

flyger said...

bill e. goat said...

I've been wondering why people use it- maybe because it really is so strong, which allows plenty of "margin of safety", at the expense of extra weight- more so because of overdesign, than inherently heavier material??

The seduction of composites is that the base fibers have better strength to weight ratio than aluminum. But when applied in a real world setting, the unit to unit variations mean the composite can never be designed close to the optimum. Aluminum can be controlled to almost arbitrary precision, not so with composites.

In addition, every time you transition from composite to metal (like, say, engine mounts, landing gear, etc), the you have a rather complex and ugly interface.

Lastly, aluminum provides an electrical path with handles half your electrical circuit and provides lightning protection. Composite airplane needs integrated wire mesh and actual ground cables.

Composites seduce the airframe structural engineer, but it comes with a lot of compromises that end up making it heavier than an equivalent aluminum design.

Among the *BEST* useful load to gross ratios ever achieved is a Cessna 180 at around 50%. This airplane is not pressurized, no deicing, no cabin AC, not retractable, all aluminum structure, strut braced wing (very weight efficient), only two real landing gear, operates at a low Vne, no radar, no autopilot, etc. Now you are telling me that you can build an airplane with cabin AC, pressurized, high Vne, retractable, 3 full gear legs, non strut wing, composite structure, two engines, deicing equipment, radar, autopilot, etc, and achieve a 45% useful load ratio?

Get frakking real.

If this blog has taught us anything it is that when people promise the unrealistic, you will be disappointed.

Black Tulip said...

ATM said, “In China the benefits of the EA50 are greater than in the US... it can be configured as an 8 place.” Be careful. Under the Obama Administration’s new Office of Rude Ethnic Slurs you may have committed a hate crime.

CWMOR: I think it is admirable that you have spent time exploring alternatives for Eclipse. Your proposal is thoughtful but I wonder if we aren’t just changing flavors… from grape Kool Aid to strawberry. Given how long the Eclipsoids have been waiting for a complete aircraft I wonder if they will possess a medical certificate long enough. Could the Excel Jet be made light enough that no medical is required?

The Excel seems like an updated Vantage Jet. I wonder if it will make it with the P&W JT-15D. The engine is so thirsty. I heard during Citation recurrency that some variants are getting very expensive to overhaul. Will Sierra or Clifford pull enough of them off Citations to cater to the Experimental market?

Flyger: I share your concern that another engine can be added to the Excel Jet with so little weight growth. Just slather some resin on carbon cloth and run a beam in back for the two nacelles… plus duplicated engine components. As you point out, the finished aircraft are so much heavier anyhow.

Your comments on composites are quite timely. Terminations and load transfer bring to mind the scary post-crash photos taken of the American Airlines Flight 587 vertical stabilizer.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

As one of the few people on the blog who have actually flown the Epic LT and spent signficant time at the factory I can say it is a damn fine airplane.

We departed Sheridan Wyoming with 5 adults (4 men, 1 woman), stuffed with bags, full fuel, used about 90% for takeoff power, were off in less than 2,000 and climbed straight to FL280 where we were doing about 335 true on a little over 34gph if memory serves.

The Epic is an outstanding airplane and the guys at Epic should be commended for having built an amazing airplane that does everything they said it would.

The SportJet II is aimed as BEG points out at a different market niche. Bob's SEJ design has been laid out after extensive consultation with insurers about what they want to see in a single-pilot turbofan plane. He optimized the deisgn based on that input, thus the FL250 altitude, and a 3+ hour duration.

The SportJet 610 concept is an outgrowth of that philosophy that provides what has been the missing link in alternatives for Eclipse owners, another airframe where the most valuable and most portable components can be used.

Bob is not looking to convert 200 owners from Eclipse to SportJet 610, his intent is to provide an alternative for a small number, as little as 5 as many as 20, to re-use their engines, get substantially the same overall performance in a slightly smaller, slightly faster airframe without any of the current issues facing the owners like a 9 year useful life, Avio, and the other issues noted with great regularity on the FAA SDR database and as recounted here and on the owners site.

The thing I hope everyone keeps in mind is that this proposal is about providing enough options that nearly every owner has an alternative or two to consider, it is about providing choice.

I know not everyone is as bullish on the utlra high-end experimentals as I am, but I know that some people are, maybe some of those people would like out of their Eclipse, recognize that new blood sales are a way off yet depending on how this all shakes out. They can't sell the plane for spares and get what they want for it - so maybe they take the engines off, get a new airframe, and sell off the Eclipse airframe and parts for substantially most of what they paid for the new airframe. That is as close to a win-win for that guy as is likely.

For the guys who want to keep flying they need an immediate pool of spares to carry them through the process of setting up their own capacity to buy spares from PMA/TSO providers and such. They don't want to pay $1M for a plane where the two most valuable components are of next to no use for them given the availability of excellent support from P&WC. Change the number to maybe $500K and it changes the whole equation.

Put as much as 5% of the fleet (10-12 planes) into a spares pool, and now you are talking breathing room to fix the other issues - and you have options to keep anyone ending up with the IP honest.

This is all about providing options that are mutually beneficial where possible, but never serves one group at the expense of another. The SportJet is just one part, a key part, but only one piece of a very complex puzzle.

I appreciate all the comments so far BTW.

I was hoping some of our resident Eclipse owners might weigh in as I have not had any feedback from the EOG leadership yet.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The other element we have not really discussed yet is Bob's offer to credit $80,000 in lost Eclipse deposits towards the SportJet II.

For the guys who were looking for an owner-flown jet and got burned by Eclipse, the SportJet will provide a real alternative that also recognizes at least a portion of their loss.

To BT's question about the JT-15D, they are a plentiful engine, and can be regularly had at between $200-300K. Although thirstier than more modern powerplants, they are simpler, robust.

The number needed of course depends on market acceptance. One of the refreshing things about Bob at Excel-Jet is that he is not out there talking about delivering many dozens or even hundreds per year. He is a very practical guy as demonstrated by the simplicity of the SportJet design.

Dave said...

Roel is in the Eclipse Jet deal!!! When I first heard about Eclipse Jet I speculated that Roel might have something to do with it since the name is practically the same as his EclipseJet. Here's the article. Also it turns out that Eclipse Jet plans on franchising Eclipse aircraft production, so their plan is to be like McDonald's with licensee factories in different countries. The advantage to this plan is that with Roel involved, lots of comedy rhodium will be generated even if lots of aircraft aren't. Even if Eclipse Jet didn't sound like EclipseJet, I wouldn't be surprised of Roel's involvement given how this group is the backstabbers to the EOG as that group seems to consist of a certain type of business person. My advice to owners/depositors is to stay further away from Eclipse Jet than the other proposals...you have seen Roel's ethical conduct towards you already.

Now we apparently have the explanation for Roel talking with the Ukraine. It was part of the Mike and Roel Show. This then brings up the question of if Roel is still working on eventually getting the Russian deal and how many other countries would supposedly get a McRoeljet franchise.

Beedriver said...

Composites can be and have been proven lighter than aluminum in many uses. however they are not"black Aluminum" if you just try to replace aluminum they will be heavier and probably more expensive.

Composites are used extensively in the newest helicopters and in the latest Boeing aircraft and provide great weight savings. Even most expensive race cars use spectacular amounts of carbon in load bearing applications.

I have a Daughter who is an aerospace composites design engineer and has done a lot of sophisticated composite design. She says the complexity of design with advanced composites is difficult but when done right can result in spectacular weight savings.

To do the design of composite parts requires expertise, knowledge in the craft, and very good software and computers. The problem is that composites are very isotropic. the properties vary in every direction. What that means is where the fibers are very strong and stiff in one direction the the other direction; between plies and across the fibers, strength depends only on the strength of the matrix and the bond strength of the matrix, The matrix is epoxy in most cases and it is actually pretty weak compared to 7000 series aluminum etc.

Composites done well have spectacular properties but especially in low volume applications, aluminum is the most cost effective and time effective way to build an airplane. Compound shapes like winglets and some areas on a fuselage however really benefit from composites and are worth the expense.

Designing composites not only requires knowledge, experience and good tools but it requires a vision and intuition for the process and an innate understanding and feel of how the parts function. As my father said,"only 5% of all engineers have the right stuff to be good design engineers"
One of my tests for the potential success of a company is whether the company doing the design has a few people in charge with the "right stuff" If the company has these engineers they have one of the pieces necessary to be successful. It is a "necessary but not sufficient" capability to succeed.

any new venture must be examined closely to see if it has people with the "right Stuff" in all the important positions.

airtaximan said...

regarding my stupid 8-place comment... it comes from an Asian person in the industry over there, who mentioned this to me a few years back, as a joke.

Its probably as much of a joke as the 6 place... does anyone have the 6th seat?

CW, I guess your deal depnds on a few guys willing to switch to the sportjet... I think you might have the right group of buyers, just the timing is a little off!!

fred said...

dave ...

thanks for your links , this is hilariously outrageous ...

very soon , we will hear about Air-Taxi demand in Mongolia , fulfilled by THE Fpj , built in the sub. of Oulan-Bator , where it is such a huge success , that the skies will be darkened ... bla ... bla ... bla ... !

if you cheat me once = shame on you ...
if you cheat me twice = shame on me ...

but what is the saying for the third , fourth , fifth , etc... time ???

about Ukraine , money coming from there will remain such a good joke ... , such a joke that Finances institutions are thinking about managing their bail-out itself ...
cash is a kind a liquid which evaporate faster in some different places ...! ;-)

The Russian deal is dead , definitely dead (unless some private fortune give-in ) as far as i know RiP is not going to be willing to go back to babushka-land for some times or if he is stupid enough to do so , it might be for some times ...

i suspect that the new stunt is only aimed at spinning money out of the one still dreaming of making something out of this mess ...

they should have a talk with Mr Gadfly ...

they wouldn't be so easy to play after !!!

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

Beedriver said, "The problem is that composites are very isotropic."

Great word, thanks for bringing it up. This give us a chance to practice the pronunciation of anisotropic and anisotropy.

