Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another offer on the table

This clearly reached me just before the 'Birthday Post' from Stan, so is a little delayed. Other bidders are active, but the 'note holders' who are currently seeking bids are frustrated at the lack of a proper, cash offer. So far those who've announced their intentions, including Phil Friedman, have been very shy about making a definitive approach. I'm told that will change shortly, with at least one bidder shaping up. The clock is approaching midnight however, with the very real possibility that the whole saga will end with a break up auction on the 'Courthouse steps'. This would be a very undesirable outcome, especially for the owners, since the TC would be 'orphaned' and expertise necessary to support the current fleet would scatter to the four winds.

I'm also concerned that the inbox (eclipsecriticng@gmail.com) continues to be peppered with news of 'challenges' for anyone interested in the assets or supporting the aircraft. I'll handle some of this with my 'Snippets' which I'll again remind you are lower grade 'water cooler' chat, rather than established fact. What I'm finding is that a considerable proportion of these 'bytes' of data actually turn out to be pretty accurate. That's why I share them with you, but please don't take any action unless you satisfy yourself, to your own 'standard of proof' before you put time or money at risk.

We have had a pretty miserable few days here in Ireland, with rain, followed by rain, and then some more rain. Hopefully the sun will make an appearance for the weekend and all our skies will be blue. With luck our world wide economic meltdown has reached the bottom and we can all start to make positive plans, instead of trying to manage downsizing.

Anyway, enough with my blathering. Herewith Phil's (revised) plan...

Shane



New Eclipse Acquisition LLC 
Open Letter to Eclipse Owners and Depositors 

April 10, 2009

Dear Eclipse Aircraft Owners and Depositors,

The purpose of this letter is to ensure that all parties understand my plan for bringing Eclipse out of bankruptcy. We have made significant revisions to our plan based on discussions with the Eclipse Owners Group steering committee (“EOG”). We understand you have several plans to choose from, so our intent with this communication is to make sure our plan is clearly articulated.

It now appears that all alternatives are “for profit” plans. To our knowledge ours is the only plan that states the prices which owners will be paying. We are able to provide pricing because we have done considerable due diligence, including input from the Eclipse employees who have actually done the work. It is stating the obvious, but owners and depositors should demand a side-by-side comparison of all the plans, including the prices you will be charged. There should be no after-the-fact “price surprises”.


Objectives

Our objectives have always been and continue to be as follows:
• Purchase Eclipse assets and intellectual property out of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
• Restore the brand with the objective of increasing the E500 resale price to $2.0 million.
• Upgrade the fleet to latest TC level over first 24 months.
• Resume production of new AC with upgraded avionics in the third fiscal year at 100 aircraft per annum with a price of $2.4 million.

Because this aircraft is so highly integrated, we believe ongoing production is needed to keep fleet support costs at a reasonable level per aircraft. Ongoing production will also result in a higher resale value for the aircraft and lower spares costs.

Details of our Plan
Key elements of the business plan are:
• Owners who invest at least $150,000 in New Eclipse will receive break-even pricing on their mods & upgrades.
Pricing for the key upgrades will be:
• Avio NG 1.5 + Garmin 400’s + FIKI $109,000
• Avio NG conversion (Avidyne to IS&S) $210,000

As discussed above, we did considerable due diligence on the costs to perform the mods & upgrades and believe them to be conservative. To protect the owners we are guaranteeing transparency on the mods & upgrades costs and will adjust our pricing up or down depending on the actual costs incurred versus our estimates.

• All mod work will be done by experienced ex-Eclipse personnel in the Albuquerque facilities. Over the next two years we will open 4-5 factory-owned service centers around the nation for ongoing service needs.
• Owners who do not invest in New Eclipse will pay a $100,000 per aircraft premium for their mods & upgrades.
• Depositors will also benefit from our plan. We will finish and sell the seven almost completed aircraft on the line for $1.765 million each. Depositors for these aircraft will be given priority to buy provided they invest an amount to be agreed upon. We also plan to finish and sell the next 12 aircraft on the line with depositors for these aircraft again being given first priority to buy provided they invest an amount to be agreed upon. We will use these profits and the mod profits from the non-investing owners to upgrade the aircraft avionics and reduce manufacturing costs for the restart of production in the third year.
• We will have an Aircraft Support Program (ASP) of $70,000 per year per aircraft for the first two years to cover the 60 engineering personnel we believe are necessary (a) to maintain the TC, (b) to support the fleet airworthiness, (c) to improve aircraft reliability, and (d) to support the mods & upgrades. The ASP price will decline to $25,000 per year in the third year when we restart production. All owners will have to be part of the ASP to receive support.
• Ongoing service will be provided at a 50% gross margin on a time and materials basis.
• The initial type rating will be priced at $14,000. Two day recurrent training will be $4,500.
• We will spend the next two years reducing the E500 manufacturing costs by working with the suppliers and reducing labor hours. We have studied the E500 production costs in the Eclipse data room and believe our cost targets are achievable. We have also had positive discussions with many of the key suppliers, including Pratt & Whitney Canada. These suppliers have agreed to work with us to support our effort to make future production of the aircraft profitable.
• We will not restart new production unless approved by the Board of Directors which will include at least one owner. Further, owner investors will have the option to sell their shares back to New Eclipse for $150,000 if they do not agree with the Board decision to restart production.
• We will place the aircraft IP in escrow to protect the Eclipse owners if the company fails prior to restarting production, subject to certain conditions including how much the owners actually invest.

Summary

In essence, our plan is a hybrid where we offer break-even pricing for the first two years as we bring the fleet up to the latest TC level. The plan then transitions to a “for profit” as we restart production.

We believe this hybrid plan is the best path forward for both owners and depositors. New Eclipse will consist of employees solely dedicated to the Eclipse program – their priorities will not be diffused by other products or programs. I have run aircraft manufacturing companies for 28 years and I assure you that New Eclipse will be run lean and efficiently.

Provided enough owners decide to support my plan, I am confident we will be able to raise the additional funds to purchase the Eclipse assets and IP and to provide our working capital needs. I have been contacted by many aircraft owners and outsiders that want to invest in a New Eclipse provided we have a plan to restart production and the support of the aircraft owners.

In summary, you are making a big decision on your aircraft and you deserve a side-by-side comparison of the plans, including hard data on the prices you will be charged and who will be running the organization. A decision should not be made on who puts out the best press release and there should be no after-the-fact surprises.

Regardless of which plan you choose to support, you need to do it quickly. We get daily reports of key engineers who have accepted jobs at other companies. Since this aircraft is highly integrated, it will be difficult to provide timely ongoing support if we lose these key people. Accordingly, time is of the essence.

Please feel free to contact me should you need additional information or have questions on our plan. If you believe my plan has merit, please contact the EOG to express your support for my plan.

Regards,

Phil Friedman CEO, New Eclipse Acquisition LLC
phil@harlowair.com
(702) 449-8312


217 comments:

1 – 200 of 217   Newer›   Newest»
Dave said...

The Harlow plan does sound somewhat better, though I still have many of the reservations against it that I had previously. I mainly say it sounds better because Harlow talked to the EOG without making a Verntastic claim that EOG was endorsing or financially supporting the Harlow bid.

airtaximan said...

I find myself saying to myself..

"I don't take any of this EAC thing seriously any more".

Imagine an aviation company where employees are afraid to report known life-threatening conditions on the planes

Why would anyone buy one of these things? To maybe save $200 per hour? MAYBE?

Vern was right about one thing...

"DIE HARD"
"die-hard also die·hard

One who stubbornly resists change or tenaciously adheres to a seemingly hopeless or outdated cause: rebel die-hards who refused to surrender.

-apparently, all the plans have funky economics, where the die hards refuse to surrender their ea50s, BUT will gladly surrender MORE cash upfront for some discount and promise for service down the road at some promised price.

Same old, same old...

I would rather see a plan like this:

Form a company to buy EAC assets and sell shares. Everyone is a shareholder and obtains ROI as is available.

Charge normal prices for service, upgrades, etc...and make a profit.

Anything else is a a veiled version of this plan, unless someone who is truly committed with their own funds, enters into this business based on their adoption of risk and their confidence in their experience... IMO.


Once again, my advice is, your plane is now worth as much as it ever will be, for parts. Sell it, and get a safe aircraft.

uglytruth said...

Should we start a list counting DOWN the number of flyable AC?

How many total were "produced"?

-1 Landing gear thru wing at landing. Never to be flown again?

Any others that are grounded because of parts shortage?

Seems to me this fleet will get smaller a lot faster than it is ever going to get bigger.

fred said...

yes , sounds a bit like heard previously ...

such an interesting business that no one come with his own money ...

and can be resumed by :

"owners already paid too much but that was only a beginning ! "

stan said...

I want to join Shane in thanking those who responded to the birthday post. It was especially gratifying to learn specifics as to how the blog made a difference.

As we go thru life, one likes to know that we do some good once in a while. T2's comment may get framed and hung on my wall (a closet wall maybe). But his response alone made my 20 month effort worthwhile.

I do need to make amends for one great oversight in the last post. Thus far, the blog has been regarded as the Shane and Stan show. Flightcenter has not received the recognition he deserves.

For well over a year, he tracked Eclipse orders and deliveries and posted them to a web site that was accessed thru the blog.

His site provided everyone with rock solid information as to the direction the company was taking.

Thank you flightcenter for your all your good work.

fred said...

Monsieur Stan :

since you want to go diving around September in Polynesia ...

i would advise you to consider a place worth lots of interests ...

Mayotte , one of the 10 double reef barrier in the world , a huge lagoon (about a thousand sq-kilometers ) i would say (from the end of lips) nicer diving and a lot less tourists than tahiti , bora-bora and moorea ...
(those places are better for the sight of locals beauties ! ;-) )

off-course , it is "a bit " further away for you (off the coast of Madagascar) but at that season you could very probably be swimming with whales if you like ...

it is a +/-10 hours flight from Paris , but really worth the time and once there , you can choose to some extra-length as to go Mauritius , South Africa , Madagascar or La Réunion ...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Bravo Phil.

A far more mature concept than that originally discussed.

I still think restarting production is a mistake, but this shows a good deal more thought.

A 60 head engineering need? That is an easy $9M/yr. Where does the other $6M go (200 x $75K/yr)?

50% Gross Margin?

Still, a much better plan than was previously proposed and a much more forthright approach and appeal to the EOG than the Press stunt.

I like the continuing development and maturation of plans - a good sign.

Dave said...

It looks like the Mann Summary Judgment hearing is next Tuesday.

stan said...

Fred,

Mayotte? Never heard of the place but will check it out. Diving with whales is on my list of things to do before I quit blowing bubbles.

Phil Friedman? Never heard of him either until his Eclipse epiphany. Though he lives in Las Vegas, he is the CEO of Harlow Aerostructures here in Wichita.

For those unfamiliar with the business, Harlow is just one of 25-30 local job shop companies that provide parts and small assemblies to Beech, Boeing, Cessna, Learjet, Spirit and to a lesser extent, Gulfstream, Sikorsky, Bell etc.

While this undistinguished company may be able to fabricate some components for the Eclipse, IMHO it is hardly positioned to become an OEM.

They might have a slight head start on a company starting from scratch, but the lead ain't much.

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

Monsieur Stan

if you want to have a look , you may have to seek for "Comoros archipelago "

mayotte is one of the islands ,which has decided by referendum to remain french (safer)

it is not really known as Mauritius is attracting the mass-tourists , but for authenticity of life and diving = it is one of the best i seen up to now ...
(nothing for showing-off , baron wouldn't like ... ;-) )

since it is not widely known , it is still quite cheap (you can rent a bungalow very close to the sea with all modern comfort for about 300/400 € per week)

the interesting bit is :
since it is french territory is rather safe ( as safe as wild-frenchs can be ...)

the lagoon is very safe

since it is a very wide lagoon , usually from August to October , you may swim with whales (they go there for giving birth)...something quite confidential , not the mass-tours i've seen in some other places ...

it is very close to Africa , just off the coast of Tanzania and Mozambique ...

very close to Madagascar (which is NOT of African culture )

you can go there from Paris , since La Réunion and mayotte are French = flights are subsided !!

Shane Price said...

Snippet TimeSub-titled 'The inbox is really humming today'1. Seems there are 'depositor' issues with other 'tiny jet' programs. I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who's in one, and is trying to get out.

2. There would appear to be fractures in a number of the 'groups' who are trying to put together a bid for the assets. I'm told that money is at the root of all these problems. I'm shocked to hear this (not) and expect that actual, live, cash bids can now be numbered in the single digit range.

As in, the numeral '1'....

3. A follow up comment on our discussion about loose parts in the FPJ:-

This is something even the kool aid drinkers should come to grips with.

DayJet never intended to keep any of their planes longer than 5 years. Right out of the box, the FPJ was a throw away.

To a certain extent, any aircraft wing will flex all day long for years. Loose mountings are a far more dangerous can of worms.
Hmmm...

A 'throw away' aircraft. More or less what our very own Ryanair are doing with those 737-800's they bought for $25 million each just after 9/11. Keep them for 5 years and flog them off for more than they paid for them. I wonder if DayJet (and some of the owners) had the same idea?

Shane

RAD3 said...

To me the key statement in this plan is (paraphrasing) "If enough owners will ante up at least $150K each we believe we can find the rest of the $$ to buy the Ecorpse." That seems like a pretty big IF to me.

And what about the $$ figures quoted for upgrades,ASP and training? the plan admits that those numbers are not anywhere close to being set in stone. In fact they are educated guesses based on preliminary "talks" with suppliers.

Like ATman this seems to me just another chapter in the "give-us- a-bunch-of-$$$-upfront-and-MAYBE- you'll-get-something Eclipse story.

I guess the owners don't have much choice if want to continue flying these planes but talk about a $$ pit!

If I understand this plan correctly and you own a pre-NG plane and decide to go with this plan it's gonna be an expenive next 12 months.

>$150,000 "investment"
>$210,000 for Avio NG w/G400s + FIKI
> $70,000 for yearly maintance (does that include any parts and labor? )
> $4,500 for recurrent training

>$434,500 total(minimum)

Nice to know that a NG owner will only have to shell out $333,500!

Ray

airtaximan said...

shane, while I do not agree Dayjet is any indication of a sane business plan, it appears as if the house of cards was built on a single premise:

You could finance the ea50s... in the end, your discounted early-adopters price would have some built in equity so you could probably make a profit selling them in the future, or right out of the box, and fleet customers who obtained discounts did so mostly in order to get finance companies to "think" there's some built in equity as well.

All of this was "colored" by the claim there were almost 3,000 orders on the books. Dayjet only admitted to around 300 orders, becasue the "demand" side was a necessary "card" in the "house" - a cornerstone, in fact - so that unsuspecting finance companies would believe their investment was secure... afterall there was a flourishing market for the flytraptions...right?

Unfortunately, this was just a lie.

Also, there was risk in the business model of the biggest client, and there was obvious risk in the nature of the neophyte manufacturer who either knew little or did not care to deliver a well made, completed, safe machine.

Ooops!

airsafetyman said...

Hummmm. No mention of the Roelster or Col Mike?

More to the point, have any of these people ever manufactured an airplane? Have they ever managed an FBO? Have they ever managed a FAA-approved repair facility? How to they plan on going from holding a TC to legally performing modification work on existing airplanes or of manufacturing new ones? This whole thing reeks of a Nigerian e-mail scam part two, where the mark is promised to be made whole if only he coughs up more $$$. Remember these people are the ones trying to stop the component manufacturers from getting FAA PMA approval for their parts so they could be made available to owners outside Eclipse channels. That's all you need to know about Scam II.

airtaximan said...

CW,

"I like the continuing development and maturation of plans - a good sign."

No joke, at first glance I read it as "masterbation"

airtaximan said...

shane,

one issue with the deposit programs, is once the money is out of escrow, there is no practical way for many depositors to recoup based on a refund event. Imagine a seriosu refund event, where many depositors ask for their money back - there is no escrow, and chances are the money is not all there - its been used.

This is why, any company asking for money out of escrow, should be very suspect. The only use I would allow for my deposit would be to buy parts and build my plane.

If the company needs my money to fund development, there's almost no chance I'll get a plane... it just means some other depositor will be fincning my plane... eventually, the ponzi comes to a halt.

Sound familiar...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, ASM,

Yes and yes.

There is still an appalling lack of real airplane people and real airplane experience in all but one plan.

Reality is beginning to insert itself with some owners (if I could only tell you about the conversations I have been having) - the question is is it too little too late?

