Sunday, June 28, 2009

Aviation Critic & Enthusiast- Cleared For Takeoff !!





Hello Aviation Fans- welcome to the Aviation Critic & Enthusiast blog.

This blog has been inspired by the fine work of Stan Blankenship (Eclipse Aviation Critic) and Shane Price (Eclipse Aviation Critic- Next Generation).

I'm sure you enjoyed those blogs as much as I did- great journalism by our hosts there, and excellent commentary and analysis by the readership.

This blog is launched with the humble objectives of :

1) Continuing to observe and report the zany antics of Eclipse Aviation Corporation, et al.,
2) Expanding coverage to include the zany antics of other proponents of "disruptive developments" in aviation, which "fly" counter to conventional wisdom,
3) To re-examine conventional wisdom when the challenge arises (and sometimes, when it doesn't).

Towards that end, I feel it prudent to include in our discussions both the technical, and economic, factors- it would seem (particularly from our observations of Eclipse) that both items are critical to the successful deployment of new ideas.

(But, we are here to solve all of aviation's ills first, then those of the global economy- so I would patiently ask that we keep that in mind least we digress too far- although some here really ARE well prepared to tackle both- while others of us merely THINK we are :)

In keeping with the spirit of polite respect established by our esteemed predecessor blogs, I would ask that all participants engage with good will, and good humor; this is a blog about having fun and learning things, not about shouting the loudest.

I fully expect the blog to evolve as we feel our way along in the Post-VLJ Revolution (and Post-Spin !!) Period. Comments and suggestions for blog organization and discussion topics are welcome; aviationcritic@gmail.com

So, welcome once again- and Blog On !!

342 comments:

1 – 200 of 342   Newer›   Newest»
Shane Price said...

Yes, you have found the new home for all those who followed Eclipse Aviation Critic and the later NG version of same...

Shane

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

Woo Hoo!

In on PAGE ONE of the new Blog!

But seriously,

Anyone care to predict the date when EACorp will finally be laid to rest? It's nothing more than a picked over Christmas turkey, abandoned by all but a few die-hard scavengers.

Other folks in ABQ would like to use the mausoleum, er, hangars.

Nice to see a little FPJ repair work being attempted, although many maint folks are steering clear of the birds.

Shane Price said...

EAP,

Anyone care to predict the date when EACorp will finally be laid to rest?

Real (and I mean, like, within 10 days) soon now.

Don't hang around ABQ waiting for a restart to production, however. I'm pretty sure that any new owner will take their time in fixing the existing birds, before there is any effort put into making more.

Shane

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

I’m quite determined to avoid ANY entanglement in anything Ecorpse related, production or maintenance. I’ve watched EAC grow and fester from day one.
I cannot see any possible restart of production, and most of my former EAC employee friends have given up on that idea as well. Local FPJ maint is a pretty small operation.

I’m hoping a piece-by-piece auction of assets will happen soon, the buildings cleared out, and new business allowed to come in. I’ll be disappointed if another blowhard manages to run 4000 volts through the corpse and brags he has created a monster, er, new company.

Bubba said...

More importantly....does anyone care to estimate the date upon which Cirrus will formally announce to the world that it can no longer afford to return customer deposits on The Vision?

I'm taking September 15th, 2009!

Dave said...

I’m quite determined to avoid ANY entanglement in anything Ecorpse related, production or maintenance.

If there's a public liquidation auction, I'd like to go to that.

Shadow said...

Bubba,

You're probably not all that far off. I hope Alan Klapmeier can come up with the funds to get the Vision jet program really going. I've heard that current Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters is no friend of the jet program, but that's a discussion for another day.

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

There are 8-15 big business liquidation auctions a month in ABQ currently, with prices hitting the lowest levels in many years. Might be a chance to upgrade that garage workshop into a mini production center for little $$.

Of course, a stir-fried RV-8 would be a neat thing to see fly, from a distance.

Shane Price said...

Shadow,

I've heard that current Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters is no friend of the jet program, but that's a discussion for another day.

That's an excellent example of the type of discussion I'd hope 'we' could have here. The EAC NG blog was, by it's very nature, restricted to Eclipse.

This blog will hopefully evolve into a more useful GA discussion. It might need to move into a 'forum' format, but time alone will resolve that question.

Shane

gadfly said...

Shane

All this time I thought you were some sort of “Gene Kelly look-a-like”, dancing across the silver screen right out of “Brigadoon”, and now we discover that you’re just another tired old Irishman, trying to make a living against all odds. Shucks . . . you don’t even resemble “Fred Astaire” in “Finian’s Rainbow”.

‘Funny thing about that . . . Our high-school put on the play (“Finnian’s Rainbow”), and I learned something, back then in the “1950's” about a “cantilevered wing” . . . the “metal shop” at our school (Burbank High School, Burbank, California . . . to give proper credit), built a long horizontal cantilevered support for a “tree” on stage, that supported a couple or more students in the play, and I marveled at the time that a bunch of high-school students could even build such a thing . . . all supported and hidden from a main “trunk” of the tree . . . and as I recalled, the long limb of the tree did not deflect enough to be of any concern. Amazing! (Some of those “kids” went on to work for Disney, and most folks at least have heard or seen what Disney has done with that technology.)