I'd like to counter with thixotropic and think about the properties of Silly Putty.

airtaximan said...

Dave,
funnier than any BT spoof... required reading for everyone.

"I couldn't make money on the EA50... so I'm going to sell this busines opportunity to YOU"

WTF?

"You pay me for rights to produce and sell this DOA airplane, becasue I couldn't make any money producing and selling it"

WTF??

"We're going to outsource the Support - really? Plan on charging a fee for that? Maybe an access fee? Ongoing fees? Promises of larger fleet to keep the oursourcing cos interested?

WTF?

Seems like this guy is really the biggest loser...

Franchising MIGHT be a good model to scale up a start up, and IS a good model for growing a proven business...BUT for a failed business? A proven impossible business? A $3B bankrupt business?

WTF?

Beedriver said...

I like the work thixotropic what would a thixotropic company act like? or is there a better word to describe Eclipse? There has to be a big word to describe how it acted. Stupid is too short. Madofian ?

Dave said...

Franchising MIGHT be a good model to scale up a start up, and IS a good model for growing a proven business...BUT for a failed business? A proven impossible business? A $3B bankrupt business?

Now this is just an unconfirmed rumor mind you, but with your McRoeljet order, you'll get a Happy Meal with your choice of soft drink included at no extra charge. However, this rumor might just be spread in attempt to get support for the plan.

airtaximan said...

franchising aircraft manufacturing

now, I have heard it all

CW, I can't believe yu missed the boat on this one.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Sorry to disappoint ATM, I only deal in achievable plans. ;^)

Dave said...

I like the work thixotropic what would a thixotropic company act like?

I prefer Hawaiian Tropic

WhyTech said...

"Roel is in the Eclipse Jet deal!!! "

The pack of predators is forming up! Someone throw them some raw meat! Ken? Where's Ken?

bill e. goat said...

BeeDriver, BT,

"Great word (isotropic), thanks for bringing it up. This give us a chance to practice the pronunciation

of anisotropic and anisotropy. I'd like to counter with thixotropic..."


I think my brain has suffered atrophy. But I dug out my material science book, and:
Material Science Technologist
--------------------------------

Here's another case of atrophy...
Mr. & Mrs. J. Howard Marshall
I guess this is more a case of a-trophy wife.
One could argue that J. Howard's brain (and maybe other parts) were pretty atrophied by this point too.

Dave said...

The pack of predators is forming up! Someone throw them some raw meat! Ken? Where's Ken?

For the first time I actually have some sympathy for Ken. Ken is on the EOG with that plan. Mike Press was on it with Ken and said he supported the "co-op," but now Mike with Roel's help is stabbing the EOG in the back after learning all the confidential plans and information from the group. So nice that Mike was Roel's spy.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Dude this is weak...

Both plans. One has Roel, the other cooked up by a critic with the purpose of destroying the aircraft that a lot of poeple like.

Sweet guys. Real Sweet.

Black Tulip said...

Beedriver,

Of course you meant to write that composites are anisotropic, not isotropic. Like wood they have different properties ‘with the grain’ and ‘across the grain’. We should all defer to BEG’s Material Science Technologist.

fred said...

So nice that Mike was Roel's spy.

in Hollywood : there is the golden globes and the academy awards ...

in Berlin : there is the golden Bear ...

in Venice (the real one) : there is the golden lion ...

in Cannes : there is the golden palm ...

In ABQ , there is the "Golden-Golden-Shitty-BS-plan"

and the winner is .... ;-)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Omsiv please reread the plan, I have no interest whatsoever in destroying the plane. With the various people I have spoken to it is obvious that most folks like the plane, but it is unrealistic to not recognize that as much as 20% of your fellow owners want out.

What I am trying to create is the best overall situation for everyone.

I will tell you right now that without decoupling yourself from the majority of the Eclipse IP the vast amjority of these planes will not be flying in 3-5 years.

You may not recognize this but astute operators do and they are looking at all alternatives that allow them to truly control their own destiny, not by incinerating another $40M, but by facing the facts and seeking realistic alternatives.

Are you prepared to spend another $1M over the next 8 or 9 years before you put a pound of fuel into it or ever flying your plane again?

Well you had better be, as that is what the economics for the other plans actually are.

If you are not prepared to part with the cost of your plane, a second time, not including upgrades, fuel or unscheduled maintenance, then just set the thing on fire and try to collect the insurance - or examine REAL alternatives.

Without alternatives, a predatory purchase of the IP will cost potentially even more.

Are you ready to identify replacement suppliers for the problematic components?

Are you ready to negotiate service and support engineering contracts with vendors and MRO providers?

Are you ready to develop and certify AMOC's for the sure to come AD's for other issues?

Are you ready to prepare the plan for a service life extension?

Well I am, and I am offering to do it or help the owners establish an entity to do it.

Really, now that I have visited with folks who know these planes very well I can see possibility, otherwise as I have stated before, I would not be investing any time or effort into this.

But the only mature and practical way to deal with the complex situation is to provide alternatives and options for everybody, not just the guys who want to keep flying. This means crawl, walk, jog then run.

WhyTech said...

"I guess this is more a case of a-trophy wife."

I guess! Cant imagine why he is not smiling!

Dave said...

Both plans. One has Roel, the other cooked up by a critic with the purpose of destroying the aircraft that a lot of poeple like.

In partial defense to CWMoR that is not true. CWMoR is not out to destroy the aircraft. The cannibalizing of the aircraft is only an option that by CWMoR's estimates only a very small percentage of owners would want:
"Those who want/need safe effective transportation but are not dedicated to specific airframe/form factor"
With the estimated market size being between 5-10 owners and that all the owners can sign up for it or not sign up for it on their own free will. My objections to this are that I see it as I wouldn't recommend that an owner put down six or seven figures for any plan including a critic's plan. I am also concerned as to how realistic the proposed new aircraft is, but those discussions have been about things I'm not knowledgeable about, so I haven't weighed in one way or the other. I haven't fully obsorbed the plan yet which was why I haven't weighed in, but I have obsorbed it enough to know that the new aircraft proposal is something that is entirely voluntary and not meant to "destroy" anything against anyone's will and the owners are not captive to CWMoR in any way. Again, this is not endorsement of the plan, just I think it should be understood precisely what the plan is and is not.

julius said...

dave,

Roel is in the Eclipse Jet deal!!!


perhaps RiP is a sportman: He wants to have some 100% depositers (without a plane).

What about Col.P's old friend wedge - and Ed, no well paid positions as adviser, director...

All this sounds like a bad joke.

Julius

Jim Howard said...

CWMR: Are the five to twenty potential sport jet airplanes in your plan going to build in such a way that the final purchaser has personally complied with the 51% rule and is listed as the builder in the FAA database?

Or is some person other than the final buyer going to be the 'builder' of the original airplane and then sell it to the former Eclipse owner who contributed his engines and airframe to the project?

In this note 'builder' means the person who the FAA lists as builder in their aircraft database.

bill e. goat said...

WT,
I think she was already into his wallet!
---------------------------------

Dave,
Thanks for the info on RiP.
However, I'm not sure he's there to bring money into Eclipse, as much as he is to get his money out.

"I prefer Hawaiian Tropic"

I think Fred and Stan were talking about going to the tropics too :)
---------------------------------

EPx,
I think you are think pesimistically- I see two big advantages to CWMOR's offer:

1) it offers to make available spare parts for the continued operators
2) it offers service for continued operators

Both of these are a big plus, regardless of what happens to the factory.

I look upon the Excel jet as really a separate undertaking- and the source of engines is relatively immaterial.

It seems like all the current operators win with CWMOR's proposal- it provides near-term support, and long-term competition to the factory to keep rates on parts and service low.

(I don't think he is out to cut up the entire fleet for parts- instead, to keep most of the existing fleet flying, which will increase your resale value- seems like a good deal for everyone to me).
--------------------------------

ATM,
"Franchising MIGHT be a good model to scale up a start up..."

I suspect all this franchising talk is just a way to drum up more cash, doubt if anything will ever become of it.

I am curious to see if RiP uses it as substantiating documentation in an offer to existing note holders involving "future benefits" (e.g., stock in RiP 2.0 will be worth blah-blah-balh because of these "commitments" we have, so don't bother looking at other people's cash offers- instead take this one because it has lots of "potential".

(Who knows, maybe it will, if in a couple of years someone wants to buy him out, I suspect Rip and others won't mind becoming the equivilent of "cyber squatters"- acquire EAC and sit on it until the market improves).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Jim, the intent is for a few current owners, hopefully between 5 and maybe a dozen (appr. 5% of the fleet) to choose the SportJet-610. That puts a good selection of serviceable and 'as-removed' parts into circulation while a more formal support organization is established to provide long-term support as well as needed improvements in design or documentation via 337, PMA, TSO and STC processes as appropriate.

They would build the plane according to the build manual, perhaps with assistance from any of several already identified build assist providers for the SportJet II.

With the exception of the first aircraft which would essentially be a demonstrator, there is no desire in the current concept to build on spec and then resell, FAA really frowns on that.

Excel Jet has already evaluated the changes in the 51% rule definitions and is designing the build/fab sequence to accomodate that.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

HiFlyer,

Can you confirm whether the owners' site has anything about this proposal yet?

Thanks

Turn-And-Burn said...

It seems to me that Embraer may have set the record for soonest AD and mandatory SB.

Flaps Retrofit Set for Early Embraer Phenom 100s

Embraer is paying for a service bulletin to replace flap-controller units in the first 10 to 20 Phenom 100 very light jets. The new controller units will have updated software to fix a “nuisance failure” problem that causes the flaps not to work. “The failure does not actually exist,” explained Embraer’s Mauricio Martins de Almeida Filho, “but the system interprets it as a ‘flap fail’ condition and triggers a fail-safe shutdown. In most occurrences a new command on the [flap] lever is capable of recovering the system, but in a few cases maintenance action (a system re-rig) is required.” An Airworthiness Directive (AD2009-05-06) also affects the flap system and calls for new procedures and limitations section revisions in the AFM, due to “a possibility that during a go-around procedure with a flap system failed the stall warning and the stick pusher triggering angles are anticipated reducing the margin between the real angle of attack and the stick pusher triggering angle.”