I expect big developments in the next week or two, should be an interesting ride.

ATM, I was trying to be nice (I know, who am I and what have I done with the real CWMoR).

I do see some improvement in Phil's plan, but like all the other plans, it appears to overestimate what the buyer of the IP gets, and underestimates what it will take to make something out of that.

And yet, he claims a need for 60 engineers. 60. That is 3 to 4 times the staffing I believe to be needed for basic support - maybe Reed (if he is still part of this plan) has some very damning info about the true state of incompleteness - but 60 engineers is crazy.

I now believe that much of what appeared to be design issues are in fact quality escapes - not to diminish them, but there is a difference between fixing quality issues vs. design issues - especially if you believe, as I do, that owning the IP is not necessary for adequate support.

In response to all the new press releases and announcements, I want to announce that my office, if selected to provide service and support to the owners community, will be a replica of the original Starship Enterprise Bridge.

Just kidding, but I will have some of that cool furniture frtom MotoArt.

airtaximan said...

OK, so you HAVE been in touch with MOTOart... at least you are listening...

I am ttold they need scrap planes/parts for children's furniture - EA50's would be just perfect!

best of luck

Kathy said...

Which of these "groups" will be the first to come clean and acknowledge the specific costs associated with a windshield redesign. EA500 FIKI is a myth. SN 200 is FIKI and guess what, experimental cert. SN 266 will have the same fate as will SN 131.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The current FIKI design requires an ablative anti-static coating that requires repetive application and has a limited life - I have heard that it may be damaging the transparencies as well.

It is supposed to be applied in a vaccuum which means proper application would favor removal of the windshields.

It is at best a band-aid approach - Kathy is right, the need appears to be for a new windshield design.

Orville said...

I know nothing about aircraft design - but how do you mess up the design of a windshield? Something airplanes have had for years. Would almost seem like an 'off-the-shelf' item.

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

It is supposed to be applied in a vaccuum which means proper application would favor removal of the windshields.Yes, I suppose that would favor removal.

What if we figured out a way to place an entire FPJ between Dr. Meyer's ears? Wouldn't that suffice as well?

DI

Dave said...

ETIRC IS BANKRUPT!

Peter Reed said...

Folks,

Phil Friedman is traveling and has asked me to comment/clarify on your postings thus far concerning his proposal. Answers/clairifications in no particular order are:

- Our prices for the first two years have been set to achieve a P&L break even assuming all Eclipse owners decide to invest in New Eclipse. We have provided pro forma financials to the owners group proving the prices are break even. If an owner chooses not to invest, they will pay a $100,000 premium on their mods & upgrades and we will use those profits to upgrade the aircraft avionics and to reduce the manufacturing costs for when we go back into production in 2011.

- With the exception of mods & upgrades, all other prices (pilot training, ASP, etc) quoted in the proposal are firm. We have committed to a 50% gross margin for ongoing service which would be a 100% markup on parts and labor.

- Because our mod & upgrade costs are estimates, we agreed to give the owner group full transparency and audit rights on the actual costs to perform the mods & upgrades and will adjust the pricing up or down based on actual costs versus our estimates. We believe our estimates are conservative, so hopefully the mod & upgrade prices will decrease.

- The Aircraft Support Program assumes 60 people are needed in engineering for the next two years to (a) maintain the TC, (b) support the fleet airworthiness, (c) improve the aircraft reliability, and (d) support the mods & upgrades. The estimate of 60 people was based on our discussions with key engineering personnel. If we can do it with less, we certainly will do so. However, significant work remains for the following items – completion of fatigue testing, FIKI testing to resolve window coating problems, release of bias ply tires, auto pilot fixes, air conditioning improvement, CAS messaging errors, qualification of actuators from a new supplier, etc. Many of these issues will require flight testing which is labor intensive. Avio software and the integrated test lab alone are 10+ people in the headcount. As many have pointed out, this is a new airplane and as with all new designs we expect to find additional teething problems that have to be resolved. Also, the owners group independently has estimated the engineering headcount at 50 people. ColdWet states he could do all of the above for 15-20 people. Maybe he would use hordes of contract engineers, but in my experience contractor costs are about double a full time person. In addition, the engineers have told us they will help out on the mods & upgrades if their particular specialty has lull periods.

- Please note the $150,000 is an investment where the investor will have ownership in the long term results of the company. An Eclipse owner is not required to invest, but will have to pay higher mod & upgrade prices (see above) if they do not. The owners group had this same concept in the White Paper co-op plan.

- Phil Friedman will be the CEO of New Eclipse and Harlow and New Eclipse will operate as totally independent entities. Any business dealings between the two companies will have to be reviewed and approved by the New Eclipse Board of Directors to ensure all transactions are arms length.

- Contrary to other plans New Eclipse will not be starting from scratch. Brian Cook and Robert Lude have agreed to rejoin New Eclipse and run the MRO programs if we are successful in our bid efforts. Brian and Robert were the individuals who wrote the Part 145 procedures and gained approval of same from the FAA. Between them they have over 40 years of MRO experience. We will also be re-employing the top A&P technicians who know the aircraft intimately.

- As an aside, Phil and I met with approximately 40 key people right after the Chapter 7 filing to tell them about our plan. Of particular note is that many of these key people have said in no uncertain terms that they would never rejoin Eclipse if Roel Pieper was involved.

- As noted in our proposal, we believe new aircraft production commencing in 2011 is essential for minimizing ongoing support costs for the owner group (the ASP reduces from $70,000 per year to $25,000 when new production commences). Ongoing production will also result in more reasonable spares costs.

- As I bleieve the Blog knows, the owners group is working on a deal with Hawker Beech for ongoing engineering support, mods & upgrades, and ongoing service. HBC just released their first quarter results which were not encouraging. The company had an operational loss of $86M including interest, operationally went through $171M of cash, and ended the quarter with only $72M of cash on hand. We believe this is not a good environment to negotiate a low margin deal for the Eclipse owners.

As some bloggers have pointed out, costs and pricing can be shuffled around to give the right “marketing spin” on a proposal. Phil and I strongly believe that we need to have an open and transparent discussion on our plan with the owners. While some may argue that we have too many engineers, for example, we have proven to the owners that our prices are truly break even over the first two years.

Until the other candidate bidders put all their prices on the table for a side-by-side comparison, we don’t believe the owners will have a valid way to judge one plan versus the others.

Regards,
Peter Reed for Phil Friedman

Dave said...

Until the other candidate bidders put all their prices on the table for a side-by-side comparison, we don’t believe the owners will have a valid way to judge one plan versus the others.I give Harlow credit for transparency and a willingness to alter the plan.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Peter,

Thanks for remaining a good sport and participant here, says a lot.

We'll just have to agree to disagree about the correct use of contractors and about team size - I think it has a lot to do with the state of the plan when given to the contractors - in other words, give a shopper an incomplete plan or a poorly defined task, and he will thank you and cost a lot - OTOH, prepare a clear and well defined SOW, and keep the right metrics, and you will likely get what you paid for.

I like your laundry list BTW, but think you might have missed a few items, my guess is the difference between what you and Phil expect to do, and what I would expect to do, has a lot to do with prioritization and identifying activities that are prerequisites for others - the rest is likely the intent for doing all the work through one or several shops and under one or more 145 certificates, etc.

Again, thanks for being a good sport.

Shane Price said...

ASman,

Hummmm. No mention of the Roelster or Col Mike?I'm confident Mike Press is still interested in Eclipse. After all, he's pretty much the only individual who's made serious money out of the company, so far. Last time I checked, he'd sold 100+ positions or indeed, actual aircraft.

Roel Peiper, however, is what I've always said he was.

A busted flush.

Maybe, just maybe, he's hiding behind a bankruptcy 'curtain' to avoid Al Mann's summary judgement (which is almost certain to be granted) for his failure to pay the DIP monies.

So, when I talk about a 'fractured' group in my snippet, I know what I'm talking about...

Now, did I mention another bidder, one who might, just might, put some cash on the table?

You never know, your favorite Irish 'tiny jet' blogger could turn out to be correct.

Again.

Shane

Shane Price said...

Railways make sense?

Say it ain't so...

Your Vice President made a point of using the train to travel to the Senate on a daily basis, and went so far as including staff from his regular route when Barrack Obama made that symbolic trip to Washington (by train..) in January.

Now, the 'leader of the free world' (a.k.a President of the U.S.) says something I've been preaching here for years:-

"My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America. We must start developing clean, energy-efficient transportation that will define our regions for centuries to come"

OK, let me work over this whole 'air taxi' idea again. People don't like crowded airports and cars are too slow and inefficient, so we need a tiny jet.

Or, you could look at what we do here in Europe and just build a fast train. Not just a '150 mph' slowcoach, but a proper TGV.

Now we're talking about Change, in America...

Yes, you can!

Honestly, the fastest way to move around a densely populated area, in a 150 to 450 mile range, is by train.

It's just a pity The Die Hards never looked at the real world before signing up to the dream which Wedge sold them.

Shane

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

yeah shane, you say that now AFTER many years and Obama says he wants to spend more of our taxpayers money on a train. real slick.

bill e. goat said...

Shane,

You've touched a nerve on my public policy agenda. I too am a big advocate of rail. (And, an even bigger advocate against suburban sprawl).

"spend more of our taxpayers money on a train. real slick"Actually, I think it really IS pretty slick. Um, instead of- spending more of our taxpayers money

on subsidized highways for trucks.
Or subsidized airports for airlines.
Or subsidized subways for cities.
Or subsidized petroleum prices for cars.

EVERYTHING in the US is subsidized- that's why we have a huge national debt. To pretend otherwise is to ignore the "total cost" calculation. (Much like we have ignored the national debt for the last 8 years).

The most efficient mode of transportation IS rail- high speed rail for long trips, trolley networks for local trips. The US had a great rail and trolley system in the 1930's- it's astounding to fly around and see all the abandoned rail lines, and I remember before the trolley lines were paved over. Sigh.

I went through my car craze years ago- now, they are appliances. And I shake my head when I see the latest grotesque monstrosities of freeway spaghetti bowl interchanges.

The US highway system IS wasteful, in terms of resources exploited and consumed, and local roadways have led to urban sprawl and congestion.

The "solution" to a crowded 3-lane highway, is to build a 4-lane highway, which is obsolete by the time it opens, and a 5-lane highway is launched.

The solution isn't to build MORE lanes- it's to close lanes, and use the width for light rail and urban street cars. Getting stuck on a two lane freeway, while three lanes of light rail go whizzing by in both directions, will change minds- a lot faster than ever more lanes will.

But the "me" generation mentality, the mythology of infinite resources, the cult of denial, the religion of irresponsibility, the fashionability of willfully ignorance (no, actually even worse- of being willfully misinformed), have all combined (with oil money and real estate development influence buying), to perpetuate the absurdity of driving a 4WD, 3 ton SUV, on perfectly flat paved roads, to an over-sized house in a distant suburb.

After all, we'll never run out of more land to exploit, or more highway lanes, or more oil, or more clean air, or more clean water.

More.
I think that's the motto.
Almost as catchy as-
"Drill Baby Drill".

bill e. goat said...

Extra credit problem-
Does anyone know how "Interurban" street in Seattle gets it's name.
Seattle-Everett Interurban(Something to think about when you're stuck in traffic on I-5).

bill e. goat said...

And I'm not just dinging Repub's on the idiocy of "Drill Baby Drill"- it's everybody, Dems and Repubs and Independents.
The solution to "not enough" is not more exploitation (natural resources)- it's using what we have more wisely.

So maybe I am a "MORE" advocate after all.
-More is Less, and
-Less is More.

More or less.
.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Trains? We don't need no stinking trains...

airtaximan said...

2 things:

"Honestly, the fastest way to move around a densely populated area, in a 150 to 450 mile range, is by train"

not so, its by plane... the right plane, with the right number of seats, and in the US, the infrastructure is already there...you would save undred of billions in rail costs, or billions, just using the right plane - no joke. BTW, it ain't no VLJ... no way... no more than it would be a 4 place train... get it?

- lastsly, for tonight, POGO is officially dead... yu'll read about it soon...

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
"Trains?"They don't call me an "engineer" for nothing!!
.)

(Of course, I get called a lot of other things too, for equally good reasons, I suppose. :)

airtaximan said...

I still ask myself, WTF is Peter Reed doing still involved with this mess?

The whole report on HBC's financial performance, really makes EAC (mostly under his financial steardship) look like a financial toxic waste dump compared to HBC's incineration of some petty cash.

Seems like more Vernacular, poiting fingers at the industry, while your own track record would lead ANY SANE person to place fingers in their ears...

Sorry, still do not really get why you left to retire and travel with the wife, only to return and continue claiming stuff like this plane needs to get back into production, using OPM.

More OPM...actually, MORE OPM from the same guys as before, to a large extent.

I am feeling the image of a guy who went on a fishing trip, hooked a big one, and is still trying to reel it in, so he can finally skin it and eat it.

airtaximan said...

OK, I changed my thinking...

its now OK by me for these guys to try to use the owner's money...

BUT, I think they should at least put up HALF of their own money.

Reed and Friedman... how much you going to ante up to show you believe in your own plan?

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
"Honestly, the fastest way to move around a densely populated area, in a 150 to 450 mile range, is by train"Well, that's a close call- in the US it definitely is, because we don't have a rail system that's worth a hoot, so it's hard to compare.

But, I figure, 30 minutes to drive to the airport. Arriving 45 minutes before takeoff. Waiting for 45 minutes to get my bags. Then 45 minutes to get a rental car. Plus, an hour flight- if there are no delays. That's 3:45, or probably 4 hours. Or knock off the trip to the airport (similarly to knocking off a trip to the train station), and it's about a 3 hour trip. Knock off the wait for the rental car 9similarly, to knocking off the wait for a connecting trolley at the destination), and it's a 2.5 hour trip.

For a 150 mile trip, the train wins.
For a 450 mile trip, the plane wins.

But the fuel to operate the train is less. And the utility of the train is higher- it can stop ANYWHERE along it's path to pick up passengers, with minimal infrastructure- not so for building airports every 5-10 miles. (Think how long THAT flight would take !! :)
------------------------------------

Trains, Planes, and Automobilescheck out the
Efficiency (pax mi/gal)
Pollution (oz/pax-mile)
Gov Subsidies ($B)

(The airplane is quicker in this case- but the train only averages 90 mph (although it peaks briefly at 150, not the 150+ average that Shane mentions- which would make the times about equal).

bill e. goat said...

Well, thanks to Peter Reed for stopping by.

I reckon he might have a sense of trying to put the train back on the tracks.

.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Trains do not work for our combination of affluence and geography - hence the lack of an effective rail system, even given the undeniable importance of rail during the growth of our nation.

I have travelled by train in Europe, and it struck me as very similar to how we use planes here, because the distances are so much shorter.

Is a TGV cool, sure, but a 7XX is cooler.

The train thing is yet another example of El Presidente trying to completely reshape the culture of America, moving away from the individual and more into the proletariat to transform us into the kind of social-democracy that Europe is slowly rejecting as unaffordable.

IMNSHO

bill e. goat said...

(Although, I agree with ATM about comparing EAC to HBC- makes HBC look pretty fiscally responsibly, comparatively speaking !! :)

I think most of the interest losses references were simply holdovers from Onyx purchasing HBC from Raytheon a couple of years ago.

Regarding OPM, well, I have to say- if a "buyout" company can't put together $50M without the aircraft owner's participation, it probably can't raise the capital to make it work for very long.

Long enough to be bought out in two years? That sounds like Wedge-think for IPO. Probably more realistic though. Where would that leave the "aircraft owners/EAC2.0 investor club" ?

Sounds a bit speculative and risky to me.

But maybe not as risky as doing nothing, and having EAC turned into the WedgeWorld Miniature Golf Indoor Emporium/FSW Wheelbarrow Outlet Mall though.

bill e. goat said...

Something to consider-
Railroads in the US are taxed for the miles of infrastructure they built and maintain.

Whereas highways are built with taxpayer subsidies.

I too would rather travel by highway or airliner- as long as I'm getting a subsidized ticket.

The question is, how long can the nation afford to subsidize inefficiency.

There is not an infinite supply of oil- inefficiency means we will have to fight more wars for oil. How much do we want to spend on "defense" (offense, really).

The earth does not provide an infinite CO2 sink- climate catastrophe is accelerated with inefficiency modes of transportation. How much drought and increase in food prices will we pay for. (Offensive wars for water in 30 years?)

How many more thousands of square miles are we going to pave over every year for more highways?