Well, enough of all this drivel. But again, thanks for your Irish good humor, and friendship . . . and for carrying on something extremely important . . . to make people aware of the farce, the scam, the outright thievery that has taken place in Albuquerque. This little town by the Rio Grande can ill afford another such scam. The local economy may not soon recover . . . if ever. And even if the politicians may “get off” (again) for a time, they will ultimately pay the piper . . . historical records confirm that.

‘Funny thing ‘just now (3:15pm local time) . . . I hear rain beating on the roof, and the occasional loud thunder . . . and it would not be “wise” for our favorite little bird to attempt a takeoff just now from its own home nest.

gadfly

Sometime, maybe I’ll have a “Guinness”. The last and only time I had some beer was while taking a tour around the island of “Hong Kong” . . . five submariners hired a taxi, and we had a supply of “San Miguel” from the Philippines. Folks today cannot imagine a total lack of water for thousands and thousands of people living in abject poverty and disease, attempting to flee the type of government that is presently attempting to take control of the US of A . . . but that was the condition in the summer of 1957, in the midst of a major “drought”, in the five cities on the island of Hong Kong. The “San Miguel” beer was at least “safe”. And, my Irish friend, we were “hosted” for a brief time by an “Ausie” restaurant owner . . . a relief from the “Brits” that were in charge. Even you would have liked the man. (From an ancient Scot . . . !)

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane Price said...

Gad,

All this time I thought you were some sort of “Gene Kelly look-a-like”

I said the tall dark and handsome one was on the LEFT of the picture....

As it happens, I'm rarely tired these days. New challenges most days in business, which keeps me on my toes. When I get home, at least one of the family always has something to contribute.

Don't know about you, but I find I tire more easily when I'm bored.

So I try to keep things moving, all the time.

Funny you should mention beer as a sterile alternative to dodgy local water. I'll run that excuse the next time I've had one too many, and see if the wife agrees with you!

Shane

gadfly said...

Shane

If your wife saw what we saw, back in that summer of 1957, she’d agree with you completely. It would be a story worth telling to today’s generation, but would seem so far fetched that it wouldn’t be believed. The visions of “Aberdeen” . . . pathetic folks that could barely survive, yet found living aboard little boats, or in shallow caves lined with cardboard boxes, and water carried up the mountain in five-gallon tin cans, once a day . . . for their entire lives, better than from what they had escaped! No, the water was not safe to drink . . . and the beer was good. But I digress . . . !

The movie, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” had just been filmed, and we visited the “tram” and the “bay” . . . beautiful, if you leave out the human suffering of the time . . . images that are still graphic, a half century later!

And how does this relate to Eclipse, etc.? We see certain human faults that are common with “back then”, and the present . . . and people that don’t want to know, nor think about the repetitions of history.

Somehow, this still seems to be “Kansas” . . . same old crew, same old subject matter, same old “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

gadfly

(Now where did “Toto” get off to?)

Dave Ivedorne said...

Cirrus Jet talk seems relevant. As it turns out, it's also quite timely, as the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association just broke camp on their annual Migration a couple of days ago...

Bubba wonders:
"does anyone care to estimate the date upon which Cirrus will formally announce to the world that it can no longer afford to return customer deposits on The Vision?"

Cirrus responds:
“There’s a big, big market for an airplane like the Vision. I’d say there are 1,800 hedge fund managers out there ready to buy this sort of airplane. You know, type As who want and need to fly their own jet.” Cirrus says it holds 352 $100,000 deposits. About eight percent of depositors have asked for their money back. “And we’re returning it,” said Wouters. “Although not as fast as some of them would like.”

There's plenty of Cirrus talk about. This link goes to an article that's specifically about the FIKI SR22, but includes a blurb ( on page 6 ) about the new CEO:
"In what can be a touchy topic to discuss, Wouters' replacement of Alan Klapmeier is the subject of intrigue".

Compare and contrast this with our old friends at the Greater Albuquerque Insolvent Aircraft Works. Wedgeco would threaten to sue P&P Magazine for even suggesting intrigue. Klapco hosts a copy of the article mentioning it. We may be dealing with a company culture that is not afraid of reality.

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

A couple of days ago, Deep Blue wondered out loud, "Would it be more productive if airplane design and development were separated from airplane production?"

The question could be construed several ways. My first interpretation ( and therefore my response ) had to do with product integrity as much as anything else. DB later clarified that the question related more to capital structure, etc. My gut instinct was ( and remains ),
"If the company is honest internally, separation isn't necessary. If it's dishonest, separation wouldn't help."

And so we see a couple of SEJ design/development projects encountering difficulty. We knew the outcome with Wedgeco before we even knew for sure that there was an SEJ project there - because we understood the nature of Eclipse.

Now we'll find out what Cirrus is made of.

Would you like the combo?
DI

baron95 said...

So, to kick it off....

Is there a reason why the home page of the blog has two aircraft wrecks?