Niner Zulu said...

If you like the idea of an Eclipse franchise, then you'll love this one.

Franchise this

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

Where's Ken when you need him?

This whole death spiral thing is throwing out whacko spin-off of the week.

Reminds me of the whole season of Dallas which turned out to be Bobbies dream.

Where is the parental guidance? Fred can't even blame the yanks for this nonsense, since we supplied RiP, and some idiot obviously smuggled some Kool-aid to Shanghai.

Just substitute "woman" for eclipse dream-weaver!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

The cannibalism in the ColdFishs plan is the only solid part in my opinion, although I doubt he will get a single owner stepping up.

Not that cannibalism of 5% - 20% would capable of keeping many Eturd's flying. It works on mature products, but maturity is not a E-thing. The crappiest components will likely get consumed so fast, that a replacement vender is essential in ashort order.

It is the first unsafe condition in software that is going to give the owners their best screwing since Wedge called them in for their 6 month to go reaming.

WhyTech said...

"then you'll love this one."

Sure looks like a winner to me! (Shouldnt watch these things when you're hungry.)

Black Tulip said...

Turn and Burn,

The Phenom 100 flap issue is well known and widely discussed. Thankfully the aircraft is backed by Embraer, one of Brazil's largest exporters, with over 23,000 employees and $2.2 billion in shareholder equity.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Don't get too cranked on the number of AD's coming out of Brazil. They have a different legal system (like France) and are required to issue an AD for every unsafe condition. The FAA has some discretion to not issue an AD of the TC-Holder can show a robust management plan to ensure owner compliance.

bill e. goat said...

"$2.2 billion in shareholder equity."
Agggh!! - the Brazilians are going to hate us for that one. Bet Wedge is in the air already.

RAD3 said...

I've been following the first USA Phenom deliveries on www.jetbrief.com

While I have no doubt that Embraer will get everything up to scratch in the long run,I must say that I'm a little disapointed with the number of "issues" that new owners of a $3mil+ new aircraft are having:

>The brakes are described as "very touchy". One pilot says that he is not comfortable unless he has at least 5500 ft.
>The turning radius was advertised as 25 ft. Turns out to be more like 100 ft.
>The A/C units have failed multiple times and the fan is described as very noisy.
>The flap problem.
>Hydralic leaks.
>False CAS alarms for cargo door on descent.
And here is the one that I really don't get:
>The planes don't have TCAS! It apparently won't be approved untill late summer and will cost the owner $50,000 to have it installed!

I've never bought a jet but I would like to think that stuff like this would not be a problem on a factory fresh aircraft.
Not that the owners don't like their planes...like all new jet owners they seem to love flying 'em :>)

WhyTech said...

"The FAA has some discretion to not issue an AD "

Had this experience witgh my PC-12. The problem affected only a few airplanes, and Pilatus got all these owners to agree to their corrective program, and FAA agreed not to issue and AD.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Good configuration management and a strong management plan with good ability to show compliance is a huge thing to FAA with regard to AD's.

This could be a very big issue for the orphaned Eclipsii without solid leadership re: continued airworthiness.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Agreed. The FAA will have to issue AD's for all unsafe conditions without a TC holder, but on the other hand, with a TC-Holder providing the 21.3 reporting, the FAA will not hear of as many unsafe conditions. (A good think if you like risk as much as Eturd owners, a bad thing if you care about your family).

eclipso said...

Shane said:

"As it happens, I've had experience with a range of equipment from China"

Just don't let the children lick the paint on the FPJ!

airtaximan said...

once a critic, always a critic...

"Don't get too cranked on the number of AD's"

UH, yes, absolutely unacceptable for Embraer and the $3M VLJ.

U-N-acceptable

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
U-N-acceptable ???

airtaximan said...

reflecting:

The world did just fine without the DeLorean and the Bricklin... and even the collectors enjoy hobby support of those amazing cars.

The world will do just fine without the EA50 - it will be this way no matter what happens in the CH7 - even if McRoel wins... no one will buy any franchises, I assure you.

Support, hobbiest=type support will come... I feel this is true. It will be affordable enough fr the fetishist - like Ken. Same as for the Bricklin and DeLorean.

This is how markets work - they adjust for REALITY.

The ea50 problem was the false promise that it would revolutionize car and plane transportation - sound familiar?

Same result. Those who were "die-hard" enthusiasts, got their dream and nightmare at the same time. They received an early adopter version of a preemie-plane, and the feeling of superiority that can only come from being smarter than the rest, and getting an early copy in advance of EVERYONE, becasue placing a bet on a wild idea paid off...but it never lasts, really.

Today, the EA50 owners are in a pickle barrel with the DeLorean and Bricklin owners...

Any attempt to delude them into thinking it will be anything but a very narrow expensive hobbiest type of support is insane.

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

ATM said:

"Franchising MIGHT be a good model to scale up a start up, and IS a good model for growing a proven business..."

I would have to compare this to McDonalds growing to what is today by selling burnt, madcow, 3-legged, starved cows...

Shane Price said...

Eclipso,

Just don't let the children lick the paint on the FPJ!

As it happens, poor finish (especially on the 'inside' of panels) is one of my pet hates about Chinese machines. Kids don't even need to lick the paint for it to fall off.

Sadly.

On the other hand, they are working very hard to improve quality. As well as having lots more of 'them' than there are of 'us'.

So they will get it right, eventually.

Shane

eclipso said...

Mr. & Mrs. J. Howard Marshall.....


Great,BEG


Now THAT is a must read!!!

airtaximan said...

11,000 Deloreans were made

baron95 said...

Flyger said ... The redesigned EA500 ratio is 60.6%. The SP610 ratio as stated above is 55.6%. No way a composite twin jet achieves that.

Why not? It is smaller. It is being designed 10 years later. It may not have to go through a tip-tank-sprouting re-engining. It will require MUCH LOWER pressure differential (15,000 ft lower ceiling and being EXP can have much higher cabin altitude in cruise).

On the other hand, the company will have a lot less $$$ than Eclipse had to optimize the airframe.

So while I agree with you that it is unlikely they'd achieve that efficient and airframe, my reasoning is lack of development resources, not the fact that it can't be done with their configuration.

bill e. goat said...

Eclipso,
Thanks ;)
?I wonder if J. Howard's "Bunny" wore a pancake on her head?...It does conjure up thoughts of "The Girls of IHOP".

(bunnies...maybe that should be I-HOP... :)
Bunny Hopping

In case some of our fellow bloggers just woke up from a coma:
Mrs. J. Howard Marshall

"her claim for half of her late husband's US$1.6 billion estate/" Hmmmm. Was this the woman who could have saved Eclipse? One train wreck looking for another. Both stories are pretty sad, really.

Dave said...

More details are emerging on the Roel plan. In his move to outsource everything, the painting of the aircraft will now be done by Earl Scheib.

BricklinNG said...

Eclipse, BD5J, Adam, now a rebaked Excel (whatever that is); it's all the same and no rational person would commit money to any of it unless and until it were possible to write a check and take delivery of a finished article. MHO.

airsafetyman said...

"This could be a very big issue for the orphaned Eclipsii without solid leadership re: continued airworthiness."

When did Eclipse ever have solid leadership? If you have a strong FBO chain performing maintenance the AD and airworthiness situation would be much easier to manage.

Beedriver said...

Black tulip

thanks for catching the fact I reversed the meanings. that will teach me to dredge up a word I haven't used for years and not check the dictionary.

WhyTech said...

"the painting of the aircraft will now be done by Earl Scheib"

For $29.95? ( I remember radio commercials that "Earl Scheib will paint any car any color for just $29.95." Been awhile!

baron95 said...

When I think Experimental, I think something like this, not a VLJ which is now a mainstream GA offering.

Black Tulip said...

ATM,

10,741 to go.

airsafetyman said...

One of the brain-dead disasters Vern left in his wake was the Service Center nonsense. Now there are limited FBOs with maintenance experience on the aircraft when there could be extensive experience with quality FBOs all across the country.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ASM, we are in violent agreement about the NEED for solid mgmt, I was not suggesting that Eclipse had it re: service.

bill e. goat said...

Baron,
Let's think about getting a couple of F-18 wingfold transmissions, and a good used EA500, and the possibilities are endless !!

I remember Bid Ed (of DelayJet) said his flying limo service was competing with cars for trips between 100-500 miles- this seems to improve the competitive radius to a 0-500 mile range.

(Others would argue that the EA500 effective trip radius will soon be 0-0, based upon how current developments pan out).

EA500B Folding Wing prototype

(You think it was a mere "coincidence" EAC was developing the ConJet at the NASA Wallops Island? By a company that does race "car" chassis? Or that NASA operates F-18's?

We were ALL being con'd (again!), the EA400 was apparently just a cover story for the EA500B development program. How insidiously clever, that Wedge! (No wonder EA400 deposits were never honored, and that Eclipse was hiring so many Ford Motor Company execs).

"It is all so obvious when you think about it..."
-----------------------------

!!!
or for those so inclined:
(Be careful, I think the missile launch codes are buried in here somewhere :)

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fei%3DUTF-8%26p%3Df-18%2520wings%2520folded%26fr2%3Dtab-web%26fr%3Dyfp-t-501&w=500&h=332&imgurl=static.flickr.com%2F120%2F278211246_ca80146674.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2F49297477%40N00%2F278211246%2F&size=72.5kB&name=Navy+F-18&p=f-18+wings+folded&type=JPG&oid=c1f16d2951a1a512&fusr=acknowledg1&tit=Navy+F-18&hurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2F49297477%40N00%2F&no=10&tt=15&sigr=11ka94te5&sigi=11eb9qcpr&sigb=1362o49rs&sigh=11af1spgj

airsafetyman said...