That's the "total cost" I'm talking about.

baron95 said...

Shane said... Or, you could look at what we do here in Europe and just build a fast train. Yep. It can work in the US. All you have to do is copy Europe.

First - Triple the cost of gasoline by insane fuel taxes.

Second - Tax the heck out of cars based on engine size, so that most people are forced to drive midget underpowered cars.

Third - Shrink all streets and most roads to make it unbearable to drive a car.

Fourth - Institute congestion stickers and alternate driving days like London and other cities.

Fifth - Bulldoze all the suburbs in America and force the population back into city centers.

Sixth - pass all the carbon tax, union/civil servant laws, etc to "manage" people's lives.

Seventh - Give monopoly to rail transportation along the lines of SGCF has in France.

Then build high-speed rail, and it will work beautifully.

It is quite simple, really.

baron95 said...

RP's resume according to the AOPA article....

http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2009/090416etirc.html

"Recently several of his investments failed. They include a magazine, Opinio; a Web site, Tradingcars.com (the domain is for sale); and the telecommunications company Stonehenge, which lost $87 million. Efforts to start a company to make GPS navigation units for cars called MyGuide that was intended to compete with TomTom have also failed.

When Pieper returned to The Netherlands in 1998, de Volkskrant reported, he joined the board of the huge electronics company Phillips. His career there ended when he told a press briefing that he was in charge, the “crown prince” at Phillips. The remark didn’t go over well with the CEO, Cor Boonstra. He left in 1999 for Belgium to become the vice chairman of the board of Lernhout & Hauspie, a speech-recognition company. He left when the company ran into trouble over bookkeeping errors."

Amazing!!!

fred said...

baron :

sometimes you're really funny , man !

it may be against your own wish , still quite funny ...
(BTW the french railways company is SNCF , not what you wrote ...)

OK ! Billy is right as much as Coldwet is ...

there is NO best solution on its own , more a "bunch" of acts which could be put together :

where most Oil is spent ?
A: in suburbs commuting , to work and back , eventually going to the supermarket ...

for what reason highways get congested ?
A:Because of those commuters , not because of "Underpowered Midget cars" (Think of it for a second : if you are in traffic-congestion = does it make any difference to be in a 2CV-citroen or in the most powerful Ferrari ? it sounds the same shit as the Internet-marketing which was claiming that more powerful computers would allow faster data transmission = not at all !! when the lines or highways are full = you're blocked !)

does it need to Bulldoze all suburbs ?
A: what for ? only take a tenth of space to build a efficient railway-system to allow those commuters (who are spending some 80% of oil consumed to go from A to B )

Can European examples be reproduced in USA ?
A: NOT at ALL ! a US railways system would be a wonderful thing to be on both ocean coasts (big conurbations , rather small distance of land actually populated with lots of peoples)
it could reduce pollution , noise , traffic-jam ...
and instead of using masses of cash to subsidize airports, airways ,governments agencies to develop for something doomed in any ways (rarefaction of oil !) it would be used to build something that will be there well after "end of oil dependency" investing in future , instead of simply ruining future for a $ more today ... what a change !!

but as for doing a nation-crossing or going from tampa to Vancouver : it makes no sens !!!

so yes , trains would be a wonderful opportunity for USA !
No , it won't fix all problems !!

a balanced approach of the problem would do a lot for finding your own solution ...

fred said...

i forgot :

Tax on oil : do not worry , it is going to happen so soon to you as well ...

don't you see that all the cash burned today will have to be repaid ?

sooner that you expect , and not at all by some next of kin who would have forgotten your very name since a long time before being asked to repay your foolishness ...

money has to come from somewhere : endless credit is coming to a halt , so be prepared to open your wallet ...

deficits are ALWAYS a promise of a government to squeeze its own population a bit more in order to repay ...

as Billy wrote : just a shame you were lead to believe it wouldn't make any difference if you doubled your overall-debts in the last few years ...

Shane Price said...

Maintenance SnippetThis from a newsletter circulated to owners from www.eclipse500service.com/ who are actually doing the work for those who need it. And I understand that 'a lot' of the aircraft need work.

What a surprise....

Anyway, a few points from their newsletter:-

1. The manufacturer of your fire suppression system has refused to return phone calls and written inquiries from our office. Phostrex is a proprietary technology owned by the Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate. Until the bankruptcy is resolved and the assets purchased, monitor your Phostrex carefully and be aware that leak or discharge of your system will cause your aircraft to be grounded until such time as we can renew our supply chain through the eventual owner of the intellectual property (IP).You better keep an eye on those 'cans of corrosion' that lurk in the bowels of the bird. Even a tiny leak can cause a lot of damage, if you don't catch it in time...

At this time Jeppesen is unwilling to provide current database updates to the existing NAV system. We are aware that some facilities are offering “current” database updates for your aircraft, we are concerned that it may not fit the legal requirements for flight above FL240 in accordance with DME rules if you are using synthetic (GPS based) DME functions. There are several viable options around this issue but please take extreme caution in choosing which install or upgrade you decide. There has been a huge influx of calls where several components have either shorted, malfunctioned, or simply no longer airworthy due to supply. We feel that the lack of attention to detail or understanding of the aircraft avionic systems can, and has, either delayed or grounded several Aircraft due to improper Eclipse Avionic Install procedures. Attention to detail is a must while most vendors are in a holding pattern and reserved at issuing parts until the Chapter 7 is complete, or they have a valid PMA. Keep in mind that we can troubleshoot failures associated with these Avionics Data Buses, and advise on the best course of action.So, if you don't source an 'illegal' update, you're stuck below FL240 and might as well fly a turboprop, but if you do the then you're buying into a world of pain.

Seems like you can't fly this thing legally at the FL's that make economic sense, but if you leave it unattended on the ground its own fire suppression system will eat the plane alive.

Dammed if you do, and dammed if you don't....

Shane

julius said...

Dave,

ETIRC bk RiP and his son Bart are hit.

Furthermore Favonius is in troubles:
Hij moest weg. Meer zegt ik er niet over, het ligt nogal gevoelig. Het is hier een mijnenveld’, zegt Els Marshall, ‘executive assistant’ bij Favonius
- de Volkskrant; Van onze verslaggever Michiel Haighton
gepubliceerd op 15 april 2009 19:51, bijgewerkt op 16 april 2009 11:02
"He must leave. I do not say more about him, that is sensitive. There is a minefield" (My poor translation!)
But I do not think that RiP has burnt all of his money.

But Col. P has lost an active partner...and some reputation because of his professional selection of partners!
Is he still in business?

Somehow Phil's proposal also supports CWMR's approach:
What happens (f. e.)if FIKI gets more expensive/time consuming than anticipated or the stress fatigue test reveals a need of major structural changes? Take the Pratts under your arms and go to Bob!?
Other bidders are warned that it might be a little bit more difficult to successfully transplate the operation out of U. S.

Julius

Shane Price said...

Baron,

Seventh - Give monopoly to rail transportation along the lines of SGCF has in France.
There is nothing wrong with a monopoly, as long as YOU control it.

For instance, the TAA works really well, and has improved the airport experience for everyone in America.

Heavy sarcasm in that last remark, but (from the TAA perspective) they are actually doing what they set out to. No more aircraft have taken out skyscrapers. And it's quite clear that you can't have multiple authorities responsible for airport/passenger scrutiny, which was one of the lessons so painfully learned on 9/11.

My point is that 'monopoly' is not a bad word, especially for public use infrastructure. Stuff with decades before anyone can see an RoI does not get done by private investment.

Remember that Charles Lindburg made his living flying for US Post, which was a key early driver for the growth of aviation.

NASA is another excellent example of long term goals achieved by collective effort. JFK aimed for the Moon, and less than 10 years later Neil Armstong was taking 'one giant leap for mankind'.

Nobody's been back to the Moon since. It's possible that those of us who were not even teenagers when the Eugene Cernan left will die of old age before another replaces him.

Would a monopoly have built the FPJ?

Probably not.

Does that make it right or wrong.

No.

It's a real case of horses for courses. When you need a large scale project which will disrupt thousands (or even millions) of people, for the greater good, you need centralized powers.

The trick is balancing the 'greater good' with the rights of individuals.

Shane

bill e. goat said...

ATM and Fred are right about long trips (1000+ miles- from a time and convenience stand point. From an efficiency and polution stand point, I still say rail is better. But, like everyone else, right now I'd fly).

CWMOR,
"because the distances are so much shorter.""moving away from the individual and more into the proletariat to transform us into the kind of social-democracy"I'd say it's a move away from the government subsidizing inefficiency, and promoting financial and environmental accountability to the taxpayer.

"given the undeniable importance of rail during the growth of our nation".(hey- I'm going to disagree even if you are agreeing with me!! :)
I thought about that a bit- and auto and trucks have helped develop remote areas a lot too- a tremendous amount, especially from 1945 on, when the US became a (radically) mobile society- with more mobility than rail can accomodate. I just think maybe we've reached the limits of sustainable expansion, and need to work on infrastructure improvement within the boundaries of established cities and neighborhoods.

Baron,
I agree with everything you said, except, I'd tax cars on HP and also weight, not engine displacement.

I especially agree with "Bulldoze all the suburbs in America", because where I live, I see single family houses going up on 5 acre lots out in the country- without sewer systems- so what's getting bulldozed right now is trees and woods, for grotesquely wasteful and environmentally destructive housing arrangements. In a world of infinite resources, that's okay- on a finite-sized planet earth, it is short sided self indulgence.

Goat,
You're an idiot- stop talking about cars and land use.

(Finally something we can all agree on !! :)

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Now that the Eclipse Ministry of Information and Propaganda is no longer operating, the rate at which the truth is leaking out of this asylum seems to be increasing.

Shows how the Wedge may have actually had two skills:

1/ Fingering other peoples wallets,
2/ Scaring his own team into silence rather than addressing problems.

I am supprised it has taken us this long to find out that the FIKI cert was a tied to a band-aid fix which they probably knew was a non-starter.

Flight Center, how about adding a new tab to the spreadsheet:
Vendors we know have bailedISS
Phostrex canister vender
Jeppesen
Hamson?

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

billy :
on a pollution stand-point , the best would be not to move at all ...
or with your horse(s) but i'm not sure that , taking in consideration the "too long" vacations in USA, it could be considered as Simply Practicaloff-course , planes will always pollute a lot more than electric trains ...

the problem is to choose the less less harmful manner !

with a "working speed" of some 250 MPH T.G.V. put a distant town (say a thousand miles away) at a mere 4 hours trip from hometown ...

if you take the time wasted in controls , numerous controls ... waiting lines , traffic jam on the way to airport , the fact that if you have enough to take planes on regular basis , you won't like living close to airport ...

all in all , 4 hours for a thousand miles is nearly as good as planes can do ...

the arguments presented here by baron are simply too funny for me ...

Yes ! SNCF (the real name of french railways thing , once again) sucks !

the system (T.G.V. or I.C.E. for germany ) is brilliant , the exploitation is at best , a waste (in france)...

mainly because democratically elected scumbags promised the moon to electors ...

does it make the system less good ?
no at all !

a bit the same that in the last few years , in USA , for the sake of Liberalism , the number of federal agencies has inflated of some XXX

the system can be good , the result can be a mess ...

it only depends on the way you look at it , and on the way you accept to be lied about ...

some 2000 years ago , romans thought whoever was not living under "pax romana" was barbarous ...

in the VX century , the world was divided between 2 small countries (Spain and Portugal) , one got lost because they couldn't afford all their colonies , the other because they found so much gold in their colonies that it made them bankrupt ...

closer to us , the British Empire ... the sun was always shining on it somewhere , until its population finally understood that they were just played one against an other ...

now , who's turn is it ?

times are changing , get ready or get lost ...

julius said...

fred,

on a pollution stand-point , the best would be not to move at all ...that's unfortunately true.

What makes me wonder is the fact that nobody is talking about video conferences/meetings.
One just goes into another room, switches off the mobiles etc.,the typical "helloes" are finished after two minutes, and one hour later one starts to sum up the results of the generally better prepared meeting in the own office.

Naturally, once and a while a personal contact is necessay!

fred, baron95 is a fan of the British railway system!

Infrastructure is always something like a monopoly - there aren't two highways side by side...
How much ROI is allowed for the infrastructure and the products/users that use the infrastructure...
or how do you prevent misuse of power - it's a long and difficult issue!

Julius

flyboymark said...

B.E.G.,
(Are you pulling an "Al Gore?) On your "green" liberal opinionated issues; careful where you tread.....Your Ercoupe is very fuel inefficient compared to a green car considering you just go out as a general rule just to bore wasteful holes in the sky. I think you should give it up for a glider launched with giant sling shot that you manually cock by hand winch. Better yet, lets build gliders like in the old Tarzan movie that Cheetah flew from fallen branches and cover the surfaces with animal skin from the animals that died on the forest floor. The perfect recycling scenario. We can all do "Flintstone takeoffs", jus' gotta deal with those short hops! ;)

...moving to the country on 5 acres pollutes, train vs. airplane, this is a blog about VLJ‘s. As an outsider, you guys need to get a life. That's why I've been scarce around here. I've been guilty of "off topic" but not to this degree...

OR...BEG and other possible "moles" here like you, ARE here jus' to further demigod the VLJ to suite your liberal agenda?

This is NOT a flame or personal attack, just an overwhelming trend of conversation has pushed me to this “external view”.

Shane Price said...

Julius,

British railway systemSorry, but this is the ULTIMATE oxymoron....

The Brussels to London TGV has to slow down once it gets to England, for gawds sake. And they still have this 'fantasy' of competing providers sharing the infrastructure.

Even here in little ol' Ireland we're still building a rail system, and reopening abandoned lines. It's being done by our state owned operator, at considerable expense, but it's supported by the vast majority of the population because it makes sense.

You guys think we're dangerous socialists, but most of us think George Bush was a 'big government', almost communist, dictator, who took powers that European politicians can only dream about.

The above is intended to illustrate that a lot depends on your point of view. Many people (almost 1,000 paid up orders) thought Wedge was a visionary who was certain to succeed. As recent history has clearly shown, the guys who take the risks tend to pay the penalty.

Lets all hope for something good from the EAC ashes.

Even if it does mean the jobs and technology gets exported to a 'monopoly' government which has a long term strategic view, and the cash to back itself.

Shane

fred said...

Gutten Tag , Julius ...

you wonder why most are not using video-conferencing ?

simple : look at it with the angle of social-status ...

the one who has nothing will never move away from his shit-hole ...

the one who can manage more or less to have months ending after the 20th of each month , will rarely move out of town ...

what about the one who is in London , one day , in New York , an other day and so on ?

where it starts to be soooo funny for me :

Airports are built on tax-payers money , tax-payers that won't be able to afford very often to travel by planes for their leisure ...

so it concerns not really a significant % of population ...

but the mass of tax-payers is asked to pay :

what the word for it , again ?

oh , yes : subsidized infrastructures !! ;-))

Beedriver said...

For public transportation there is a solution that will solve all city congestion and high density population transportation problems. It will cost, when done, about 1/3 to 1/5 of the total cost for the present automobile system.

it is called PRT Personalized Rapid Transit. PRT has been studied and proposed for over 30 years and is now reasonable to do it as we have the computer power to control it.

People choose their mode of transportation on what is the most effective at any given time considering cost and time spent. for example, in very busy cities they will take the subway even though it is not near as good for comfort sake and privacy as an automobile.

PRT is basically computer controlled individual cars that travel on guideways. basically you go to a station within a short walking distance of your home 100 to 200 meters or so, get in a car , insert your credit card and tell it your destination and it takes you there in your own personalized cabin at 40 to 60 mph. they can merge onto the guideway, form trains of cars with individual cars getting off or changing direction as needed, and not stop until they get to the destination. they are much faster than rail and much more convenient as the stops can be very close to each other. conventional rail has to have stops no closer than 1 mile and have a peak speed between stops of 100 mph or so in order to get an average speed of 30 or 40 mph. The cars are never parked for the day so one car can perhaps carry 10 people to work in one morning instead of one person such as with an automobile. you can even increase the capacity in commuting times by allowing cars (if you wish) to pick up a few other people along the way but in off peak times such as at night you will have your own car with no strangers allowed into it so it will be safe and private.

The biggest problem implementing PRT is that it requires the complete city to be done at once to be practical. a few lines in a city will not get it started.

all the tests and studies show that it is vastly less expensive to build a PRT system than the present system of roads and automobiles and will be as convenient and much faster when there is congestion than the present system of automobiles.

High speed trains will be the best solution for mid distance city to city transportation

We have to look at why people pick a given mode of transportation to determine what will work in the future.

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

you are perfectly right about oxymoron on B.R.

i remember (not too many years ago) arriving in London Waterloo station from dover ...

at the time , to get out of carriage , you had to lower manually the windshield from its wooden-frame door , stick your arm out by the window and use the handle from the outside ...

i remember asking to someone from B.R. " why is that so ?"

answer : " safety reason ! no one can claim i didn't know the door was going to open ..."

i was already a pain at that time ;-)

so i counter-answered to that guy " are you aware queen Victoria is already dead ?"

fred said...

Beedriver :


some test along those ways are experienced in few towns ...

not exactly as you mention , but by simply giving-up private property on cars ... ( yes , we are ugly communists ... ! ;-) )

you get enrolled to a system where you have the same than a credit card , once in the street , when you need to go from A to b , you take a parked car (best if electric)by showing your card in front of a reader and use it for the minutes you need , once you're done :you re-park it and show again your card ...

at end of month , you get billed for what you really spent !

it is supposed to be some 20 to 30 % cheaper than owning a car and you never have problems to park !

Dave said...

Pogo closes up shop.Ken Harness gets an award.

Shane Price said...

Fred,

Yes, I've noticed that sometimes about the English.

They still hark back to an era 'when the sun never set on the Empire'.

On the other hand, some of their stuff actually works. They make pretty good bowler hats still, and will build you a steam car, if you want one....

Shane

Beedriver said...

Fred re PRT
The systems that have group owned cars certainly help and in fact they usually allow the use of various types of cars including small pickups when needed. I have a cousin that lives in and uses a system like that in downtown Boston and it really is convenient.

The PRT systems are all proposed to use electric power from the guideway. however there are several proposals that would combine the guideway concept with an electric car you could have at home, drive to the guideway and then the computer would take over. after you got out of the car you could send it out on the guideway to park or be used by others and have it return to pick you up. however these concepts do not result in as great an efficiency and many times are not much less costly than conventional road/automobile manually driven system. however they will allow a much higher density of cars and reduce traffic tie ups.

the key to test this concept is to build a demonstration system in a small city with enough PRT infrastructure installed to make it at least as convenient to use as conventional automobiles.

airsafetyman said...

"British railway systemSorry, but this is the ULTIMATE oxymoron...."

And I always thought British AIRWAYS was the ultimate oxymoron!

airtaximan said...

on a rapid transit rail system for the US... BIG JOKE.

1- spend a few hundred $millions on environmental impact studies

2- buy enormous amounts of land -few $trillions

3- build tracks, stations, etc... tens more $billions

4- buy rail cars etc... few more $billions

What do you get? a fixed transit system between fixed points, on a schedule.

Alternatively, you can use the existing network of 1900 public and private airfields in the US, or even just some (2500 or so) of the longer GA airports of which there are a total of 5500 or so... and spend no money.

Use smaller prop craft for shorter trips (say 250 miles or less) light jets for trips of 250-600 iles or so... and larger jets for longer trips, and the airlines for longer trips say 1500 miles or longer, or for vacations where time is not really of the essence for many folks.

If the airway system is developed properly, multiple people can ride together on smaller planes, in a quasi-scheduled system... its importnat to be able to not fly when there is too little demand... the airlines do not have this ability once they establish a schedule.

Anyhow, a discussion of trains needs to include car trips to the station and to the desitnation and back, and wasted time waiting for a train. Finally, one (G_D forbid) train station bombing, and security screening will delay your trip on a train even more.

GA has the 21st century solution... the more people use it, the more affordable it will become... just watch

airsafetyman said...

"If the airway system is developed properly, multiple people can ride together on smaller planes, in a quasi-scheduled system..."

Er, cough, cough, I think this has been recently tried with less than outstanding results.

fred said...

sorry atm ...

Planes as a way of mass-transportation is already a dead-end ...!

off-course , it doesn't concern the Love-related part of activities (like smokers : whatever the price , they keep on smoking ...) and not the smaller and smaller fraction who will afford it ...

but as for NOW , it is a dead-end : Oil is cheap because of the lack of Booming-activity , it means as well : most won't take planes so easily as their earnings are suffering as well ...

when business will be back , first the masses of debts will have to be repaid Then if activities are booming enough :Oil will re-become expensive ...

OIL is a FINITE resource as in quantity exploitable ...
nothing to do about ...so to refuse to prepare an alternative MIGHT be problematic in near future ...!

train can run on lots of different fuel ... (so to say !)

Planes ? a bit more difficult !

so instead of spending tens of trillions on an economic system that may be doomed (for some others reasons ) it could be a good idea to create jobs to build "needed" (?!) infrastructures that will remain ... better than wasting it on gamblers on wall-street ...!

airtaximan said...

ASman,

make no mistake about it, the VLJ as a transprtaton solution is retarded.

yu need eats and range to compete where it counts, in flights longer than props.

Think SATSair for certain missions, Pilatus PC12 for longer missions, and real jets for longer missions.

The dynamics of jet/aircraft utilization are no different for larger versus smaller jets...

Airlines are affordable becasue the operate 3000-4000 hours per year and have many seats...

Once you have smaller planes selling by the seat, and operating accordingly 2000 hours a year lets say, it becomes very affordable, especially prop planes.

Wake up, think, do not just parrot "old speak"... planes ARE very cost effective all things considered...

baron95 said...

BEG Said...
Baron,
I agree with everything you said, except, I'd tax cars on HP and also weight, not engine displacement.
That is awesome. So the rich will be driving big cars and the poor will be driving tiny cars. And when the two collide, we know who will die.If your loved ones drive a subcompact, don't watch these videos.

On the 1,000 mile trip - please calculate how much land needs to be cleared and appropriated for a two-way railroad, how many bridges and level crossings, etc. All for a point to point connection. There is a reason why long distance railroads only exist in "command" societies.

baron95 said...

Shane said... And it's quite clear that you can't have multiple authorities responsible for airport/passenger scrutiny You can't be serious?!?

I'd take El Al private screening and security anytime. FYI, they always conduct their own screening and security regardless of what the local airports/governments do.

And so do US and British airlines on many foreign airports.

I can't think of ANY function that can't be done by private companies in a competitive environment, up to and including policing and fighting wars.

airtaximan said...

baron, keep going...

1- environmental impact studies
2- buy land
3- build rail roads/infrastructure
4- buy rail cars

BILLIONS for lame scheduled point to point "milk run" train travel

there's a reason airlines are charging $65 to get from here to there...when it makes sense... if everyone was flying more, it would be even cheaper...

There is no better wat to get affordable and efficiecnt mobility in the US...no way

Dave said...

NM SIC in the news again

julius said...

baron95,

I'd take El Al private screening and security anytime.
EL AL asked for much more time than the other airlines and misuses their customers as language trainers (Once I was three times interviewed - I was amused, the interviwer polite and irritated.). If every airline would misuse the same amount of time and space per pax the problem of air space congestion would be replaced by congestion in every airport.

A private company is profit oriented. It does not care about customers, environment, social impact... unless it has a direct, proven impact on the profit. A decision-maker will first look for the profit and then for the customer satisfaction. The profit is the best measurement for customer satisfaction.

A private company avoids any risks so Maggie couldn't sell Sellafied, Windscale or Thatcherfield (I think that's the "correct" name).

Black Water had a reputation as supplier of mercenaries but they failed in Iraq - they had no well trained staff/free lancers and had a lack of commitment concerning the outcome of their doing in public.
What about accountability in case of misconduct during a "private" war - AIG or the tax payers (or brush it under the carpet at any price?)?


Julius

airtaximan said...

Yes Julius, and the politicians and pblic servants are lilly white...

sorry for the sarcasm, but people are people, and the right incentives usually prove useful.

Carrots and sticks.. whether its public or private, makes only one difference...

Public figures make it seem like they are acting for another reason... while they fleece you.

At least companies are openly in it for a buck.

Personally, I take the companies, any day.

PSsst.. there are even do-gooder not-for-profit ompanies, and ya know what? some of them fly in private planes, and steal money, too. OOOooohhh.......

gadfly said...

Bad Gases . . . oh my! And I thought it was “lions, tigers, and bears”! (Apologies to Dorothy and Toto.)

Well, maybe the new motto can speak of stopping the production of CO2, and killing all the trees, etc. Somehow, all that seems an “oxymoron” . . . but I better leave that to the morons. (And speaking of “FIKI” weather, Albuquerque is presently not conducive to darkening skies, due to a man-made “Eclipse”. Now I’m thoroughly confused . . . a “green aircraft” . . . ‘better stop while I’m ahead . . .)

This morning, I had the privilege of another visit from one of the contributors to the blog. Among other things, we confirmed (again) that knowledgeable folk, with a normal “I.Q.” could easily discern, years ago, that the little bird would not . . . could not become a viable method of darkening the skies over the land. Rather than a review of the early indicators (few paid attention the first time . . . it would fall on deaf ears, again), let us say that a failure to learn from history will result in having to repeat “History 101" . . . or words to that effect.

It barely made it the first time (yeh, I know it’s “fun”, etc., etc., etc., and “nobody got hurt . . . real bad . . . except maybe scared like crazy a few times”), but as a viable aircraft, the number “7" has great significance . . . the final chapter.

Over the years, I’ve read some excellent books (this wasn’t one of them), but after “Chapter 7", and the words, “End, Fin, etc.”, and wading through the footnotes, and final comments about the “font”, and publisher, etc., I begin to think that the story has come to an end . . . especially when I turn over the final page (which is about an eighth of an inch thick), and see the surface of the table . . . I come to the conclusion that the story, itself, has come to a conclusion.

As a “submariner”, back when “knots” were the result of burning fossil fuels in big noisy diesel engines, that were being developed for diesel-electric trains, and the greatest dangers were something to do with chlorine gas (#1), hydrogen gas (#2), too little “O2" in combination with too much “CO2" . . . and, oh yeh, some Russian enemy “out there and up above”, I look at all this tempest in a teapot and am amazed at what has become important to the general populous.

“Hello! Anybody home?” . . . Guess not!

About a century ago, there was a lively discussion going on about the technical aspects of a greatly flawed aircraft . . . a few got the picture. Then, it boiled down to the basic corruption of the finances (and “financiers”) . . . and a few more got the picture. And some finally put the numbers together and saw the ethical picture . . . not many, but some.

There is so much that could be said . . . but to bring it back to reality . . . the subject was the “little jet” from Albuquerque.

gadfly

(But there remains a burning question: Why does it take so long to go from “Chapter 11" to “Chapter 7" . . . It seems that so much grief could have been avoided if folks could “count”, and do the simple math.)

(And, one more thing: ‘Sorry to burst the bubble of some, It ain’t a goin’ to fly, no way, no how, not ever!)

Shane Price said...

Something wrong with html tags? I can't seem to get a line break after using some of them.

I've noticed a few us having problems with this. Anyone know what's up?

Shane

julius said...

airtaximan,

Rattner & Obama naturally a politician wants to have some money.
I think Rattner is a R... and a private person... I think he has to explain why he wanted to support (I think that's the wrong
word) Obama.

Some years ago people said US was run like a big company, like GM (when GM was very powerful...).

Economies were going down and you could see the impact on the education system, culture related investments...
A problem might be that many of the employees are selected within a very short time and that they know that the "company" may become "bk" after 4 or 8 years. Therefore the employees will or must start looking for another job after 3 resp. 6 years ....
Sound like a research project or place where one can get the connections for the next - better - job!

That might be good for America...

In Germany - could be better ...but I prefer politicians and not people on a journey through.

Julius

airtaximan said...

anyone?

baron95 said...

Julius said...A private company is profit oriented. It does not care about customers You are right. Customers are irrelevant for profits.

That is why the service at the department of motor vehicles is sooooo much better and faster than at Mc Donalds. That is why everyone is so thrilled to go to the DMV and so sad to go to McDonalds.

Keep going Julius. If only the government could regulate how we all have sex, imagine... the joys, right.

michal said...

A private company is profit oriented. It does not care about customers, environment, And public companies care, right?
Then I suggest you make a trip to Kazakhstan or places in western Siberia and see what kind of environmental devastation some of those non-private companies were able to inflict. Got some more nonsense Julius so we could laugh even harder?

gadfly said...

OK . . . Here's the latest scoop!

I'm about to go out the door, and go home . . . in the midst of putting trash in the "Dumpster". There are clouds about 3,000 foot ceiling (at about 9,000 feet true . . . our shop is 5,460 feet) . . . there is light rain, etc., surface air temp about 45F. Lo and behold, what appears and sounds like an "E500" 'just came over the shop, turning to the Northwest, at about 8,000 feet, "true" (Any higher or darker, and he better be "IFR" . . . those clouds are rather thick). Time: 6:39PM, Mountain Daylight Time. You guys figure it out . . . I'm going home . . . it's been a long, long day!

gadfly

(That's about as rare a bird as a blue and white vertical striped double-breasted "Seersucker". At least it's in season. 'Along with "white shoes" and a "Panama" straw hat.)

airtaximan said...

sirry in advance Julius...

I keep thinking about Julius, from TWINS, the movie.

He's from some Islad, where his personal experience is very sheltered, mostly from books, and misses a lot of the point regarding the real world...

"you move too soon... you have broken the first rule of engagement...."

Anyhow, some really wild comments about private/public, IMO.

This plane is DEAD, and the business has been DOA...on arrival for years.

Get over it, sell your piece of crap ASAP, and feel better about flying a real plane, sooner as opposed to later.

And, Reed... well he's just another guy claiming production of this POS is a good idea to get the cost down...

...whatever.

Dave said...

Get over it, sell your piece of crap ASAP, and feel better about flying a real plane, sooner as opposed to later.I'm with Baron in that it would be better off selling the aircraft and putting the money into stocks instead.

baron95 said...

Dave, just a reminder that the S&P500 has had 6 (six) consecutive up weeks and no down week, since the market bottom has been called here on this very blog by someone ;)

Meanwhile, RP has gone bankrupt and Mann is not far behind.

This is not the time to be holding non-productive and depreciating assets - unless, of course, you are the Fed, in which case you'd be holding about $3,000,000,000,000 of those.

julius said...

michal,

And public companies care, right?
come on - did I ever say that being a public or state owned company automatically includes social, according to laws etc... behaviour?
I also read about the German Bundesbahn, some state owned banks, the accident in Köln, etc.... just to look out of my window!

Don't tell me something about communistic systems. The former DDR was a perfect example how to run a country in the wrong way - we (BRD) paid the swing!
And after the reunification lots of companies had to be privitized.
In spite of all problems it was the right way.

You know the TÜV - a private organisation for checking pressurized vessels, cars,...., the German Lloyd for ships?
Just two examples for good and important private organisations which affect somehow nearly everybody in Germany!

Julius

fred said...

British airlines on many foreign airports.

this is sooooo hilarious ... thanks baron , i am laughing my ass off !

do you remember that it is forbidden to carry more than a certain amount of liquid ?

do you remember where it comes from ?

reminder : In U.K. some times ago , they arrested 20 persons who was supposed to plan a bomb attack , using "liquid" explosives on a flight to USA ...

did you hear anything about those 20 guys ?

i suppose not ...

in fact , official inquiry found out that out of those 20 "bad guys" 19 (you read right ONE NINE) didn't even have a passport at the time they were alleged to commit this crime ...

did you ever try to get inboard international flight without a passport ?

the last one had to be released as well (he had a valid passport) because he was arrested on informations given by the Pakistani security services to their british colleagues ...

informations extorted under torture , which made the whole proceeding VOID (only a small detail ...)

that is to be put to the credit of U.K. justice court , they had pride in their system and enough balls to say NO !

result : the "thing" about liquid is still on (which is completely stupid ! if i am a terrorist and want to smuggle something inside a plane , i just get it from the "off-duties shops" where curiously enough , it is still perfectly allowed to buy wine , alcohol , etc ... i just need to have an accomplice in the shop to give me the "right bottle" !!)

with such security services ... who need enemy ??? ;-)

fred said...

unless, of course, you are the Fed, in which case you'd be holding about $3,000,000,000,000 of those.

this is as well quite funny ...

the Fed is a perfectly PRIVATE entity (only under supervision from congress !)

as usual in this type of cause :

Whatever is profit is to be kept , be distributed as bonus , etc...

where it starts to be funny : even if it supposed to be private , Deficits are transfered to public ...

so , in that case , the sum mentioned is ONLY the property of every and each US citizen !

especially when the US Treasury is printing Bonds which are to be bought by Money printed by the Fed's ...

it is so ridiculous , that it would probably be better to divide the total sum by the number of inhabitants ...

everybody would become multi-millionaire overnight !!! ;-)

fred said...

michal :

i think you forgot a few things :

Bikini islands for what is public ...