If I were an owner, I would get with several other owners in my area and go see a quality FBO like Duncan and try to get them involved in a big way. To keep it simple, for owners like Ken, the parts requirement could be looked at like a big pie. The largest slice, maybe 1/3 is the engine portion. The engine and accessories are already taken care of by Pratt, which is a huge relief. Another large slice is the standard AN, MS, and NAS hardware that every FBO already has in stock. Nuts, bolts, O-rings, seals, gaskets, whatever - already in stock. Another slice of the pie is ordinary serial-numbered off-the-shelf rotatable components that were sold to Eclipse. Again, no problem in obtaining or overhauling these components as they are widely used. Another slice would be structural components unique to the airplane. I would think that all or nearly all could be repaired by a good sheet metal shop. What structural components could not be repaired? The last slice would be those special rotable components made especially for Eclipse, whose manufacturer is out of business and for which there are no overhaul parts available or shops qualified to work on the components and no substitute is available. I can't think of ANY parts that fall into this last slice. As for teaming up with Ken, Col Mike, Roel, and sending them money - You CANNOT be SERIOUS! (apologies to John MacEnroe). I would do something else, something really radical: go fly my airplane!

bill e. goat said...

Ah- make that "Big Ed" of DelayJet
(rather than "Bid Ed", although he might indeed be bidding on EAC too...)
DelayJet
Interestingly,
"Eclipse Aviation announced in October 2008 that they are acting as "the exclusive broker" for the sale of the existing 28 DayJet aircraft"

Talk about Ambassadors of Other People's Money !! (seems like PWC defacto repo'd the airplanes in Dec- I'm not sure if PWC was financing the entire airplane, or just the engines- I suspect the entire airplanes?)
--------------------------------
"Iacobucci indicated that he is still pursuing investors, but would not be committing more of his own money, having already invested USD$20 million."
OUCH!
Well, unlike EAC, it seems Big Ed was not just an ambassador of OPM.

(That seems like a lot of money, figure 1 year operation, 100 employees, $100K per year = $10M. Throw in down payments, jet fuel, ant farmers, ants, ant food, ant pension plans, etc., it would seem DelayJet probably brought in about ZERO.

airtaximan said...

"The last slice would be those special rotable components made especially for Eclipse, whose manufacturer is out of business and for which there are no overhaul parts available or shops qualified to work on the components and no substitute is available. I can't think of ANY parts that fall into this last slice."

well, perhaps my favorite post of the year, buddy.

This IS the right way to look at it, and if you are correct, tis is a keen path to continued airworthyness.


I suspect you will garner some oposing opinions, ut I feel you are on the mark, except for avionics...


nice one.

airtaximan said...

dis is what you bought friends.. face it



http://www.bricklins.net/

airtaximan said...

how right was I on the Briklin deal?

Check this out on China:

http://www.usatoday.com/money
/autos/2008-07-21-
visionary-vehicles-sues-
chery_N.htm

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

Just read that 'your' Governor repealed the death penalty in New Mexico. Does this have any relevance for the late Eclipse or the blog?

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

Our governor is a man of principles . . . He carefully considers all options, takes a poll, checks the wind direction . . . and signs on the dotted line. He’s one of the best governors money can buy. ‘Just ask Vern!

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

ASM,
"If I were an owner, I would get with several other owners in my area and go see a quality FBO like Duncan and try to get them involved in a big way."

Time for another edition of:
FUN WITH MATH

Thinking of ATM's earlier comment
"Those who were "die-hard" enthusiasts, got their dream and nightmare at the same time. They received an early adopter version"
and maintenance costs of around $500 per hour, plus "buy in" expenses...

Say, 260 airplanes in the field, and of the 800 or so most-recent EAC employees...
There are probably 260 highly trained ex-EAC maintenance personal currently available.

It would seem you can just rent your own mechanic for $100K per year. At 250 flight hours per year, that comes out to be $400 per flight hour. Let them "network" amongst themselves on figuring things out (which is how things were probably accomplished at the factory anyway).

I would suspect CWMOR has a number of ex-EAC'ers ready to contribute as well (?).
--------------------------------

(If the Chinese buy it, at $1/hour, they can send an entire maintenance crew with each airplane).
--------------------------------

Well, no disrespect at all for our Chinese descendant friends here. But I got to thinking about that previous paragraph.

Extra credit problem:
Worst case AOG, figure 3000 miles from "the factory" (say, San Diego to Maine).

How would you get your airplane to the factory with a crew of -whatever- nationality workers- maybe consider carrying it??

3500 lb empty weight
50 lbs per worker
= 70 workers

3000 miles
3 miles per hour
8 hours per day
= 125 days

7.25 $/hour
(minimum wage, yeah yeah, benefits, FICA, etc. not included)
8 hours per day
= 58 $ per day per worker

70 workers
x 125 days
x $58/worker/day

= $507,500

Well, that's about what a pair of PWC-610's cost.

So, I guess it wouldn't cost anymore to fly it, than carry it. And you'd get their in 8 hours, instead of 125 days.

Even I dont approve of this kind of "make work" program :)

Although, I do think there are a lot of bankers I would like to see doing it as community service.

("Fill'er Up, and don't forget the luggage!!)
--------------------------------
Interesting chart on the U.S. minimum wage:
U.S. minimum wage
I leave it to the reader to correlate political developments to the timeline.

State by State minimum wage
(Does this reflect cost-of-living? Yes. Does this reflect election results? Yes. What does THAT imply, if anything? I don't know.)

Minimum Wage"
Layman's article for us non-economists.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG said:

"I would suspect CWMOR has a number of ex-EAC'ers ready to contribute as well (?)."

I can neither confirm nor deny that, but I know the answer. ;^)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzOHq5WbQ8k

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
You were right on the Bricklin- funny timing.

I read the article 3 times before I caught "Chery" instead of "Chevy".

?? Does BricklinNG have an association with Bricklins??

(I remember when these, and DeLorean's, came out.
---------------------------------

"During production, the Bricklin manufacturer was constantly in debt, and had relied on provincial government support to keep the company running. One reason is the vehicle was estimated to cost $16000 to build, but were sold for $5000 each to the Dealers, so the company lost the equivalent of over 2 Bricklins for every car built.
Well, this sure sounds like Eclipse!

"To further complicate problems, Richard Hatfield was discovered to have secretly funded the failing company in order to win re-election."
Well, this sure sounds like Pete "The Fixer" Domenici !!
(Problems with DOJ, or the FAA? Call Pete, for Pete's sake)
What a disgrace.
Much more so than Gov. Bill, IMO.
(I heard on the radio this week, that 10 states are reviewing the death penalty, of the 38 that have it on the books).

Bricklin
("SV1" for "Safety Vehicle One", with numerous commendable safety implementations for the time)
And it came with a manly V8 (AMC 360 in 1974, Ford 351W in 75-76)

Delorean DMC-12
(I have no idea what "12" signifies, model # 12?)
Powered by an unmanly V6, but built during 1981-82, and cognizant of the gas price surges in the 1970's.

Anyone remember these:
Pantera
Yup, I remember them with a "Mercury" badge.
Manly V8 power (Ford 351C)
Cool- even Elvis owned one!
Seems like Elvis owned a gun too:
"Elvis Presley once fired a gun at his Pantera after it wouldn't start."
(I'm glad Elvis didn't live* to experience Avio !! :)

*Excuse me, I'm glad Elvis has not apparently ended his prolonged period of public seclusion.
Elvis sightings, the movie
(I've heard he's lost a lot of weight).

(If you believe it), Elvis:
January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977
(which made him roughly a contemporary of the three cars mentioned above- a bit too early for the Delorean).

Would Elvis have bought an EA500?
Would Elvis have bought EAC?
Would Elvis have shot his Ea500?
Would Elvis have shot Wedge?

The world may never know...
The Elvis

(? "The 9Z" ? :)

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
THAT has got to be one of the blog's top 10 all-time keepers !! :0)

repeated:
"Determined Businessmen"
:)

bill e. goat said...

on a related note:
Wedge explains EAC's demise

bill e. goat said...

and for Fred;
ce n'est pas mon défaut
("It's not my fault" -I think:)

fred said...

Billy

Many thanks for your attention ...

i am touched ... really !!

ok , may be i should invite you to take some vacations in "Old" europe to be able to find the difference between italian and french ...

but , you know , when you get a gift 50% of the fun comes from unpacking it ... ! ;-)

ps: you should be careful at the way words are spelled ...

c'est pas mon défaut = it is not my shortcoming (i accept that i have no lack of multiples shortcomings ...)

c'est pas ma faute = it is not my mistake

as you can see , "défaut" is a masculine word in french = may be because we are all full of them ?

while "faute" is a feminine word (especially true with the present form of "it is not ..." have you ever seen one woman able to say "it is " and "my fault" in the same sentence ? ;-) )

agroth said...

From ATMan Last Month:

agroth,

thanks for the update on EOxxx... tell him to stop by, he is missed. One of the blog superstars, in my opinion. AND, he made money with this plane - a real feat!!!

Remembering I was the reason you blogged, is flattering. I appreciate remembering I was on the mark with Epic.

This industry has an incredible rumor mill... knowing what makes sense and what does not, is a product of sources, credibility and experience.

I like to think I was more right than wrong, on this blog - and I think the record shows some pretty good predictions/opinions, regarding some pretty detailed stuff.

Despite some agenda-obsessed a-holes calling me a liar.

There, I said it.

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

ATMan,

I just passed your comments along to Dennis (he and I both posted our full names in the last thread of Stan's original EAC Blog) a couple of minutes ago. Yeah, I'm a little behind on non-work stuff ;-).

P.S. I just learned something else from you. I couldn't place BricklinNG's handle until I saw your car reference tonight. Since the Bricklin entered production before I was born, and I'm not quite as crazy about cars as I am about airplanes, I wasn't aware of the Bricklin story.

Learn something new every day!

fred said...

Freedom :

Where is the parental guidance? Fred can't even blame the yanks for this nonsense, since we supplied RiP, and some idiot obviously smuggled some Kool-aid to Shanghai.

well...

if you believe i blame anybody for being from one place or an other ...

i am really sorry to tell you : no , i don't !

may be i don't express myself clearly enough ... , but what annoys me is when someone , a group of individuals , sometimes even the majority in a nation starts to believe any fantasies put into theirs minds by their political system , marketing system , economic system , etc ...

do i blame the "yanks" for anything ?

no ! at the most i feel sorry for their lack of interests in "others" and their ability to believe in " what is good in USA , is good for the rest of World!"

the perfect place on earth just DOESN'T EXIST ANYWHERE ...

it is either something very personal , in the way : what is perfect for me , might be real puke for you ...
does it make me better for it ?
does it make you worse for it ?

NO , it only means : we would have different tastes !!

being french , does it make automatically a better connoisseur of wines , you could ever be ?

being german , does it make me more strict and should I have the "Deutsch Ordnung" written in my genes ?

only a question of environment and culture : if the kids of now are raised in the idea that they are " in the best possible country on earth" then what will happen in future is only an attempt at domination or a big delusion ...!

JUST as an example of this "Weird" situation ...

"The Chinese want to bid ...."

I would say : " Please , Get it ! stuff yourself with it and die from it !"

this is where it is SOOOO hilarious for me ...:

before it was European that were looking at the Fpj ... making for ABQ's fan to work and dream extra hard to keep the "flying wonder" ...

then it has been the Turkish , an other very good reason for ABQ's fan to keep it , not let those "Loukoum eater" get it ...
(they didn't have any money to waste into the nightmare ...)

then it has been the Russkyis , yes for sure ... they were adamant to put their hairy hands on it , not for the plane ... but for all those juicy techs going with it ...
all was about those wonderful micro-engines that could propel suppository ...
many stunts , many BS , many statements ... so many of it that the Ex-president himself (which didn't respect the hierarchy system into this country , but funnily enough sticked very well with the western Idea of present-president being a puppet of Ex-president ...) had to come to rescue the matter and cast a spell on the plot ...!!

after the said Russians have shown their interests were at best ONLY luke-warm ...

something HAD to be found to save the Saga ... and eventually push some inside the US to drape themselves into the banner to Protect the assets of the USA ...
(in making a bid ? in any case : to keep the interest for this poor little animal known as Fpj , alive ...)

So Here comes the Chinese !!

soon someone else will say that the crisis is coming from China ...

ps : don't remind that RiP is actually an European ... having a house in the south of France ... shameful enough ...!
but at the same time = he played the ones ready to believe anything , even him !!

Ken Meyer said...

Freedom asks, "Where's Ken when you need him?"

I've been in China for the last week.

Ken

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

I'll bet you really enjoyed a good hamburger on your return.

bill e. goat said...

??
Visiting the rope factories?
:(

FreedomsJamtarts said...

ASM has summed up the support issue very well, but I question some of the conclusions:

The engine and accessories are already taken care of by Pratt, which is a huge relief.

Sort of. Is it correct that FADEC software from PWC runs on cards (hardware by PWC?) which are located in the AVIO card file. As long as no hardware changes are required in this area, it sounds like PWC is in control.

Another large slice is the standard AN, MS, and NAS hardware that every FBO already has in stock. Nuts, bolts, O-rings, seals, gaskets, whatever - already in stock.

Agree. The whell half O-rings were a good example.

Another slice of the pie is ordinary serial-numbered off-the-shelf rotatable components that were sold to Eclipse. Again, no problem in obtaining or overhauling these components as they are widely used.

Does the Eturd have many standard OTS components? They ended up with the Garmin 330 in AvioNfG I beleive, but are things like wheels and brakes really OTS cleveland? Are Actuators OTS ( Don't they have integrated LVDT's or something? I remember some PR BS about smart actuators.)
Are outflow valves, Px controllers, autopilot actuators, door soors, fuel pumps etc OTS on this A/C? I'm guessing they reinvented plenty of wheels here.

Another slice would be structural components unique to the airplane. I would think that all or nearly all could be repaired by a good sheet metal shop. What structural components could not be repaired?

I remember reports here, that the MM or SRM had litle or no standard repairs, so you will have the hold up of getting DER sign off on the repair designs. I think it could be differcult producing an approved repair in the Stir Fried pressure vessel. Then again if you like risk as much as Eturd owners seem to, I'm sure it is not that differcult to find a DER willing to sign for a price.

The last slice would be those special rotable components made especially for Eclipse, whose manufacturer is out of business and for which there are no overhaul parts available or shops qualified to work on the components and no substitute is available. I can't think of ANY parts that fall into this last slice.

This i disagree with. I'm guessing this a much longer list than the OTS parts.

Starts with ISS screens. I don't know which other venders have gone BK or walked, but the sort of integration an complexity makes a list of one a show stopper. The Throttle quadrant, Electrical bus controller, A/P control card, any Ecorpse manufactered Avio components, seats, com radios, the thottle interface units...

What your list short changes is that you have lost the system integrator. Any component/vender change requiring flight test, Avio software validation or environment qualification is a show stopper.

This starts with easy stuff like the tires. Did Ecorpse certify Michelins replacement tire before they went TU? If not who is going to flight test (if required) to certify this change?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken, I hope you didn't lick the paint!

bill e. goat said...

Fred,
Thank you very much for the needed correction,

I can see Wedge saying "it is not my mistake", but not ""I accept that I have no lack of multiples shortcomings, but..."
:)

"have you ever seen one woman able to say "it is " and "my fault" in the same sentence ? ;-) )"

You are quite correct- I think John Belushi had the right approach- especially when the fem in question has a bazooka!
----------------------------------

Ken,
Please select a smooth rope, so we don't get neck burns.

fred said...

I'll bet you really enjoyed a good hamburger on your return.

no , there is lots of shops where you taste "Hot-Dogs" ...

literally speaking ! ;-)

fred said...

Billy :

you are welcome ! (about the NOT needed correction , only a way to be french , so quite annoying about anything and everything ...! ;-) )

but if you want to come over for spending some times in here , no problem !! i'd be glad !!

airtaximan said...

I have no idea what "12" signifies

$12,000 the price of the car

not joking

bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
You kind offer will stay with me until I can indeed make it "across the pond"- thank you very much!!

(I tend to travel a lot more N-S than E-W, but hopefully I will become more "orthogonally diverse" later this year :)

airsafetyman said...

FJT

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Lets start with the easy stuff: tires. I would call Michelin and talk to the service people who are aware of the problem. They may have a replacement tire ready to go. If so, I would ask for a letter from them to attach to a Form 337 application and submit it to the FAA. The FAA will either sign it or not. If they do sign it I would forward a copy to Michelin with a thank-you note and put a copy in the aircraft records. Problem solved, at least from the standpoint of my airplane. What else are you going to do, wait for Roel? Col Mike? If Michelin is gun-shy from dealing with Vern I would approach other tire manufacturers until I had exhausted all possibilities. (As an aside I am curious as to what the problem really is. Heavy jet fighters have been landing at very high speeds on tiny little tires since the 1950s)

fred said...

ASM

if you need to get in touch with Michelin CEO , it is quite easy to do it for me ...

airsafetyman said...

Fred,

Thanks for the offer. I am reasonably confident the problem could be addressed at a much lower level first, but I would keep you in mind!

airtaximan said...

cw,

I am wondering how your support deal is being received by the owners.

Any word from them?

fred said...

Asm

you can be confident ...

as far as i remember the problem was Costs and specifications ...

the tires were designed for a certain weight with a certain costs ...

but the Fpj got fatter than previously planned ...

so the type of tire-structure wasn't fitting anymore , asking for more dosh to fix the problem by changing from a type to an other one ...

problem that was supposed to be resolved in integrating the tires as "consumable" ...

i could be wrong on this but i remember contacting head-office and the story was something along those lines ...

i remember that i contacted 2 firms in France directly concerned with Fpj : Michelin and the one making the De-ice boots ...

none did seems to have a good impression of the firm ...!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Not much reaction yet ATM.

I will probably join the E5C site tomorrow and post it there myself. I sent the proposal to the leadership group on Tuesday and am unsure if they have passed it on to the owners.

I am in regular contact with several individual owners and they are supportive of the overall concept but understandably cautious.

The issue remains lifecycle costs - with the other public plans the owners are looking at between $1M and almost $2M in basic support costs before any upgrades are installed or any unscheduled maintenance is performed.

I am increasingly confident that with a few owners willing to move to the SportJet-610 to provide the needed breathing room and immediate spares that something fairly conventional and reasonably affordable can be developed.

I am very concerned about the cryptic report of horizontal stabilizer mounting issues that exGNVtech reported. We are looking to contact that owner as well as some contacts from the former Eclipse to see if this was an individual issue or is more widespread as that could be a grounding issue - with nobody available to develop means of compliance it could end the use of the plane - I am still digging into that.

Also looking at creative ways to deal with Avio (displays, ACS and software).

Tail.Dragger said...

The FADECs are 4 cards (2 per engine) which are mounted in the 2 avio "cabinets" (2 cards per cabinet) they are physically, electrically, and mechanically isolated from the avio cards for a number certification reasons. However they need the cabinets to meet the environmental certification criteria. (DO-160) Therefore removing them from the avio cabinets voids the certification. While designing a new case for them is not rocket science, it is not a trivial or inexpensive undertaking. Environmental testing including HIRF and lightning alone will run in the neighborhood of $100K.

The FADECS are not manufactured by PWC. Both the HW and SW is supplied by Hispano-Suiza Canada. Because they are not TSO'd or PMA'd they cannot be sold by HSC directly to the public.

Trying to re-use the engines and FADECS will require access to detailed technical information in what is traditionally called the Interface Control Document (ICD) or whatever Eclipse called it.

Without this information you could very easily but completely unintentionally create another throttle quadrant issue. That's assuming you could even get the engines to run.

I simply cannot see PWC or HSC agreeing to participate in any scenario where these engines are reused, especially outside of a certificated airframe.