Union-Carbide for what is private !

fred said...

I'd take El Al private screening and security anytime.


sometimes , i do feel you would need to get some infos on topics you are barking about ... ;-))

El Al isn't a private firm (they would be bankrupt within the next minute ...!)

Private screening for El Al ?

i don't know where you got it is anything private !!!

in FACT = not at all !! i have been living in Israel for just long enough to be able to tell you :

El Al is a state funded company and El Al security-service are ALL members of state security ...

sorry .. or as they say there "Slékha " ;-)

julius said...

fred,

bonjour!


Bopahl, "Exon Valdez"Is it wrong to say that a private company is looking for profit and only caring for it's customers if it fits into the ROI? Who blames any companies for doing that?

DMV: The persons I met were polite, quick, and competent when notifying the change of my address and the license plate...Is that different in US?


Hopefully the fpj owner will find a competent and ROI-oriented partner:
- CWMR and Bob (my proposal)
- Peter and Phil (a big challenge to get AVIONG 1.5 + Garmins and FIKI ready).
The owners will not be lucky if their choice collapses!


Julius

airtaximan said...

Julius,

perhaps all the guys with plans should pool their resources and take EAC... I think the best shot will be to work on it together...ALL OF THEM, and using all their money will make the sad story last as long as possible, until it is officially buried.

Dave said...

With the demise of Eclipse Aviation, we’re getting questions about what will be there in 2009. EAA’s business development guru, Jeff Kaufman, said that Hawker Beechcraft will be taking over that area this year, with others sliding into their old position just west of AeroShell Square.EAA Facilities Manager

DentArthurDent said...

On the 1,000 mile trip - please calculate how much land needs to be cleared and appropriated for a two-way railroad, how many bridges and level crossings, etc. All for a point to point connection. There is a reason why long distance railroads only exist in "command" societies.
I am impressed at the level of ignorance and dogmatic non-thinking compressed into one paragraph. You asked for a calculation, yet had you done the calculation yourself you would know it would contradict your own point! Such arrogance.

First, the land required for a long distance two track railway is far less than that required for a long distance highway, even a highway of far lower capacity (i.e. anything under 10 lanes). Do you know of any countries with more than 1,000 mile highways? All command economies, yes?

Second, the land area required for even one airport can exceed that of a 1,000 mile railway. Suppose the railway right of way is 50 feet wide, then the land area required for 1,000 miles is... oh, let's just use metric, it's much easier. 1600 km, 15 m (0.015 km) = 24 square kilometres.

This is a similar area to that of many airports. e.g. JFK, according to the Port Authority's web site, is 4930 acres, which is about 20 square kilometres. Denver International is 140 square kilometres.

I assume, according to your world view, that such large parcels of land in the Land of the Free never required the power of expropriation to assemble. Yes, I'm sure I've never heard of that happening outside of "command societies".

Lastly, do you not know any of the history of your own country? Were the original railroads in the United States all built in a "command society"?

For what it's worth: it is possible to be a pilot and realize that high speed rail has undeniable advantages over short to medium distances. But rail service will never - well, probably never - be transoceanic!

Then again, VLJs generally can't cross great distances of open water either, unless you want to fill the fuselage with extra fuel tanks...

airtaximan said...

DAD,

nice post..

couple of issues... the massive airports you describe are few and far between... most airports in the US are pretty small... name the top 30 (70% of airline traffic involves these BTW) and it would appear that airports are really big... remember there are 5500 or so public use GA airports that are fairly small. About half can only accomodaye props or really small jets. The other half, would be used for longer trips.

I honestly believe high speed rail is a crazy option for almost all markets, compared with the alternatives.

Highways exist already, and really are connections between shorter distances one after another, spanning longer distances, so they serve short trips and longer trips. This is not practical for a train, except for the trains we already have, which enjoy limited use, and no profitability.

Prop planes linking 150-300 mile distances can work very economically, and the airport infrastructure is already there. In a shared ride scenario, using a decent size plane, operating 1000 or 2000 hrs per year, would cost less than $50 per seat. Maybe even less than $30...

Using jets for longer distances, imputing higher utilization and shared ride pricing (per-seat) results in similarly affordable service.

The planes and the airports are there...

Providing a rationale for a high speed rail system, operating point to point over a reasonable distance, would be very difficult, IMO. You'll need to justify $Billions and $billions, and there's no way to provide the connections to many markets like with 5500 airports already in use.

Just my opinion, AND, I do not really get the command society argument, either. I believe trains were popular as a method of transportation when cars and planes were not ubiquitous, or even invented/in practical use.

Like most newer technologies, given the chance to avoid the cost of the rail system and use planes... I think the planes win.

Sorta like the telecom argument for cell phones without landlines, in market where lines were not installed yet.

Just my thinking on this...

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

airtaximan,

obviously it would be better to pool the resouces and find out what the owners really want to do and are willing to pay for.

I think the owners must accept that it would take some time before they might get somehing for their money unless they change to an established OEM and/or forget their fpj.


Finally the fpj isn't yet tested for 20.000 hours and is there a market size which justifies these investments?

Julius

fred said...

Julius :

Brilliant !


i , also , wonder for some time if the unfortunate owners are still dreaming , still trying to find out how they get stuffed or if they are only trying to stop the cash-hemorrhage ???!!!

for sure , if they cannot make-up their minds as (mostly) a single body = they are lost !

now it is more a question with 2 alternatives : stop cash-bleeding now or only later ...

fred said...

ArthurDent :

brilliant post ...

i wonder why there is so many zealots of the plane-things ...?

i do believe that the answer lies in a mix of different solutions ...

rail for short to medium (up to a thousand miles)

planes for longer trip or ocean crossing ...

cars for countryside ! (where not a single of the 2 previous can be !)

i do believe as well that the all planes solution is a short sight plan !

sphealey said...

> The clock is approaching midnight
> however, with the very real
> possibility that the whole saga
> will end with a break up auction
> on the 'Courthouse steps'.

I noted the quotation marks. Interestingly, in our county such auctions are literally held on the steps of the courthouse (or in the entryway just inside the door when the weather it too cold or rainy).

sPh

DentArthurDent said...

airtaximan: I believe your opinions have been formed on the basis of what you see in the United States in certain locations, and on a number of fallacies. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but please do not try to impose your view of reality on the rest of the world.

Here's an example. Paris to Marseille is, according to what I can find on the web, 783 km (489 miles) and takes 3 hours by TGV. There are 17 trains per day (!) each way. Prior to the opening of the high speed line to Marseille, rail had 22% of the air-rail market Paris-Marseille. In 2006 the rail share was 69%.

That's over a roughly 500 mile trip. Over the shorter original Paris-Lyon line, the airlines simply gave up. The line has made a profit, including the cost of the original infrastructure. Some short-haul airline travel is actually by high speed rail (e.g. you buy a ticket from Lufthansa from Cologne, you check in at the train station at Cologne and take a train to/from Frankfurt for your flight). Do you think the airlines would provide this service if it was cheaper for them to do it by air?

You say that rail is expensive and you have to justify the billions spent - certainly, but why shouldn't the same apply to air? Air travel is hugely subsidized.

If you think JFK is a "huge" airport, then any airport with parallel runways and a cross runway is a "huge" airport. Sure, there are a number of single-runway airports that are much smaller, but... so what? I compared ONE airport against a thousand mile rail line.

Now, given the roughly 500 mile distance Paris-Marseille, how about the 382 mile distance San Francisco - Los Angeles? Population of Paris and Marseille: roughly 14 million. Population of San Francisco and Los Angeles: roughly 22 million. Please stop with the "United States is too spread out" argument. No one is suggesting we start with high speed rail from LA to New York!

Sorry, I don't mean to get the blog off on too much of a tangent, but the relevance here is that even a super-efficient jet cannot even come close to the efficiency of rail service. Once there is sufficient traffic to justify a high speed rail line, there is absolutely no point in trying to compete with it with airline service. Nor should it - the two complement each other nicely!

baron95 said...

Fred said...did you ever try to get inboard international flight without a passport ?

I do it all the time to Canada, Dominican Republic, etc.

Now go do some googling and find out how.

baron95 said...

How many airlines fly and compete on service on the Paris - Marseille route, even with the French government artificial limits -e.g. excluding Ryanair.

How many rail lines on the same route? ONE.

Need we say more?

By air, I can fly from multiple Paris regional airports. I can fly commercial, I can fly private, I can fly Biz Av, I can fly charter. I can also take my car and drive, door to door from a Paris suburb to a Marseille suburb with my family of 5 and a dog for much lower cost.

Don't take me wrong - I love high-speed rail, and have taken several TGV trips, and had a great experience. Paris to Geneva (when I was going city-center to city-center) was great.

But for a city-center averse, space-loving population like the US, it is not an answer except for some narrow applications like NYC-DC.

DentArthurDent said...

...and in case anyone missed the point wrt VLJs: they make no sense except as either a personal aircraft or as a niche air taxi service. The huge order book for Eclipse 500s was always a mirage.

I know, that's been said umpteen times in the past, but I just want to relate the relevance of high speed rail to this, and any future attempt to revive Eclipse: the picture is going to get worse for air transport, not better, as oil becomes increasingly difficult (read: expensive) to extract from the earth. Even the most efficient jets in the world are an order of magnitude less efficient. Data point: TGV Duplex Paris-Lyon (three intermediate stops) consumes 18 kWh/train-km. 18 kWh of electricity costs about $1.80. If you prefer miles: that's less than $3 per mile. That's for a train that has 545 seats. About half a cent per available seat-mile. And that particular Paris-Lyon TGV Duplex run averages an 80% load factor.

Take your favourite, most efficient aircraft, and calculate what the cost per available seat-mile is for fuel. I'll bet it's roughly an order of magnitude more. And that's at today's fuel prices.

(alright, one sample from an actual DHC-8-300 flight: 2457 pounds over 468 statute mile route, that's about 360 USgallons at a cost of say $3/USgallon = $1080, divide by 468 -> $2.30/mile. Divide by 50 seats: 4.6 cents per available seat-mile)

baron95 said...

Now, lets get back to the "non-subject" of Eclipse.

Shane, give us some news, or we'll be discussing the death penalty next.

airtaximan said...

DaD,
I am not trying to impose my view, I thought the discussion was about what would work best in the US.

1- there is no such train in the US, it needs to be built at tremendous cost.

2- there are 5500 GA airports in the US

3- there are many routes within the US that are served profitably by the airlines at ticket prices of $30... eample: Bangor, ME to Orlando Fl on April 24. if you would like a return trip during that week, its about $70 each way. There are many examples... shorter and longer distances, all over the US.

You seem to dismiss the FACT that the equipment and infrastructure is already there for air, and lacking for rail, in the US... and we are talking US, here.

Anyhow, I like the discussion very much, and you make some good points, but I still fail to see how an airborn solution would not be easier and cheaper to install in the US, as cost effective to use, faster, more flexible, and less intrusive to the environment overall... given that we already have the air infrastructure in place...

Europe already has trains, and it seems to work pretty well... very nice.

Just like many developing countries are not hard wiring their phone systems and going cellular right out of the box, I think the US could avoid the cost of rails, and have an airborn solution for mobility that is affordable and fast.

Could we use a few trains? perhaps.. why not.

Please refrain from refering to VLJs in this discussion as well, tis was a big joke... makes no sense in almost every market.

airtaximan said...

Baron, you know, funny thing about that death penalty....

we here in the US...


HAHHAHAH!

airtaximan said...

Julius,

YES, man!

It was a joke... no one is putting up their cash, except the owners... again.

It was a joke. It is practically impossible to fool yourself into thinking there an ROI in this BOS.

Even if you fleece the heck out of the owners, its a crappy business.

airtaximan said...

there are sealots as you put it, becasue the modern system will be airborn, IMO... and its a futuristic way to think.

yes there are markets for cars, trains, planes, props, jets, jumbo jets.

I maintain, for the most part, for the US, because the airports are already there, using an airborn solution that is flexible will win regarding speed and economics.

Call me a zealot... just refrain from insisting I think VLJs are appropriate for this solution - they, as DaD points out, and as I have said for years here, are competely inappropriate for this type of system, except for some very small markets.

DentArthurDent said...

airtaximan: I understand your analogy wrt just skipping over land lines, but I don't think the analogy really fits. A sensible transportation system involves planes and trains and automobiles. And, I would add, good quality public transportation.

I don't dispute that there are a heck of a lot of airports in the United States - a more dense network than in any other country in the world, in fact. That is the result of a lot of government spending in the past - exactly what you are objecting to here wrt high speed rail.

I don't dispute that airline travel makes sense over medium to long distances, or over water or other barrier (e.g. mountain range). I do not think that it makes sense to try to serve relatively short distances by air, however, for the reasons I have already outlined, plus the biggest bugbear of all that I haven't mentioned: ATC costs and limitations.

I believe that in the long run, the vast network of airports is not sustainable. If pleasure flyers had to pay the true cost of the infrastructure needed to support them... well, there would be very few pleasure flyers. And your suggestion of a mass transportation system using this vast network of airports... well, if it was economic, why wouldn't it already exist? Some small airports have a hard time attracting service - there has to be a reason for this, right?

(There are special considerations regarding flying that you have to admit as well: a significant portion of the population will never set foot in something smaller than a 737, maybe a CRJ, if they'll fly at all.)

I think the biggest difference in viewpoints between you and I rests on the assumption that rail is very expensive, whereas the alternatives are not. I pointed out that high speed rail, in some cases, is not only not expensive (in a relative sense), it is a money maker. That's extremely rare in the world of transportation.

In the long run air travel over short to medium distances simply cannot compete with a mode that has 1/10 the energy cost, lower capital costs for "vehicles", lower overall land requirements, and lower maintenance and crewing costs. Plus, you do not have to deal with the fear of flying, and you can get up and walk about, go to the bistro car, ...

The argument of "existing infrastructure" is to some degree moot, given the magnitude of costs we're talking about. It is not as if airports cost nothing to operate. They sometimes even need replacement. The construction cost of DIA was $4.822 billion - plus $159 million per year to operate and maintain. That alone would go a long way towards building one of the rail lines outlined. It could certainly be enough to raise the quality of track on some existing line to provide "medium-high-speed" of 125 mph or so.

Be careful in arguing that low airfares imply low cost. The only constant in the airline industry is that aircraft repainters make more money than airlines. :-) And even if you argue that airlines on the whole have been profitable over the long haul - there's plenty of evidence of cross-subsidization of routes. High density hub to hub routes may in some cases be loss leaders, covered by higher costs on "regional" routes.

Sorry about the VLJ references, I'll try to refrain from referring to Eclipse Aviation on this blog in future. :-)

(And I'll cool it for now. I am glad you have enjoyed the discussion, and I thank you for your replies, but I suspect some on the blog may not want any more discussion of high speed rail.)

airtaximan said...

fear of flying
fear of props
fear of cars
fear of horses...

I have heard a lot of this type of discussion.

I believe, props, smaller planes, etc.. are all OK for general transport.

I also think trains are OK in some instances.

But, I maintain that aircraft provides the fastest and most economical solution all hthings considered, when looking at the US.

Today, anyone can charter a small jet (not VLJ) and fly NY-Florida for $5500 - thats $900 per seat.
Whenever you wish to go... your on demand schedule. Your private plane. Small airport to small airport.

This is based on planes working only 400 hrs per year at most.

The airlines work 3000-4000 hrs per year.

Easy math is provide the same hrs as the airlines, and the cost for the trip is around $90 per seat.

Today.

Your question about if its so, why don't more people show up?

Well, its the $5000 cell phone. In the early days, cell phones were $5000, and no one used them except for morticians, brain surgeons and the like.

The future is here, my friend. There is movement in the direction of lower cost, higher utlization private jet service. Its not VLJ, but there are around 30 companies worldwide providing this sort of service, or planing on it.

Will there be higher speed trains between NY-Washington or on the West Cost between LA and San Fran? Sure.

Right now, there are people communting by single prop at a higher cost, faster speed, and they are the early adopters.

In Europe, this will not likely materialize, because of the infrustructure already in place for trains. So they will lag this new method... IMO.

Hey, Walmart has 50 jets they use for anyone in their company who can justify it... any level of emplyee...and upper mgnt does not monopolize the fleet.

Use jets to get to efficiency and lower cost - ask Walmart.