With the 615 on the mustang and the 617 on the EMB P100, does PWC really need the headache and LEGAL LIABILITY?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

All good points about teh FADEC and they already being addressed Tail.Dragger.

baron95 said...

Taildrager said...Because they are not TSO'd or PMA'd they cannot be sold by HSC directly to the public.

Minor clarification - they can be sold at will. What can't be done is install them on a certificated airplane to perform a TC function.

Leaving aside the "would they do it?" question, HSC can sell the cards to anyone. You can even legally yoke mount them on your C172 to look at it.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

cold wet,
There has not been a word about your plan on the E5C site. If the comittee got it they sure ain't doing anything with it. Just FYI.

Dave said...

If the comittee got it they sure ain't doing anything with it

Not that I endorse CW's plan, but it is a conflict-of-interest for the committee to receive another plan and not post it since the committee has its own plan. All owners should be fully informed and then each owner decide for themself what is the best course of action.

exGNVtech said...

I didn't think it was cryptic at all. Contact the owner! BTW it was discovered Jan 12 and who knows what kind of bs they even told the owner. Like I said that plane did not have a stab at the time of ch 7.I can even tell you that there was some issue with that empenage during assembly May 25 of 2007! I don't know much about that though since I wasn't in NM. My whole point was where did it go? There ARE ex execs still involved with the pile of dog shit formerly known as EAC. Cold Wet best of luck. You'll need more than luck though. I must say your idea is more palatable than the others but in the end service is already available by at least 2 fully equiped shops that have experience with the plane.when you contact the owner of SN 24 ask who took over the job and you will gain a huge insight as to what's going on.

Orville said...

Funny - this Phenom accidentally got filed as an EA50 - LOL.

airtaximan said...

"We are looking to contact that owner as well as some contacts from the former Eclipse to see if this was an individual issue or is more widespread as that could be a grounding issue - with nobody available to develop means of compliance it could end the use of the plane - I am still digging into that."

I think you kinda answered your own question regarding the stab...

I don't think EAC had a robust system to ensure compliance, even when they were in business... so, how do you know IF this problmem, or any problem is fleet wide?

The thing that always struck me about EAC was how FOS they were is so many aspects of their business, that you never knew where it ended.

In the airplane business, this means a company wide lack of "what it takes" to ensure conformity.

Too risky for my liking.

So CW, expect the worst - 260 planes with lots of different non-conformances all over the place. Plus, some fleet wide problems, as well.

This is what I would expect, or at least plan for.

airtaximan said...

I think it might be interesting to have former EAC folks, post issues they observed in the production of the planes.

I once heard a story from a guy on the floor at an OEM regarding the production issues and how they were "resolved"... the problems were numbered 1,2,5,10

1= 1lb hammer
2= 2lb hammer
5= 5lb hammer
10=10lb hammer

not joking.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Omsiv, thanks for the heads up. I will attribute it to them taking time to review it carefully as they stated clearly they would bring any alternative to the owners in their own plan announcement.

exGNV - I know who you speak of, good people, we are in contact.

ATM, I am certainly planning for that - in fact, I suspect none of the other alternatives are remotely as well prepared to deal with that issue as my team and I are - we dealt with similar issues for another airframer who shall remain nameless but who also had significant configuration record issues - it can be solved.

airtaximan said...

CW,

did they use the problem numbering code I refered to above?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No ATM, problem code references were:

Bubba
Big Bubba
Big Jim
and Holy $hit

airtaximan said...

I know that outfit, too... those were the small problems... for fixing the bigger problems those guys used the hammmers

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You obviously never met Big Jim.

Hammers?

We don't need no stinkin' hammers......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lj056ao6GE&feature=related

Black Tulip said...

An old story modified for the occasion:

A foreman approached an assembler who was driving rivets in an Eclipse 500 fuselage. He noticed that the man was pulling rivets out of a can but throwing away every other one. He asked why. The assembler said, “Because some of these rivets have the head on the wrong end.” “You dummy,” said the foreman. “They’re for the other side of the plane.”

exGNVtech said...

Cold wet where did the plane end up? The guys in NM that worked on that plane told me he was super nice. Offering stays in hotels and resorts in CO. There were a string of problems with that jet that were due to nothing but poor quality. Nothing that the owner did. Actually the quality from mecaer and hampson were the issues. And it all came down right after that owner lost waranty! Got to feel bad for the owner.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Sorry GNV, I meant the established service providers - still not made contact with the jet owner although I have an offer to conduct a structural review of the stab if we can find the plane and if the owner is open to it.

airtaximan said...

after the warranty...

begs an interesting question... why would you accept a warrantee based on calendar time, when your plane is incomplete and basically cannot be flown usefully for much of the year in most markets?

Anyhow, I know someone will caorrect me and say "why accept the plane at all?"

gadfly said...

The “gadfly” has been in trouble before, so here goes again:

Over the last couple months, I’ve come into contact with folks that have been affected by Eclipse . . . I’m not going into detail.

Eclipse has hurt and/or greatly upset the lives of many people. Although many find it entertaining to continue the “low-humor”, and “rough gutter talk”, etc., there may be enough talent among the “contributors/critics”, to contribute in a positive way.

The reading public is much greater than most folks may realize. Gutter talk is on “Cable TV” . . . but folks look in on the “critics’ blogsite” for information, not the stuff that comes from brainless statements. There is no way to pick up the clean end of “you know what”. And such comments reveal far more about the “speaker”, than the “subject” under discussion.

Folks, make it count! If you have to: “Pretend” you’re better than that . . . and make a stab at intelligent conversation. You are spending someone else’s time, who is wanting solid information, about things that affect their lives, and that of their families.

End of sermon.

gadfly

(Yeh! . . . the "old man" may soon be off the twig, but until then, God gave me a brain, and some ability to "reason" . . . and I'll do what I can, for as long as I can! So, live with it!)

Shane Price said...

I realize it's been a while, but....

It's Snippet Time

What more can I say?

Yes, it's official, our 'favorite' Dutchman is back in the game.

Shane

Dave said...

You are spending someone else’s time, who is wanting solid information, about things that affect their lives, and that of their families.

Speaking financially, I'd walk away from the Eclipse aircraft. For those who want to keep flying despite the costs, I'd say sit back and watch and see what happens and don't risk your own money. I'd be wary of any plan that expects a high percentage of the existing fleet to stay in service and generate revenue to the servicer. I'm not saying that all aircraft will be grounded by the FAA (just that possibility does have to be factored in when deciding how much money you want to put at risk), just since Eclipse has gone under, it is a distinct possibly that more and more aircraft will end up in the junkyard so to speak as a certain percentage of the owners move on to other things. As far as the employees are concerned I think employees are best to stay away from an Eclipse-related venture if they can avoid it because it would be an even higher risk venture than the original Eclipse. Alternatively if they go into it understanding what risks they are taking, good luck to them.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

There might be a bit of a bidding war going on in the near future. It seems as if the E500 will live on someway, somehow. That being said...

F*CKING CHINA?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

F*CKING ROEL??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

F*CKING RAPE ARTISTS?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

WTF?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It's like deja vu all over again!

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

CW,

from a marketing perspective, I think you blew your chances.

1- you are way too straight for these guys - you are missing a bait and switch tactic
2- you are in aviation, which is a complete no-no
3- your plan and pricing thinks of the customer first - highly irregular for these adopters
4- you do not require deposits/upfront money
5- you are doing your homework, which I am sure is highly suspicious, and you admit you do not have all the answers yet - completely foolish in their eyes I am sure
6- your plan does not seem to cost (anyone) enough for it to hurt enough for the owners
7- you are not from the old familiar cadre of air taxi's darkeng the skies believers, or VLJ cheapojets by the thousands believers, so you are SOL for sure
8- you are providing options, which they are completely not used to - at least tell them the options MIGHT be available one day off in the future - they are not used to anything that is optional (or even guaranteed) being delivered as promised...
9- you are not promising any stupid stuff - at least let them have this

I AM NOT KIDDING

Dave said...

Interesting:
Press said that Eclipse Jet LLC has received the endorsement of David Green's Eclipse 500 Owners Club (E5C), deemed to be important recognition during the upcoming liquidation auction, according to some former Eclipse employees. E5C also is attempting to raise as much as $35-million to purchase the assets of the defunct company so that it can launch a services, support and upgrade firm. Allying with Press's Eclipse Jet will likely strengthen the latter's position during the liquidation auction.
If EOG is choosing to buddy up with Roel despite everything Roel has done to the owners, they've made their own bed. Ethically speaking I'd rank EOG and Eclipse Jet on the low end of the bidders...and Eclipse owners have seen what happens when those with poor ethics are in charge of Eclipse. I had sympathy for Ken when I saw Mike break away and join up with Roel, but now that Ken is buddying up with Roel as a business partner, I withdraw my sympathy and then some. I hope Ken wasn't trying to start up an McRoeljet franchise when he was in China recently.

Ken, Mike and Roel together again for the first time - if this group was to win the auction, I expect lots of blog fodder to come from the comedy rhodium produced by them...this would probably mean that a new word would have to be invented that is beyond Vernacular.

gadfly said...

This has been an excellent day, for me. I didn’t get done what I would have normally done, but a “visitor” and an “e-mail” from someone looking for work, made it all worth while. The discussion with the visitor explored many things over lunch . . . the things that would have made all the difference, between failure and success for Eclipse . . . not complicated stuff, but “back to the basics” of human ability, fairness, and high-ethics. The “stuff” that can be summarized in a few minutes. The “e-mail” . . . a plea for work from a victim of a certain enterprise . . . and yet, maybe a future relationship, that may in some unforseen way, bring a “rescue” . . . time will tell.

No matter how you slice it, this thing (“Eclipse”) has caused much grief and heartache.