..in the US of course.

Later

julius said...

airtaximan,

It was a joke... no one is putting up their cash, except the owners... again.
that's the advantage of the blog!
You put some traps - nothing wrong!
(especially if I am not aware of them! and test them...).

Did our General ohhh Col. P utter something about his supporter RiP? RiP is TU as he wrote to Al Mann. His son is also involved in this process and Favonius Venture has subsidance slope.

What about the EOG (with Ron Lebel who left a nice trace on Kathy's links)? Does the EOG believe that it can win the auction and start the support (Jep db, FIKI and AVIO NG 1.5 with Garmins)?


Btw: No a joke: In a train there is much more space per seat than in a stylish VLJ (SUV according to wedge)!


Julius

P.S: I am not a mole of the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways)!

BricklinNG said...

Tunnels
Ultimate Answer for Transportation

The final, best, most economical answer for transportation between any two points on earth is a tunnel between the two points. A rail car going from one point to another through a tunnel would need no power at all. It would go downhill and accelerate by gravity for the first half of the trip, and then be braked to a stop by gravity and arrive at its destination. The time to travel between any two points on earth through a straight-line tunnel is 41 minutes. Do the ciphering with the acceleration of gravity and you will see this is true. A tunnel from New York to Boston, London, or straight through to Australia--travel time would be the same. Longer distance would simply mean more acceleration and a higher maximum speed.

Some associates and I are already at work on the first tunnels from New York, but we need help. You see, when you dig the tunnels you get a lot of dirt. We have found some takers for enormous quantities. The biggest is the state of Florida which will be adding three feet of fill over the entire state to protect against rising sea level from global warming and polar ice cap melting. Dubai is filling in a large part of the Persian Gulf to build 20 football stadiums with parking, concessions, hotels, etc. in order to relocate the NFL. They are also planning on building an 11,000 foot tall ski mountain and resort. These are great customers, but we don't want to ship the dirt until the tunnels are done--why pay to burn fuel and run a ship, train or trucks when in the end we can ship for no variable cost at all? So we need storage space.

We are entering into contracts with real estate owners large and small who may have places where we can store dirt. We can offer an attractive deal. Tell us how many tons you can hold in your yard, parking lot, vacation house etc. We will then come over and dump dirt in your yard. There is a cost to us to do this which we can recover only when we are in a position to redeliver the dirt to Florida, Dubai, etc.. So we will need to charge a dirt deposit fee of $10 per ton. Then when we redeliver the dirt, we will repay according to our contracts, but a minimum of $12.50. We have a few dirt destinations that we can deliver on almost immediately around New York (Long Island has decided to secede from NY and join Conneticut by filling in Long Island Sound) so the first people into the program may get their returns soon. Some depositors have had the dirt removed from their yards within weeks and gotten back 125% of their deposits.

Any blog members who want to participate can say so here and expect the dump trucks as soon as we get their deposits. If you are in LA, Chicago, or elsewhere, don't hesitate because we will be starting tunnels from those locations shortly.

former owner depositor said...

Investor who tried to save Eclipse is bankruptBy Alton K. Marsh

AOPA Online

The Dutch businessman who tried to save Eclipse and had great success in the 1990s leading technology firms such as Unix Systems Laboratories and Tandem Computer is himself in need of saving. The investment firm ETIRC (European Technology and Investment Research Center) established by Roel Pieper, former head of Eclipse Aviation, declared bankruptcy April 7.

EACXXX said...

I would like to know who is paying the security service and the payrolls of the folks that still show up at the headquarters in ABQ. What about the week that most EA employees didn't get paid for? Do I need to record plate numbers of vehicles at the headquarters?

fred said...

ATM :

i want to be clear : i didn't call in particular a zealot (i have too much respect for you in doing so ...)

i understand very well the point made D.a.D !

Planes should be kept for longer trip , that's for sure (i know that Baron is going to proclaim he can do it ! ;-) but i think that the train fast enough to go on water remain to be invented ...!)

for shorter length , i am sorry but the train cannot compete with planes ONLY if it is not done yet ...

so we should put ourselves in the not too distant future :

when Oil is going to be scarce , IF alternative are not ALREADY in place and organized = what would be THEN to enable mass-transportation ?
(i know , again , that Baron is going to brag about Oil prices NOW , but tomorrow ?? do you really believe Arabs , Russian or Venezuelan have any reason to be kind with you ?especially with a currency which has no other way than to be only a fraction of itself ...this is business !!as soon as economic activities will be back to booming : Oil price problem will be on , again !)

this is where we are in disagreement ...

on very short-term , in the situation of now , yes planes are cheaper than train ...

but what about tomorrow ?

more Wars for Oil ? or some other types of development ?

WhyTech said...

"Any blog members who want to participate can say so here and expect the dump trucks as soon as we get their deposits."

I'll take 10 lbs of dirt provided that it is EPA certified to be free of toxic waste.

It would seem that BT has some serious competition!

Beedriver said...

Trains are the most efficient way to move anything on land. they can also be run by electricity which is and will be the common form of high quality energy transport.

to run an airplane on electricity will take a long extension cord.

however there is work being done right now on using lasers to beam energy to a space elevator or to UAV's. www.spaceward.org/elevator2010-ts.html

Interestingly studies have shown that a UAV could be kept on station for months using a laser and the economics work out when compared to any conventionally fueled (jet A) alternatives. however the energy transmission rate required to keep a UAV aloft at 100 knots is minuscule compared to what is necessary to power a jet.

the point is that when oil gets expensive, what ever other energy source we use can easily be converted to electricity thus any transportation system in the future will need to use electricity as its primary energy source.

airtaximan said...

Man a lot of good points on the train thing... but the tunnel solution seems to be the most viable.

I am in it for the money, so, I found a use for the dirt. I need a lot of it...

I am planning a ski resort in South Florida.

Deep Blue said...

A few comments:

Without arms-length third party material capitalization (cash working capital; bank lines; long-term debt and vendor finance--not owner contributions as a proxy,) EAC simply cannot function and especially, the aircraft simply cannot be completed nor supported.

Moreover, if this were an ultra-lite; a single engine VFR sport plane; a trainer even, perhaps an "owner-group" could cobble something together in order to stabilize the extant fleet.

But: this is a twine-engine, jet powered, pressurized, high-performance aircraft operated in the flight levels at jet speeds, co-mingled with sophisticated jet aircraft in high-performance corridors and terminal areas. It is not a sport glider sailing around the hills of some remote area.

For these reasons alone, it must be held to a higher standard of recovery in BK and a much higher standard of after-market support, including training.

At this point, I see the EAC entity as a strict regulatory case strictly in the hands of the FAA, until such time as a bonafide aerospace and FAA-certified entity (or entities) adopt the program, which by all evidence appears not only uneconomic but futile, both technically and in the marketplace of demand, whether domestic or globally considered.

Why this aircraft is allowed to linger in such an unsafe, unbounded operational status, is troubling.

(BTW, where's Hawker Beech?)

In the meantime, EAC owners/depositors would be very wise to exit this aircraft, trade into any number of viable aircraft alternatives or even structural ones such as fractional/charter.

If they simply must own an aircraft (or if this is attractive for tax/economic reasons) numerous high quality management firms will provide proven turbine equipment on sale/leaseback under a charter management revenue sharing program. That is no panacea economically, but in GA, nothing is (for that matter, in all of aviation retail).

bill e. goat said...

Stan,
"Flightcenter has not received the recognition he deserves."Quite so! The blog is a much more informative place due to the excellent and diligent work by FC !!

I've noted two particularly outstanding "chroniclers" (in addition to Stan and Shane, of course): FC and Dave.

FC has pinned down the stats and analysis- and Dave posts a great number of EAC and VLJ-related material from other sources- both of these guys are "must read" contributors here!

Thanks guys!!

bill e. goat said...

Shane has helpfully included some good links in the upper L/H corner of the blog home page, including two created by FC:

Milestones and PredictionsIt is fun to see snapshots of Wedge's predictions (I think Wedge must have had his own collection of snapshots, or the BoD would have gotten rid of him much earlier).

Interestingly, our predictions for 2007 were statistically a mean of 99 and a median of 80. Our mean prediction was off by 1 aircraft (or exactly correct, depending on how one counts the "first" delivery (tm). For 2008, our predictions had a mean of 183, and a median of 232- if the deliveries of the first 8 months (159) were scaled up, 12 months would represent 238.5 (not so silly- lots of them were delivered half finished:), the blog was within 3%. Pretty impressive "collective wisdom", thanks to FC for the great work documenting our forecasts- and Wedges :)

Check out the other spreadsheet "tabs" at the bottom for some other fun facts carefully compiled by FC.

FC also compiled a comprehensive delivery (tm) spreadsheet:
EAC DeliveriesGreat work FC !!

bill e. goat said...

RAD3,
"If enough owners will ante up at least $150K each we believe we can find the rest of the $$ to buy the Ecorpse." That seems like a pretty big IF to me."I appreciate Peter stopping by to share their plan. But I have to say, I agree with the big "IF" concern. (Seems to me, if the buyers can not come up with $50M of their own money, without Pressing (!!) the aircraft owners for "buy in", then it's doomed to fail- enough brains, not enough money (just the opposite of Wedge's predicament).

"$434,500 total(minimum- NG)...Nice to know that a NG owner will only have to shell out $333,500!"That's a bite! (I suppose the only "compensation" is, the resale value is probably elevated to a similar degree).

bill e. goat said...

Stan, Fred,
"Mayotte? Never heard of the place but will check it out. Diving with whales is on my list of things to do before I quit blowing bubbles."(I think Gadfly can hook you up with some chiles that will greatly accelerate, although perhaps not prolong, bubble production).

Happy Diving !

julius said...

airtaximan,

This is based on planes working only 400 hrs per year at most.

The airlines work 3000-4000 hrs per year.

Easy math is provide the same hrs as the airlines, and the cost for the trip is around $90 per seat.

Today.

Easy math? Not at all!
Is it really possible to amass 3000hrs p.a. by an "on demand" business with a typical buzz jet (CJ3, CJ2+, ...)?

Julius

bill e. goat said...

Orville,
"I know nothing about aircraft design - but how do you mess up the design of a windshield? Something airplanes have had for years. Would almost seem like an 'off-the-shelf' item."Don't worry Orville- you're in good company. I think that's a line that could have come straight out of Wedge ! (No insult -to you- intended :)

Seriously, it's a complicated item- I suspect EAC underscoped, and under spec'd, the design.

It is a complicated item:
-must withstand pressurization loads (pushing out)
-must withstand bird strikes (pushing in)
-must endure temperature fluctuations
-and has a different thermal expansion coefficient than surrounding aluminum
-must be part of a deice system which does not introduct EMI into the instruments
-must provide rain "beading" for ground operations

I think the latest "must" is avoid static buildup from dry snow blowing across the surface, as posted earlier.

bill e. goat said...

Next Verse, Same as the firstNote the press releases, re: attempts to secure funding.
(I thought this project had great potential too...)

Dave said...

The EOG are making a big deal about a $500K AT Kearney report that they say they haven't had a chance to see and that it gives Pieper an advantage. I do think all the prospective bidders should get a copy of it.

bill e. goat said...

Flyboymark,

"Are you pulling an "Al Gore?"No- are you pulling a George Bush? :)

"On your "green" liberal opinionated issues..."My opinions may be "green",
and "liberal" (depending on how one defines those terms).

But:
The issues are NOT "green" or "liberal".
The issues are scientific.

"careful where you tread...."I infer you are advising me to be careful of hypocrisy- which I prefer, rather than being accused of being stupid. Even if both equally applicable. (Somehow, the former makes me feel more...accomplished).

"Your Ercoupe is very fuel inefficient compared to a green car"I appreciate you recognize the efficiency of a "green" car. But, I am the FIRST to admit the ERcoupe is a model of IN-efficiency. Figure 80 kts, 6 gph, is about 15 smpg- worse than most SUV's- pulling boats !!

(Throw in the fact it smokes like a 2-stroke motocross bike, and wide-scale ERcoupe flying would be environmental Armageddon!!)

"considering you just go out as a general rule just to bore wasteful holes in the sky."Quite correct about wasteful boring of holes. It's too slow to be very practical. It is purely for fun.

"I think you should give it up for a glider launched with giant sling shot that you manually cock by hand winch."I don't think they would be as much fun as the ERcoupe.

(You might be comforted by knowing that I have been looking a motor-glider though, the Sonex Xenos, mostly for environmental concerns. I really AM conscious, if not conscientious, about fuel efficiency while putting around in the 'coupe.

(Especially when I can't see the fuel float cork anymore...)

"Better yet, lets build gliders like in the old Tarzan movie that Cheetah flew from fallen branches and cover the surfaces with animal skin from the animals that died on the forest floor."I think Wedge tried that, but the FSW didn't work very well. I do think a leopard skin interior would make an attractive option though. (Simulated fur, of course).

"The perfect recycling scenario. We can all do "Flintstone takeoffs", jus' gotta deal with those short hops! ;)"Maybe those stone wheels are just he answer to blown tires on the EA500 !!

"...moving to the country on 5 acres pollutes, train vs. airplane, this is a blog about VLJ‘s."And, I'm happy we occasionally foyer into aviation, economics, and business.

"As an outsider,"I hope NOBODY feels like an outsider here- everyone's inputs, and opinions- "green" or otherwise, "liberal" or otherwise- are most certainly invited and welcomed! (I think we have a lot of readers, who might be shy about posting (I'm glad FBMark is not among them! :), I encourage everyone reading to contribute, whether it is fact, opinion, or question.

"you guys need to get a life. That's why I've been scarce around here."Interesting...this is a rather circular (and not unfamiliar) argument of "bloggers blogging about bloggers".

"I've been guilty of "off topic" but not to this degree..."That's okay- it takes practice!

"OR...BEG and other possible "moles" here like you,"I think the more common comparison is to "vermin" and "cockroaches". So, thanks for the promotion! .)

"ARE here jus' to further demigod the VLJ to suite your liberal agenda?"No- my green and liberal, Al Gore-like agenda.

"This is NOT a flame or personal attack, just an overwhelming trend of conversation has pushed me to this “external view”.Thanks FBmark- Don't worry- my skin is almost as thick as my head.

I do like to hear what all the smart people that frequent (or infrequent) the blog have to say, about things VLJ, and things non-VLJ. Personally- I think this has been a particularly interesting thread- I'm glad there is a lot of passion, and discussion, about the wider transportation issues. I don't think it has detracted from our "core" focus on EAC, and at the same time, it has educational and informative for the larger transportation equation. (And has enhanced appreciation for other topics- if not other opinions !! :)

And, on a per-seat basis, I think the EA500 is commendably more efficient than an ERcoupe.
Too bad it's not as pretty though...
.)
-----------------------------------
Interesting prospect- comparing the ERcoupe to EA500.
1) Will either one re-enter production ?
If so, which one first ??

2) In 60 (more) years, will there still be more ERcoupes than EA500's flying?

3) In 60 years, how many of us will be around to notice ???

Have a nice afternoon everyone- I'm off to go pollute on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

(No chiles involved !!)

Shane Price said...

Baron,

There is no news.

Which, if your in the uncomfortable position of owning an FPJ, must be the worst of all possible outcomes.

The 'picture' will be like those old cathode tube TV's, when you turned them off.

You know, when the screen went black from the edges towards the centre, until the last pinprick of light...

just

went

out.

Ok, that's enough with the drama bit. While each passing day with no news seems an eternity for the owners, there is activity behind the scenes.

I'm still hopeful that a bid will be made. I'm not sure if it will meet with, how shall I put this, joy and celebration from all parties.

But a bid is looming.

Shane

airtaximan said...

Julius,

this IS the question... my friend... you are spot on.

How do the airlines do it?

a- provide pricing so that large numbers of people are available as a market
- GA is so expensive, it does not have a reason to operate many hours, becasue it does not have enough clients
.. so, pricing needs to be in line with a larger market, for sure

b- on demand: well, this is a nifty phrase, and yes, if you expect to call a lane, have it ready to go when you arrive at the airport on a him, this will never result in higher utilization. Reality is charter flights are booked in advance, and there is always some flexibility - price vs ideal service... some one-way pricing charter operators provide terrific prices, today, and even know which markets are bettrer for finding return trips. They are enjoying over 1000 hrs for planes, due to sophistication and computer modeling. Also, even the fractionals (who OWE service on demand to thieir owners) seem to be able to realize 1200 hrs a year... and, they provide real on demand service.
- higher utilization charter will result from a different arrangement with clients, under part135 in the US, IMO. There are many companies working this right now. The new models have sufficient demand due to lower pricing, such that they can comingle and provide adequate service to a few people at the same time on the same plane. The passengers, usually decide when to go, what airport to leave from and arrive at. The remaining clients (too picky, too price sensitive, going to a remote location) are left by the wayside, just like the airlines do to their cleints when they do not service a market, or are over over-booked.