There is no way, to reverse the “projector”, and back up the film to the scene where Eclipse enters “stage center” (Did you know that among other things, the Navy trained the “gadfly” to run twin DeVry projectors . . . and flip from one to the other, when that little “spot” appears on the screen? . . . there’s many things you’d be surprised about the “gadfly”. Of course, we only had a single projector on board . . . and once, we polished a “table-spoon” to replace the broken reflector behind the projector lamp). Back aboard the “boat”, we could do “whatever”, on a “Cinemascope” screen on the three-foot wide back wall of the “crew’s dinette” in the “after battery”, but in real life there is no “rewind” switch. When we went on “patrol”, there were sixty big packs of first run movies . . . one for each day . . . some were three and four reeler’s. I’ve shown and watched some of Hollywood’s best, deep in the northwest Pacific ocean. (Oh those “Ruskies” . . . they had no clue what they were missing . . . right under their own ships. Today it’s finally “unclassified”, after a half century.)

Up in the “Sonar Shack”, I put a continuous tape on the “Magnacord” recorder . . . and flipped over the ends, and spliced them to make a “Mobius Loop”. If I heard something unusual, I could “replay” the last fifteen minutes . . . use the high-band and/or low band filter, to analyze the sound for engine/screw/shaft/load data . But I could not change what I heard . . . only study it. Those were simple times. The “Road Runner” had just hit the screen. Yet, human nature has not changed.

The “Road Runner” always wins. The “Coyote” always loses . . . great new schemes and technology . . . a reminder of recent events. You make the parallel! OK . . . a hint or two. What Eclipse did is beyond correction . . . it’s over, done, “kaput”, fin. All the technology won’t change history. Human behavior is consistent . . . treat folks “bad”, and that’s how they’ll perform: “Bad”! Lie to a customer, an investor, an employee . . . and you will live in a world of deceit . . . never knowing moment to moment what is “real” and what is “imagined” . . . something like a complete instrument panel going “black”, the “blue screen of death”, . . . a pilot in panic in a graveyard spiral, afraid to release the controls.

Human behavior establishes habits . . . in business and at the controls of an aircraft. In a desperate situation, habits take precedence . . . every time.

Our friend “Dave” seems to have a good handle on the situation. Folks can be warned ‘just “so many times” . . . and they hear what they want to here.

There’s something about the biggest sucker being a “scam artist” . . . and as we behold the comments . . . I rest my case.

But you folks who look in from time to time . . . “Think slowly” and “carefully” . . . there’s many a landmine out in that field. And don’t take anyone seriously, first, second, or third time.

gadfly

(What ever happened to polite, decent conversation . . . without an asterisk substituting for conversation . . . to “imply” that we don’t know dog poop or barn-yard behavior when we see it coming out of someone’s brain, or mouth! What does that say about the “author” . . . or his own sex life? ‘Sorry folks, but there are certain wonderful and beautiful God given things, that are rather special, believe it or not, and do not need to be dragged through the sewer of another’s brain, to make a point. Got it? . . . I doubt it! But now I’ve said it . . . and make no apology!)

gadfly

(And if the shoe fits, by all means "wear it"!)

Shadow said...

AT, about #8. With no disrespect to CW, the Sport Jet II/610 is anything but guaranteed. Bornhofen has been working on his SEJ for a very long time and has yet to deliver anything to a customer. IMO, this is the weak spot in CW's plan.

TBMs_R_Us said...

CW,

from a marketing perspective, I think you blew your chances.

1- you are way too straight for these guys - you are missing a bait and switch tactic
2- you are in aviation, which is a complete no-no
3- your plan and pricing thinks of the customer first - highly irregular for these adopters
4- you do not require deposits/upfront money
5- you are doing your homework, which I am sure is highly suspicious, and you admit you do not have all the answers yet - completely foolish in their eyes I am sure
6- your plan does not seem to cost (anyone) enough for it to hurt enough for the owners
7- you are not from the old familiar cadre of air taxi's darkeng the skies believers, or VLJ cheapojets by the thousands believers, so you are SOL for sure
8- you are providing options, which they are completely not used to - at least tell them the options MIGHT be available one day off in the future - they are not used to anything that is optional (or even guaranteed) being delivered as promised...
9- you are not promising any stupid stuff - at least let them have this


And, lest we forget,

10- you are a well known CRITIC on the honor role, and therefore cannot possibly be taken seriously!

Dave said...

Another thing. Borrowing from the financial meltdown - you don't look to the ones who caused the meltdown to fix the meltdown. The same applies to Eclipse. Does anyone seriously want to trust Roel with a five, six or seven figure payment of their money?

bill e. goat said...

As a public service announcement, to the former employees of Eclipse:

I'm sorry, but the Warn Act 60 day layoff notice probably (as in, snow ball chance) does not apply- the only people that will make ANY money off this, are the lawyers who -might- settle for a small amount out of court- it won't get to the employees at all- no how, no way. I'm sorry- but as the blog did for the owner's, I hope we can set realistic expectations.

I would encourage folks to consider moving- there are aircraft jobs in distant places. Wedgie located in NM because labor was cheap- labor was cheap, because there aren't any jobs there. Nothing has changed, so don't feel cheated- it's just situation normal- if you want to work in aircraft, you can't do it in NM. If you want to work in other industries- NM has some limited options.

Despite all the ruckus about "Congress said blah blah blah...", what congress DID was offer a good stimulus for companies to buy aircraft (place orders before the end of 2009, accept deliveries before the end of 2010), so I think this is a pretty good deal.

Yeah, some rat bastard banks canceled their jets. But that's insignificant compared the number of orders the stimulus should generate. So don't give up on aviation- just give up on aviation in NM.

Or maybe not- perhaps something will become of EAC v 2.x, but nothing will become of the Warn Act suits.

Congress Stimulus for Aviation
--------------------------------

From Shane's AvWeek post:
"Pieper also is likely to be a target of trial lawyers representing former Eclipse Aviation employees seeking back pay and benefits because they were laid off without the 60-day notice required by federal law."

Okay, so what's the Dept of Labor say?

"Notification Period"

"With three exceptions, notice must be timed to reach the required parties at least 60 days before a closing or layoff. When the individual employment separations for a closing or layoff occur on more than one day, the notices are due to the representative(s), State dislocated worker unit and local government at least 60 days before each separation. If the workers are not represented, each worker's notice is due at least 60 days before that worker's separation.


"The exceptions to 60-day notice are:

"(1) Faltering company. This exception, to be narrowly construed, covers situations where a company has sought new capital or business in order to stay open and where giving notice would ruin the opportunity to get the new capital or business, and applies only to plant closings;

"(2) unforeseeable business circumstances. This exception applies to closings and layoffs that are caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required; and

(3) Natural disaster. This applies where a closing or layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, drought or storm.


"If an employer provides less than 60 days advance notice of a closing or layoff and relies on one of these three exceptions, the employer bears the burden of proof that the conditions for the exception have been met. The employer also must give as much notice as is practicable. When the notices are given, they must include a brief statement of the reason for reducing the notice period in addition to the items required in notices."

Dept of Labor, Warn Act Fact Sheet

airtaximan said...

shadow,

I agree, and so does he, sort of...

He's placed it out there, without sugar coating it one bit, so we can all see it for what it is.

If it was Vern, it would be described as a 90% ready platform, with PWC approvals, high tech structure and second-to-none performance on a proven platform ready to go.

CW just directe everyone to the website which lists the crash, shows the plane in photos, and names the names so everyone can do their homework or just remember...

Its a choice, and I think it pretty black and white - something the position-holders (as I like to refer to them all) will not really appreciate.

So, I think CW screwed the poosh - he should have described it as I think Vern woulda... THEN he could have got the support.

PS> I think the whole thing is such a mess, I would NEVER want to get directly involved. I think CW can make money consulting, and not really getting involved in the mess.

airtaximan said...

"Does anyone seriously want to trust Roel with a five, six or seven figure payment of their money?"

how smart is THIS statement? Very IMO.

BUT, idiot owners and Mike Press are trusting him... should tell you to go back and read my list of reasons CW will not "win" (TM EAC BK).

Its a compete joke.

airsafetyman said...

This really staggers the imagination. Roel and Col Mike alone would be enough to send anyone with a shred of self-respect running for the exits. I don't think any responsible aviation people who could possibly fix this mess would be involved in any way. The Eclipse Owner's Club has just screwed themselves big time. But what's new?

airtaximan said...

ASman,

does it not really just exemplify what menatality it takes to want to buy one of these flytraptions, from Vern-the-ridiculous and his band of merry liars??

Imagine the scum bag RiP who led everyone down th Garden Path again and again.... now in favor with the owners?

"That was a great Rogering - thanks - you promised a condom and clean bill, no condom? - I love getting AIDS from you...may I have some more?"

Polite enough for you Gad?

airtaximan said...

Would anyone like to find a stench?

Where is ETRICK?

Where?

They were this global finance GIANT, right?

Anyone home?

Folks, I sincerely believe this is one for the world court.

International fraud.

If RiP is anywhere near the US, he should be in a cell next to Madoff.

I would bet ETRICK has already evaporated completely.

Shadow said...

AT, I actually like CW's plan sans the Sport Jet part. Yes, it's out of the box thinking, but the Sport Jet is too big a risk, especially given the current state of the economy. If owners want to get out, just have them part the whole aircraft out, engines included. No use trying to reuse them for another application. In other words, walk away, get as much cash for the parted out Eclipse 500 as you can and put that money toward a fully functioning airplane. Lots of good values on the pre-owned market right now, so why gamble with a Sport Jet that might never be delivered?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks ATM, that may be one of the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.

Look, unlike EAC 1.0, there can be no doubt that alternatives are being clearly presented and the owners WILL know about them - I am still working this angle myself.

If these guys ultimately choose to make a small fortune in aviation by starting with a collection of large ones, there will be no one to blame but themselves - and they will probably be AOG, perhaps before the end of this year.

If they sign on with Col. Press and the Pied Pieper, they will most assuredly get what they deserve - again.

The choice is pretty damn clear this time I think.

Only one of the current proposals shows any real vision for dealing with all of the needs, only one is creative in dealing with the needs - and yes, it is mine.

While these other guys are spending money on lawyers, naming their Board of Directors, granting interviews and writing press releases, Excel Jet and I have invested about 3 man months in developing real alternatives, identifying options, and working to address the near term issues that experience says are lurking.

That represent's the better part of $50K of OPM, Our Personal Money - lost revenue and diverted resources that could have been invested elsewhere.

To make the SJ-610 and support concept work, we could devote resources to full-time development for as little as $180K per month and in 12 months there would be a flying plane and a solid aftermarket support concept that provides real alternatives for the owners to truly control their own destiny.

The choice really boils down to whether the owners want a boring cup of coffee in a nice coffeehouse or a night out with the sleazeball of their choice slipping rohypnol in their appletini's.

Our goal is to be the anti-Eclipse, WYSIWYG.

airtaximan said...

shadow,

I have suggested this since day-1

sell your plane for parts, be in the top half of the class, and sell the plane NOW.$500k is a good price, no joke.

Parts is parts. Get out of the death trap, and move along.

I have posted this for weeks and weeks....

airtaximan said...

CW,

well, look at it this way, buddy - your competing with the scum of the earth, for a market that seem to be more attracted to lies, stench and deception, than anyone could ever believe froma pilot - who is supposed to understand and respect risk.

so, a loser is a BIG winner in this game, as far as I am concerned. I hope you lose.

No matter what anyone says, no one really knows how big a risk EA50s are. No one.

How do you price that?
You simply cannot.

Shadow said...

AT, I know you have. It's a bitter pill for some owners to give up their Eclipse 500 for only $500k, but it could very well prevent them from throwing good money after bad.

CW, Bornhofen is a nice guy and all (I've talked to him before) but his Sport Jet is anything but guaranteed. Anything could happen in the program still. For example, if the second Sport Jet prototype should crash, does he have the will AND money to continue? Think it can't happen? Cessna just lost another SkyCatcher prototype today, so if an established company can lose two LSA prototypes to crashes, then why not a smaller outfit?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM/Shadow,

You are partly right but the issue stems from pride, there, I said it.

The guys who MIGHT sell for parts want a million dollars for their million dollar airframe - you do not even want to know how much the Brandywine carcass went for.

Selling their million dollar plane for $500K as a parts donor means admitting they screwed the pooch, and when you start talking about six figure pooches that is tough to do - I know from personal experience.

What the Sport-Jet adds is a way to save face for current Eclipse owners, fly your Eclipse until it is time to swap the 610's, then move to a faster plane that does most of the same mission. With the new airframe in hand sell the old airframe to cover the majority of the cost of the Sport-Jet.

We also have identified a way for the Depositors to recoup some of the lost deposit money if they are open to the JT-15D power Sport Jet II - up to $80,000. Not some 'maybe' promise like Roel made when he put up the CH-11/363 farce - something that is real and could be flying in less than a year.

As for why the Sport-Jet has been so long in development, let me share with you my understanding and impressions of Bob Bornhofen and Excel-Jet.

Bob Bornhofen developed and flew the Maverick Twinjet before there was an Eclipse Aviation, before 'VLJ' and before talk of skies blackened with air taxis.

He developed a conversion for the T-58 turboshaft engines to create a 750lb thrust turbojet - something he was repeatedly told could not be done. These engines now have safe flight hours measured in the thousands.

He sold that program to focus on developing a practical SEJ, years before the D-Jet or Cirrus Vision or ConJet. He chose the design point based on extensive consultation with the insurance community - what did they want for a single-pilot, non-professional/GA pilot/Owner flown turbine aircraft.

The original Sport-Jet was integrated with the FADEC controlled FJ33-4A in a matter of weeks, a task Williams said would take as much as 2 months. In 25 test flights they hit most of the envelope including FL250, and cruising at 300 true on only 70%.

Why has it taken so long? Because Bob is largely spending his own money - money earned from his own previous success with careers at Hughes, TRW, and in high-tech printing/copying.

Is the Sport-Jet 610 or Sport-Jet II for everybody? Probably not, but they make a pretty good alternative for anyone concerned about the limited lifetime, the avionics, the repetitive inspection and replacement items, the possibility of Roel 2.0, or any of the other currently unsettled issues related to their EA-500 experience, as owner or depositor.

Thanks BTW for the questions and discussion so far, very helpful. Can't wait to get more owner reaction.

Beedriver said...

I am convinced that the Twin engine personal jet is a viable but not giant niche market.

I spent 25 years finding the niche markets in the laser business and thus I had to by necessity learn how to find the markets my company could be successful in. At the same time 95% of the other people in my market that started a new entrepreneurial effort did not succeed and augered in. I was not always successful but on average we prospered. I had to develop the art of informed intuition to a fine art in order to predict what market we might be successful in given our resources and capabilities.

my informed intuition says that the personal twin engine jet market will be successful.

the real question is will the EA500 be successful given its history. My guess is that it will not. in many niches it is the third or forth group that is successful.

If the people that purchase the EA500 are smart and design an organization that will be profitable with 50 to 200 airplanes per year and they redesign it to be simple using as many standard parts as possible, I think they have a good chance.

However I see no way they can support AVIO on 100 units per year and keep it competitive with what avionics their competitors will offer. The EA500 will Be dead unless the new owners work very hard and fast to complete it with standard parts and standard off the shelf avionics.

TBMs_R_Us said...

If they sign on with Col. Press and the Pied Pieper, they will most assuredly get what they deserve - again.

The choice is pretty damn clear this time I think.


CW,

No, I don't think anything has changed that would make it seem obvious to avoid Press and RiP. The choice is the same as always, and it won't be to go with your plan, as rational as it is.

Think about it. If you get 20 of these guys together, they'd say to each other, hey, we've invested $30M in these aircraft. We need somebody very serious to take over Eclipse and keep moving forward, or we're screwed. (Of course, they are missing the part that they are already screwed, and that isn't going to be undone.)

So they are attracted like moths to a flame to a deal that promises to put serious money to work, as in $30M to $50M. Only in such a deal can there be any possibility of things working out for their investment in an EA-500. Your plan, in contrast, by not requiring such an investment, can't be taken seriously.

Now here's a weird idea: What makes anyone think that the Chinese would care about servicing the existing fleet? Perhaps all they care about is manufacturing aircraft for their own markets. For that, perhaps they would bid as much as $50M, competing with the Eclipse Jet guys. If they win (and they certainly have deeper pockets), they could simply walk away from the existing fleet and all of the headaches that go with. Were that to happen, then where would the owners be??? Up **** Creek (**** is for Gadfly)!

Dave said...

sell your plane for parts, be in the top half of the class, and sell the plane NOW.$500k is a good price, no joke.

I agree. I think that is best option. Better to get back $500K than to throw in $500K more. Anything else is a significant financial risk. If you think selling for $500K now is bad, just think how much more damage will be caused by Roel where you'd have to sell the aircraft for even less than that as Roel scares all the legitimate new customers away and chases out all the vendors from having anything to do with Eclipse. Roel buddying up (instead of being turned away) with the owners legal representatives in court should make Eclipse owners very afraid.

gadfly said...

airtaximan

The issues have nothing to do with being “polite” or “impolite” . . . but rather being heard and taken seriously. Anyone can be crude . . . ‘takes no talent at all, and is usually a “cover” for ignorance or stupidity. But in fairness to your own thoughts, to be “heard” and taken into consideration, it is important to speak to folks without insulting their ethics, morality, or intelligence. Assume the highest level of integrity of your intended listener, and you will be heard. And they will answer “in kind”.

‘Nough said for now!

gadfly

(You'll have to supply the answer to your direct question . . . but count me out . . . somehow, I've lost interest.)

bill e. goat said...

Shadow,
"Cessna just lost another SkyCatcher prototype today, so if an established company can lose two LSA prototypes to crashes, then why not a smaller outfit?"

Buzz is pilot is okay- presumably parachuted to safety- no details yet. Makes one wonder if it was the same guy both times (flat spin previously).

(Good point about testing- doing non-LSA cert testing with earlier the flat spin incident).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG, not same pilot, plane recovered with ballistic chute, some damage on landing. Pilot OK thankfully.

Bad luck on that program.

Eclipse said...

Serious question. Ideas will be appreciated. What has to happen in order for parts manufacturers to be able to sell parts to a new EAC? This query involves not parts for new production, but certificated aircraft in the field. There are maybe 2 or 3 PMA vendors and most other vendors do not want to spend a dime on PMA for their E500 inventory. As for the cannibalization I think someone already mentioned that you can't 8130-3 a part from another jet unless you can demonstrate the ability to test the part IAW the part manufacturers CMM. For something like an APC forget it.

eclipse_deep_throat said...

LOL ....the serious question is, can one have sex in an EA500? Well, assuming that it's just the pilot and ONE passenger... Hmmm. I suspect that one can't rely on the autopilot if the urge comes on for a quickie. But I suspect that only Johnny Travolta has tested the EA500 for 'mile high club' potential.

OK, I just don't understand how on earth a **helicopter** pilot could have pulled this off.

e.d.t.

From AVWeb:
March 14, 2009
Pilot's Certificate Revoked (Again), This Time For In-Cockpit Sex

By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor

David Keith Martz, 52, has appealed the revocation of his certificate, which he lost after a video surfaced that allegedly shows him having sex with a Swedish adult film actress while flying a helicopter over San Diego. The revocation marks the fifth time Martz' license has either been revoked or suspended, according to the Associated Press, which noted a prior infraction that the FAA deemed as reckless flying. In that 2006 case, "reckless" meant landing a helicopter on a Hollywood street to pick up a rock star and deliver him to a concert. Other incidents include flying too low over a residential neighborhood, landing too close to a military base, and flying with damage to his helicopter. A public hearing will be held in San Diego sometime within the next month. According to the L.A. Times, "it is unclear if the video will be shown."

The 2007 video that became public when it was posted online by a Hollywood gossip web site, last month. After reviewing the video, the FAA claims [it] shows the pilot was blocked from the helicopter's controls by the woman's body.

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/certificate_revoked_pilot_sex_video_199964-1.html

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