So, IMO, once pricing is in line with many passenges and many hours, and the "arranging" model is aligned with the level of service required b a large market, but not luxury-jet-on-the-tarmac-until-I want-to-leave (for a whole day) service, you may see reasonably priced per-seat charter using real jets (not VLJs, props do this mission, ad they cannot fly real jet missions with enough seats to make it work) popping up.

In any case, if Netjets, who owes premium service to Tiger woods can make use of their equipment to the tune of $1000 hrs or more, imagine when your model is such that you do not owe owners Tiger-like service levels, but provide a premium environment that is much faster than the airlines, at prices that appeal to say full fare paying passengers...

I'd say 3000 hrs is possible...

baron95 said...

Hey DAD,

Passenger Railways are so great, so economical and have such a competitive advantage, that I think you should invest in a private company that will build and operate passenger railways.

Man that will put all the airlines out of business and no one will want to drive their cars.

I'll even support a bailout bill in congress for you. We'll give you free of charge the entire infrastructure and operating company of the plum of US rail the Amtrack Northeast routes (DC-NY-BOS, etc)

You can use the profits from that railway to jump start your venture.

Oh, wait. Oooops. Amtrack doesn't make money even in the Northeast. Sorry. And it will not get any better, since WN will start flying out of LGA soon.

How about, if in return, you support a law in France that will allow say Ryanair to operate Paris-Mairselle.

What do you figure will happen to the Paris-Mairselle TGV ridership once Ryanair starts offering 50 euro return trips and all the other air competitors match it?

baron95 said...

Yes Shane,

That is clearly a case where "no news is bad news".

airsafetyman said...

I think Ryanair has about played their string out. They got this far by browbeating the airport authorities of the smaller cities they fly out of, playing Boeing and Airbus off against each other, and crapping all over their customers. The airport authorities have had enough, ditto the airplane manufacturers, and an increasing number of customers had rather crawl on broken glass than fly Ryanair. Think of them as US Airways with Southwest pricing.

FlightCenter said...

Thanks Stan and BEG!

I'm happy to hear that those spreadsheets added a little value to the discussion.

One of my first bosses liked to say "Listen to what they say, then watch what they do."

Dave said...

That is clearly a case where "no news is bad news".I remain amused. I did think it was poetic justice with how Mike Press stabbed EOG in the back only to have McRoelJet blow up with Roel owing Mann $10M with that news coming out right after McRoelJet touted Roel being a director/investor. I'm sure there will be more comedy rhodium generated.

Deep Blue said...

Dave:

You bring up an interesting point about this "consultant's report" by ATKearney. It appears it was commissioned and conducted pre-bankruptcy and should be amoung assets of the company, not of Roel Pieper or Etirc (now BK and defunct).

It appears the "study" was generally a production plan for different cost/manufacturing paths, that RP/Etirc (a bunch of ex-consultants themselves) evidently thought was "IP" that they could "lift" from EAC and then export to some other site (one or more of the ATK consultants was evidently ex-Cessna).

While I do not believe it will make a bit of difference to any party, any debtors among other relevant parties should be able to view any number of documents that RP may have generated as EAC CEO.

But his position now, which is actually (and always was) antagonistic to EAC creditors, shareholders and customers, is just more evidence of his rather misguided and unfortunate involvement with this venture. I suspect Shane is also correct; AMann will likely get summary judgment.

fred said...

my poor Baron ...

How about, if in return, you support a law in France that will allow say Ryanair to operate Paris-Mairselle (BTW , please "Marseille" !! you would be pissed off if we would write "Wen Kory" !)

once , you should have got documented BEFORE writing a comment ! (hope you're not conducting your business the same way ...)

RYANAIR is flying to anywhere with ONLY one limitation = Airport receiving their aircrafts HAVE to subsidize the Line ...

up to now , their claim has been "We fly Brits in your garden , they spend a lot in it = we share the pot !"

only one problem :

the economic model is corrupted now ; Brits are broke , at least the kind who were taking RYANAIR ... (as for the ones still in enough money means to keep on traveling , they already own something or anyway they DON'T fly Low-Cost !)

most regions deserved by RYANAIR are totally fed-up of their black-mailing (no subsides = no passengers) so it is a double-edged sword = No passengers leaving much pecos = NO subsidies , anymore ...

on top of this , if Ryanair do implement their "Fat Tax" (provided it is not ,again , one of their Medias stunt) they are going to end-up in so much shit with the European Institutions , that it would be a good opportunity to queue-up now for buying out their aircrafts , once they go TU ...

fred said...

Deep Blue :

I suspect Shane is also correct; AMann will likely get summary judgment.

suddenly the moving of RiP to south of France take a whole lot more flavor ...

instead of being for private reasons (safety of his family) , it become clear that the move was intended to put some more "Juridic system" between anyone from one side of Atlantic and Etrick CEO ...

things are now , that IF anyone wants to go after RiP , we will all be eating our vegetables by the roots much before any outcome ...!!

planed in advance (as a surprise when he took over EAC) NO , off-course ...;-)

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

fred,

things are now , that IF anyone wants to go after RiP , we will all be eating our vegetables by the roots much before any outcome ...!!
hopefully it will take some time before we will become vegetarians!

But his fine domicile will only have some effect if RiP start growing roses and doesn't go to the university of Twente.
His Dutch operations also failed...leaving some friends at Favonius.
Ohhhhh just a moment - what about "Favonius":
But the last week wasn't that bad:
RiP: Victory as owner driver

Even buncrupt - life goes on - why not better than before the bk!

Julius

fred said...

Julius , Gutten Tag ...


I was talking about the kind of vegetables we will all eat one day with a nice little garden on the belly ! ;-)

a toy ... a kid playing with hs favorite toy just before getting adult (putting away his toys )

this is what it sounds to me ...

the House of RiP in France has no way to be worth enough to be a match for Mann ...
or it is with so many legal tricks that only the proceeding to consider Who has jurisdiction over the case will take almost for ever ...

as usual in this saga , the only ones to laugh out loud are lawyers ...

"drop it now , and curse them for ever" would be my best piece of advice on the matter , before some others K$ are spent for nothing of real substance !

airsafetyman said...

It would appear that both the ETIRC and the ETIRC Aviation web sites have gone tits up. The Favonius Ventures website is still up and running for those who would like to business with the Roelster.

fred said...

ASM :

who would like to business with the Roelster.

are you out of your mind ? ;-)

flyboymark said...

WELL!!...I never....(;DDD)

BEG,
At least I was generally rite about everything!


Except for one(by inference)...I'm Libertarian.

Glad your back BEG, I missed ya!
I was out boring holes in the road with my GEO Metro @ 55 MPG on Sunday.

Dave said...

Roel located again!

flyboymark said...

Oh,
BEG,
I personally like the Waiex with the big fuel guzzling 6 cylinder Jabiru...thinking about building one to tow inside a trailer behind my gas guzzling motorhome.

bill e. goat said...

HI FBMark,
In the interest of fuel economy, I think the Geo should be used to pull the motorhome/glider trailer combination.

(Good luck with 55 mph though ! :)

Shadow said...

Dave,

Perhaps Al Mann would like to meet up with his old friend Roel at the Giraglia Cup in St Tropez this June.

Dave said...

Perhaps Al Mann would like to meet up with his old friend Roel at the Giraglia Cup in St Tropez this June.It never ceases to amaze me with how Roel is always off playing when he should be working. I remember leading up to the Congressional hearing how he was out sailing and then since the United States Congress didn't bend to Roel's schedule, he bailed out of the hearings. Then now with ETIRC going BK, here is out sailing yet again. Maybe Roel's businesses would have done better if he spent more time focusing on them instead of focusing on winning sailing trophies. Perhaps his lack of focus will be self-correcting as his Favonius ship could always be repoed, particularly if he has european creditors that he's stiffed.

michal said...

According to Friedman's plan future brand new Eclipses should sell for around $2.4 mln - this is no longer a bargain price that's for sure. With the upcoming a lot roomier PiperJet (albeit single engine) costing just about the same, the Mustang fetching about $500K more and with other competitor in my opinion the targeted price point of the Eclipse will severely test what market can bear.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Tactician onboard Swan 80 Favonius, Ossie StewartWhat . RiP was not the tactician? He was so talented.

Micheal, any Ecorpse Rising from the dead plan is just smoke and mirrors. The EA500 is not worth $2.4M, was never worth $2.4M and it will never be worth $2.4M.

I doubt the DJet, the PiperJet and the CirrusJet will ever reach production.

How long did the last big GA slump last? 78-97? The players in the next big GA boom will be a bunch of no name companies (& Cessna :)

baron95 said...

D-Jet = DelayedJet

CirrusJet = CircusJet

PiperJet = PipeDreamJet

EclipseJet = EclipsedJet)

AdamJet = AdiosJet (spanish for goodbye-jet)

Unfortunately, there are only 1 sub 8,000 lbs jet on the market (Mustang) and 2 sub 10,500 lbs jet on the market (Phenom 100 and Mustang).

Everyone else, so far, has generated just a bunch of delayed promises.

There is no reason to expect anything other than more of the same.

Very disappointing.

Dave said...

Micheal, any Ecorpse Rising from the dead plan is just smoke and mirrors. The EA500 is not worth $2.4M, was never worth $2.4M and it will never be worth $2.4M.That's the problem with Eclipse as well as the plans that base their servicing costs on selling new aircraft. There wasn't 1000 buyers per year at $1M and there isn't 100 buyers per year at $2.4M. With the price elasticity there isn't a breakeven point let alone a profit point. I wouldn't count on low maintenance costs due to 100 new units entering the market each year. At one time I thought Eclipse had a chance with low volume sales (50 per year or so), but Roel et al have now damaged the Eclipse brand too much and done too many other things for that possibility to have a chance of working out. I think at one time Eclipse could have been saved and been manufactured successfully, but there was too much mismanagement and greed.

Deep Blue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deep Blue said...

Dave and B95 make very good points.

My view is that there may however, be some underlying fundamental "law" as to why their scenarios are correct; that is, why only Cessna and Embraer have come to market (somewhat) successfully:

they are large industrial, diversified enterprises with major industrial backing (financial, technical, distribution, training, service) and also benefit in EMB's case from a large installed base of airline aircraft and resultant infrastructure (as well as being a de facto national enterprise).

The fates of Djet, Cirrus, EAC, Piper et al may reflect that fact that in today's global market, a stand-alone, venture backed, narrow product line business simply cannot produce a business case. Hawker Beech included.

The winners? Gulfstream owned by GD; Dassault a de facto national; ditto Canadair/Lear; Cessna owned by Textron.

Moreover, significant threats loom from certain other regions, especially Asia, where not only are there large, deep industrials but explicit, heavy government backing and on-going structured support (financial guarantees; export subsidy; asset finance and direct favorable banking terms as well, to their home ventures).

US-based start-up ventures are crushed under the twin forces of industrial conglomerate competitive advantage and foreign national programs.

But, as we all know, the spirit of US entrepreneurship is still tough to kill (and sometimes tough to beat).

baron95 said...

Deep Blue,

To further concur with your main points,....

Cessna, like Embraer is an airline supplier. Their biggest airline customer, just happens to be the largest airline in the world (in terms of number of planes), and Cessna is the largest airplane vendor to that airline (also in terms of number of planes).

That airline being, of course, FX.

If any company had a chance to crack it into the established GA/BizAv manufacturers, it was Eclipse, with all the money they raised, first mover advantage, etc.

Unfortunately, they screwed up the execution.

So now, we need to wait another 10 years before we see sub 6,000 lbs true VLJs in the market.

airtaximan said...

bottom line, its tough to buy/develop a design system, and the knowledge/know-how it takes to design, certify and manufacture a jet.

the established companies were once small, and they made it work as smaller companies... and gre/got snapped up...

This industry is by definition slow - the dev cycles are long and costs are very high - this involves complex systems, long lead development times for technological advantages that push new products out the door.

And the technologies and new products need to be sufficienctly developmet, tested and proven, or they cannot make it to prime time.

Delays, for whatever reason, economic climate, technology, design problems, strikes, weather, global strife, SARS, Wars, etc... all result in huge costs/waste - because temas of hundreds if not thousands are working and delated, as thing go awry.

So, yes, bigger well financed comanies stand a better chance of absorbing the risks/costs, etc... PLUS the companies with a history /know how/design system, cert system.. are much more likely to succeed.

And Vern, shamefully said he was wrong to hire experienced aerospace/aviation people.

What a farce.

and Baron, you are correct they had all the time and money to succeed - but they lacked the product... and the disciplines required to succeed.

They had a very very slim shot at it. The naysayers were 100% correct. The only way you bought into EAC was if you were unaware, or blind, or inexpereinced... IMO.

Deep Blue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Smart comments Deep Blue.

Deep Blue said...

ATM:

Good points. It was interesting when the E500 designer, Oliver Masefield evidently said a few weeks ago, to the effect, that it was a "good design but it got screwed up."

It would be very helpful and revealing if Masefield could do an extensive "exit interview" and give his professional history of the design and then development and then production sequences/problems.

If anyone ever actually picks up this design at an industrial level (i.e. ever actually tries to manufacture it successfully), Masefield probably ought to be the first stop, rather than "production" plans and consultant reports.

Dave said...

And Vern, shamefully said he was wrong to hire experienced aerospace/aviation people.
What a farce.
Vern and Roel have done tremendous damage to GA when instead they could have helped it tremendously. There's just been so much opportunity wasted. It does look they are now being seen as toxic assets. I'd love to know the conversations that went on in the formation fo McRoelJet...like did Roel say that he'd deliver lots of money to McRoelJet from like Khazakstan or something? I'm really trying to understand why post-BK why McRoelJet was formed and actually touting Roel after Roel failed to deliver. I do wonder what is going to happen. I believe Roel was using Eclipse money (as in depositors money) to pay $3M a year for his basketball team, so maybe there would be a criminal angle there (the only way I see anything happening to Roel related to Eclipse is if there's a criminal warrant/indictment as otherwise civilly I think he's safe).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Dave, I suspect the reason is that there are still far too many who confuse the number of bodies or tens of millions in 'pledged funds' for the actual capability and vision to accomplish something.

Look at Excel Jet, or Van's Aircraft, or Epic - you can do a lot with a little if you have a solid plan.

baron95 said...

Well said ATM.

CW. Claiming that Epic or ExellJet, etc have done a lot is a stretch.

What exactly have they done other than supplying a few experimental kits?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, they both have developed and built complex, pressurized, high-performance, technically advanced aircraft and flown them.

Excel has since developed a larger plane to better match what they see as their target market. I understand wing tooling for the new wing design has been delivered.

Epic has designed and built three different planes in three different configurations, and they have delivered several dozen so far - they are tremendously creative, the planes are rock solid, it's a multi-million dollar operation that employs a couple hundred people.

Both have created outstanding aircraft for specific design points and they did so with much smaller teams and far less money. Both are positioned to certify their aircraft if they so choose.

I call that a lot.

flyboymark said...

HOT TIP!!!!

Aerostar mounted pair of Mustang engines UNDER wings like 737..not a mock up. They have the engines on hand! Cowlings completed, engines mounted....

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

US-based start-up ventures are crushed under the twin forces of industrial conglomerate competitive advantage and foreign national programs.That is a partial truth at best. Cessna is the only conglomrate company which is even active in Light GA. Plenty of others also had their fingers burnt (Rockwell, Raytheon etc).

What crushes almost all the small GA companies is megalomania / poor execution.

Grob and Piper were not exactly doing great as light A/C manufacturer's, but could have used the last boom to consolidate and strengthen their product bases, rather than shooting for glory with jet projects.

Diamond stuck too long to the Thielert engines, although they produced as many problems as advantages, and went TU due to selling below cost (which could not have been a suprise to the largest customer, who must have been able to estimate the suppliers costs and see the risk).

Why did Cirrus try to jump the light twin experience and go straight for a jet?

It seems you need near perfect execution and a healthy dose of conservatism to survive the GA business cycle. You' think start up GA companies would be trying their best to copy Robinson. No marketting BS of future products, let marketeers define the product goals in cooperation with engineering, and kick out the salesmen and let a stable engineering team work in peace. Keep the options limited. Make one best product for each market. First to market is of little long term value.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

CWMR wrote:
Both have created outstanding aircraft for specific design points and they did so with much smaller teams and far less money. Both are positioned to certify their aircraft if they so choose.
You were doing well until that last sentence. Certification is a huge job (as Eclipse can testify). The organisational structures which allow a good homebuilt company to prosper (small flexible team reliant on personal quality, documenting what they think is important) is completely different from the organisational structure that the regs now require (especially in Europe).

I am not putting down the good homebuilder teams, as I believe they are closer to the industries historic standard of small, well led, well integrated teams with a high personal quality standard. For example, Ed Heinemann, Kurt Tank, Willie Messerschmidt, Reginand Mitchell, Anders Anderson, Alexander Yakovlev.

I think it is unfortunate that the rules have developed in the direction of bureaucractic documentationwhich puts a corset around the design team. It should raise the safety standard of the poor team ( although Eclipse points out that the theoretical advantages of this Bureaucratic system are of little value in practice), but acts as a huge drag on the ablity of a solid deign team to innovate.
Vans team is also stable

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Developing on the last thought, you have to wonder if the whole authorities certification system as demonstrated by the Ecorpse, is worth it's enormous cost.

If the certified software includes crossed controls, the TSO'd FIREX leaks and destroys structure, the production system signs off on primary structure mounted with play in the bushings, and the avionics can't even provide basic area nav, what did the taxpyer get for the Tax dollar spent on the Ecorpse certification?

Shane Price said...

Freedom,

... what did the taxpyer get for the Tax dollar spent on the Ecorpse certification?That, sir, is a REALLY good question which on another day, would be worthy of its own 'headline post'.

Some here have speculated of a desire (by the previous regime) at the FAA to promote lots of small jets running services into short runways, practically everywhere. Others have pointed at political involvement in Washington, by a certain Gov Richardson. This may be unfair, but I seem to recall this chap had to withdraw his nomination as a member of your new cabinet in unfortunate circumstances.

We had unprecidented (Saturday, anyone?) speed for certifications, demonstrating an unusual faith in a start up company, with no previous aviation track record.

The subsequent decision, by Congress no less, to review the grant so soon afterwards did nothing to allay the 'no smoke without fire' feelings on this blog, for sure.

To finish, I suspect (and I know I'm not alone in this) that what you 'got' was not what you 'paid' for, with your tax dollars.

Shane

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Shane, you and I also put a few tax cents into this debacle. That open EASA invoice will get paid by us.

I would guess that all those involved in pulling in favours toget the Ecorpse certified without srutiny are also pretty darn happy to see the fleet operative hours racing to zero. Not flights, no risk.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT - I have met both teams at Excel and Epic and believe they are fully capable of certifying the aircraft if they choose to (and have the appropriate funding available).

The dirty little secret is that certification is not hard to do - it may be hard to do right but that stems from having an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of what is required and how to work with the FAA.

If you design to the standards and simply do not do all the cert testing, you are positioned to do so at your leisure - is there risk? Sure, but it is not the same as building a plane out of hand shaped foam and fiberglass, using ACE Hardware as your primary supplier, and being pushed through the air by a Mazda 13B turning a hand carved propeller.

The high-end of experimental aviation is in a fascinating grey area, plenty of talent, plenty of engineering, plenty of vision - they simply cannot be compared to the single guy experimenting in his garage.

Deep Blue said...

Freedom:

You make some good points; you may however be mixing apples and oranges as far as business strategies and markets.

Robinson is a indeed a good example of a "stand-alone" nearly one-product GA firm; however, some have argued that it has an effective "monopoly" in its segment (very light, piston rotorcraft); Sikorsky, Bell, Eurocopter, etc don't play in this space. That is very much different from the fixed wing game where there are numerous competitors across every category from single, to light twin to t-prop to light jet and beyond.

My argument concerning EAC, along with other jet-aspirants, is that the jet market is crowded, highly competitive and very expensive to play in (and stay in) and is unique versus other aircraft categories.

But even if Piper or Cirrus, as you suggest, had stuck to their knitting and kept their product line limited to GA recip offerings, I'm not sure they would be in a much different place than they find themselves today. And again, that is a very different market than the one Robinson is in, which they effectively own and has limited competition in that category.

Which goes back to fundamental assumptions concerning competition economics: in certain industries, the market can only bear a relatively small number of offerings (and why isn't Robinson really being challenged? Probably not enough profits to justify the upfront investments (and BTW, Robinson took decades to grow, slowly).

I agree with your point about consolidation; several of the various GA ventures could have indeed benefited from it; why that didn't occur (indeed, why it doesn't even seem to get much consideration) is odd.

Lastly, concerning EAC or any other newco jet maker: their only real play in that particular market may have actually been the one they tried to pursue (i.e. really disrupt on price/performance at the entry level light category); however, as you point out, execution and several other distractions got in the way.

If Masefield et al had been "left alone" and they really incubated/perfected the design and then worked through a low volume cost method, perhaps a very low priced "Robinson" value proposition VLJ could get some traction in the market.

In this case, the aircraft would have to come out nearly flawless as far as simplicity, cost and reliability.

Dave said...

Roel is talking to the media now. Roel seems to be insulting the US. It sounds like Roel says the Eclipse market stalled. That would seem contradictory given his McRoelJet involvement.

airtaximan said...

DB,

glad you started this string... its all at the heart of what really happend.

IMO, innovation (as you put it) comes frm a price or performance advantage. To think that the OEMs are unaware of this, is crazy... they have people and departments that are obsessed with gaining the next advatage.

Do they miss some opportunities - sure. Cirrus, for example too a lot of the light single prop market.

On the jet side... they don't miss much. If they do, the risks are usually improperly accounted for by the neophyte. Look at Grob - years of composite technology experience, and yet they missed the deve cost and time calc by a lot. Seems like they discovered a neat config advantage... and leveraged the material advantages as well... but, if they really understood the dev cost and time risk, would they have gone down this route? Maybe not, and HB knows about certifying new materials/processes... its a bitch.

Again, I figure the right approach might be:
1- obtain/develop a "design system" first - one that includes certification... one that has all or almost all of the new technologies and materials accouted for. I don't know if this is accomplished by getting some grey beards to do it, or parner with an OEM... not sure.

2- develop a Conceptual Design of a product with meaningful advantages, and market test it, for a realistic idea of acceptability, pricing thresholds and volume projections. Build a mock up, let people sit in it... show pictures, videos, specs... test the range of acceptability of sie, price, performance, mission, aesthetics..... everythng.

3- do a risk analysis about competition, new technology leapfrogging advantages, schedule, cost, prog cost, cert, etc...

All of the above might be able to be accomplished for $3-$5 Million... 1-2 years

Once you are satsfied you have a sustainable advantage product, risk adjusted program and dev cost, you can launch...

Just my opinion.

I would never look at a demo technology and base a program on that... never start before I had a rock solid design system/cert program, and an understanding of risks and cost, and never launch a product before testing it from a market perspective.

What EAC did IMO was build a plane around a demo engne, and make noise about how much better it would be and how much the market loved it. After 13 years and $3B, we now know this was not true.

julius said...

Dave,

nice links! Did you also vote (first link - Poll)?
"Investors' worst nightmare": 85%
or
"Brilliant entrepreneur": 15%

"Brilliant entrepreneur" and losts of failures and misinterpretation of a "Saturday night Sale show" (wedge dec. 2007) do not fit together!
His crying because of AL's action is typical for "I did it right but circumstances... blah blah...".
What do the basketball team coaches say after a lost game or series of lost games?

What are annual club fees /donations for the Yacht Club de Monaco? (2009 already paid...or lifetime...)? And there are no potential investors for his ventures, crazy...


Julius

P. S.: Some eagles do normally not attack potenial pray close to their nests in order to prevent any stress around their nests.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Well stated ATM.

The established OEM's have Preliminary Design departments which are full of the best and brightest who do nothing but examine configurations, manufacturing techniques, markets, etc.

These guys are natural risk takers, sometimes they simply do not fit into the core engineering team. But these teams are where ideas like the Premier 1, the Mustang, etc., come from.

Innovation exists in the OEM's, always has - but it is tempered with a realistic outlook from higher management so that only truly solidly defined products are released for truly solid and well defined markets.

When PD is done with a design study it gets presented, and many are rejected, some get further study, and of those a precious few become new programs.

When you start talking about the true cost of developing a new platform (depending on aircraft type and size it will range from $100M-1B for established OEMs) while also acknowledging the need to show ROI for investors it is clear why we see a steady evolutionary development. HBC is still selling Bonanza's because they are still selling Bonanza's - same for King Airs, same for the CJ's across town in ICT. Why do anything beyond slow improvements if the market is telling you, with their dollars, they like what you build?

Eclipse turned that all on its' head and took the Shoeless Joe Jackson - Field of Dreams approach - 'if you build it they will come.

Preliminary Design teams represent overhead costs measured in the millions per year - this is where the dreamers and innovators are in large part.

It is natural in times of economic stress to seek to cut costs, especially overhead, but truly stagnant development and design efforts ensure that the malaise continues - I expect to see some interesting concepts announced in the next year or two from the established OEMs. I also expect to see several of the high-end experimental products begin certification in earnest but on shoestring budgets - they will be surprisingly successful and will be positioned for the market recovery.

Deep Blue said...

CWM/ATM:

It will be interesting to see if the supersonic business jet concept (SSBJ) gets legs and follows a development path like the one being discussed here.

Cessna undoubtedly looked at it; Dassault almost made the leap but backed out two years ago. Former EAC BOD Barents was involved with "Aerion" but which seems stalled.

BTW, one example of a better development path that you both describe may be the sport plane project "Icon" (I realize VR was involved in some capacity as a Board member or "advisor" but it doesn't appear to be of any significance).

I like their CEO and while they have the spin and juice of a start up mission, they seem to be taking their time through a thorough development process and holding a realistic order book along with a sensible business plan.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Deep Blue,

The SSBJ concept is a timely one but the current politcal incorrectness of GA in general, coupled with the hysteria about being 'green' put the SSBJ in a bad way.

Personally I love the Aerion concept but they have still failed to attract an OEM partner - they intend to license the production of their design. It may be the sexiest non-military aircraft ever designed.

I would love to see the Aerion succeed, but the SSBJ concept, like the personal jet, has been 'under development' for far longer than is normal. In the SSBJ more than the personal jet, technology had not caught up fort materials and propulsion, but the bulk of that has been solid for almost a decade now - the risk-reward is simply too high.

The Citation X and G650 are likely to remain the pinnacle of biz aviation in terms of performance for some time, unless the climate change climate, changes.

airtaximan said...

anyone showing up at the advanced design teams table with a concept for any airplane dsign, better have some pretty tight locks on proprietary technologies, or they will just lose their concept.

Would an OEM just take it and run... why not? Chances are, they have already seen/designed/dreamed up whatever you think you have anyways...

Just my 2 cents...

julius said...

CWMR,

Why do anything beyond slow improvements if the market is telling you, with their dollars, they like what you build?
Is that still valid? Was there any competion in the "lowest jet class"?
In 2006 the sub 12500 lbs mtow jet class consisted of only three products!
Now there are 6 diffent jets:
Mustang, C1+ - Phenom 100, C2+ - Premier IA - Phenom 300! The EA50 is not in production!
I think it will become important to be in time with the right product!

Julius

airtaximan said...

apparently, EPIC is up to 9 product offereings, having introduced 2 new props at Sun'n Fun... a single and a twin..

They are referring to one of them as the Eclipse-killer...

Talk about kicking'em when they're down!

Black Tulip said...

"Eclipse-killer...?"

It was suicide, not homocide.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I can't tell you how hard it has been to wait for the public announcement of the twin.

It's fast and it's dead sexy. Will be the fastest turboprop on the planet, period.

The little Escape is a neat machine as well, switching to Garrett's - same cabin as the Victory SEJ.

When I referred to 3 planes I was only referring to the planes they had built at least one of. Then they snuck the Escape prototype out and flew it last week or so. Which makes for four flying offerings (Epic LT, Victory, Elite and now Escape). They have plans to certify at least the LT and the Elite if they find the right partners I believe.

I saw the components for Rick Schrameck's first customer built Victory SEJ when I was out there back in October. Those guys do a great job on tooling design, the parts are simply awe inspiring.

Pictures at http://www.epicaircraft.com/news.html

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, the Eclipse Killer is a twin version of the SEJ Victory, also simply drop dead gorgeous and likely a solid 400 kt machine.

The new twin turboprop designs, especially the 'Twin LT', are enough to make a guy go mortgage everything he owns - the sketches I saw were very impressive.

I haven't had a case of gotta-have-it-itis like this since Cadillac announced the CTS-V.

WhyTech said...

"ATM, the Eclipse Killer is a twin version of the SEJ Victory, also simply drop dead gorgeous and likely a solid 400 kt machine."

IMO, these other similar acft, as great as they look and perform, will be irrelevant in the overall market until they are certified and manufactured/sold in meaningful volumes.

Shane Price said...

Why are several of my sources so excited about some documents held by Jeoffrey L. Burtch?

Seems they are all off to Court tomorrow to secure whatever it is they want to, well, secure.

I wonder why...

Shane

Shane Price said...

Point of Order...

Some of The Faithful were always keen to knock the Mustang, claiming it was far too expensive to fly and would deter many prospective VLJ buyers with it's higher capital cost.

This from the Cessna web site:-

"The current fleet of Citation Mustangs has accumulated more than 34,000 flight hours, and the high-time aircraft has logged nearly 1,000 hours."

Seems some people enjoy flying there VLJ's...

Oh, and another thing. Cessna (which isn't bankrupt, before you ask) is just about to deliver the 200th Mustang to an eager (charter company) owner.

Based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

One question.

Do they fit extra, EXTRA long range tanks to get it there?

Shane

Black Tulip said...

Whytech,

Agree about certification.

I saw the Epic factory and an aircraft flying about this time last year. Beautiful machines - but a simple walk-around revealed no heated windshields, no engine inlet anti-ice, no wing de-ice, but possibly pitot heat. When I queried the tour guide (plant manager) he seemed proud of this lack of capability and said flying in icing conditions would only get his customers in trouble.

This was only the stuff you could see visually, let alone the myriad other items required for certification. This is an acquired taste. One that best suits the high dry Western deserts and those who operate Experimental Aircraft.

In contrast to Eclipse you have to admire the ingenuity, entrepreneurship and the prospects of Epic. I hope they hang in there and certify an aircraft.

Dave said...

Why are several of my sources so excited about some documents held by Jeoffrey L. Burtch?
Seems they are all off to Court tomorrow to secure whatever it is they want to, well, secure.
I wonder why...
BankruptcySales.com Eclipse Aviation Listing

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BT/Whytech,

FWIW, the Epic LT has a de-iced prop and ice protection on the wings and horizontal. None is present on the windshields, vertical or inlet.

The certified aircraft (e.g., Dynasty, Elite and any others) would presumably use the same or substanitally similar systems and would be certified for FIKI. There is no FIKI 'cert' so to speak for experimentals.

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

Roel's Basketball team will supposedly live on and in other news Eclipse's factory might turn into a factory to make algae-based jet fuel.

x said...

Roel quoted this weekend after winning Yacht race in his super sloop

WhyTech said...

"I hope they hang in there and certify an aircraft."

My concerns re certification have to do with support, liability, insurance, resale, etc. as well as with specific acft capabilities. If the acft are not built in some quantity, then there are significant issues in each of these areas. Also, it is not clear that a non cert acft is tested/proven as rigorously as a cert acft; most potential owners will be uincomfortable in the role of test pilot.

Black Tulip said...

Whytech,

Agreed. Unless built by a reputable successful company the risks of a certified but disposable aircraft run high. In the case of Eclipse building 260 units wasn't enough.

airtaximan said...

IMagine if you build a kit plane, and productionize it?

Seems like it would be pretty cost-effective and easy to manufacture... also, seems like scale could be increased and reduced easily, which might not be the case for a more automated or heavy tool intensive process...

Seems like it would be easy to migrate to a lower labor cost center, as well...

seems like a lot of advatages...

I hope someone tells me I am stupid and for what reason... I want to know if I am way off...

Dave said...

It looks like Roel is upset with Putin meanwhile back at the ranch Roel has tried to get Mann's cased dismissed by claiming that Mann didn't serve him properly. Mann in return smacks Roel around pretty hard. The motions are good reading, particularly the last one filed by Mann.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 217   Newer› Newest»