One GA wreck into a tree, that some think is staged.

Another a wreck in the making, in the form of an obsolete airliner that AA is trying to park and replace as fast as they can get semi-obsolete 738s in the door.

How about some pictures of success, in the form of a Cirrus SR-22-X Perspective or a Phenom 100 - Prodigy or a 77W?

I hope that home page is not an indication of the doom and gloom - Economy/US/GA are going down the tubes mood.

Having said that - Congrats for the birth of the new blog.

baron95 said...

DI, from one of the articles you linked, here is ONE reason why it is smart to separate R&D from production...

"Harlow Aerostructures’ Phillip C. Friedman. “I was a fund manager for years and it’s always simpler to give money to an R-and-D effort because you know where the money’s going. If you invest in a manufacturing company, the investment can go anywhere within the company."

bill e. goat said...

Baron,
"I hope that home page is not an indication of the doom and gloom - Economy/US/GA are going down the tubes mood"

Much like Wedge's head, it's a matter of whether the "container" is half full, or half empty...

bill e. goat said...

Dave I.,
"A couple of days ago, Deep Blue wondered out loud, "Would it be more productive if airplane design and development were separated from airplane production?"

Hmmm- I would say we should look at Boeing's predicament for a case study- much manufacturing was outsource- results, not very impressive.

Maybe it's just because our friends at the lazy B were inexperienced at outsourcing to such a degree, so I'm still not sure...

It would seem a "design house" could specialize in a dandy design-and a manufacturing plant could specialize in high tech machining and line organization.

But what gets lost there, is "corporate knowledge" of how to design for production.

For high volume, it's probably better to separate the two disciplines; but for low volume like aircraft (sorry Wedge), it's probably better to keep things "under one roof".

Another example might be Cessna, re: Mustang vs CJ-x. Cessna's announced rational for keeping the Citation line except for Mustang in Wichita, where design is, was to better accommodate customer options; whereas Mustang was higher volume, and "outsourced" to the manufacturing-only plant at Independence Ks.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
"Somehow, this still seems to be "Kansas"...Now where did "Toto" get off to?)"

I think Toto is a little "touched in the head"

(Notice I was nice, and didn't say ANYTHING about Wedge there... :)

bill e. goat said...

ExperiencedAviationProfessional,
Glad you're still available to do "reconnaissance runs" for us- I sure enjoyed your "parking lot" reports during the last months of EAC. Hopefully, the parking lots will one day be more active- although as Shane mentions- It might be a few "Tuesday's" from now...

bill e. goat said...

Regading Tuesdays...
I had heard that "FOR SURE" the 787 was going to fly by "the end of June".

Guess what- that was today- a Tuesday- getting to be like "Friday the 13th- except there are a lot more of 'em...
.)

airsafetyman said...

"Harlow Aerostructures’ Phillip C. Friedman. “I was a fund manager for years and it’s always simpler to give money to an R-and-D effort because you know where the money’s going. If you invest in a manufacturing company, the investment can go anywhere within the company."

Right. This was the Wichita dude who was encouraging Eclipse suppliers to stop trying to get FAA PMA approval for their parts to prevent them from being sold directly to Eclipse owners and operators. I am really concerned about what he thinks; I value his opinion right up there with Col. Mike's views.

airtaximan said...

"I’d say there are 1,800 hedge fund managers out there ready to buy this sort of airplane."

This sort of statement, my friends, is a really BAD sign.

Referring to this as a market...

Dave Ivedorne said...

Baron, I saw that ( and understand his meaning ), but my post was already too long.

Besides, it was Phil Friedman talking ( I wondered who'd notice that first - looks like ASM wins the cookie ).

Would you like milk with that?
DI

Dave Ivedorne said...

This sort of statement, my friends, is a really BAD sign.

Referring to this as a market
...

This probably encapsulates one of the debates within Cirrus as well as anything. At least they didn't call all of 'em "position holders".

Maybe they just want to clarify that the jet wouldn't be a doctor killer.

Would you like a fork-tail for your hotcakes?
DI

Black Tulip said...

The skies darkened with 1,800 hedge fund managers in single-engine jets. What a pleasant thought.

baron95 said...

Well B.E.G. I've heard that Boeing will announce "soon" that they will buy back Vought's 787 ops.

So maybe they'll try to put humpty-dumpty back together again.

I have no idea, what is going on at BCA, but all their development programs are adrift.

787 is a mess, 748 (particularly the i) is on, off, sideways, non-stop babbling about 777 improvements/replacements.

For crying out loud. How long is the board going to put up with this crap.

Too bad Mullaly is busy fixing Ford.

Orville said...

FWIW - Looks like one is returning to roost - back from Europe.

gadfly said...

Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of success!

“Delivery of the Kodiak aircraft on tour, tail number N498KQ, occurred at Quest Aircraft Company’s manufacturing facilities in Sandpoint, Idaho, earlier this year. The airplane seats 10 people, features a turbo prop engine capable of short take off and landings, and uses readily available jet fuel.”

http://www.jaars.org/whoweare/newsroom/pressreleases/jaars-taking-first-kodiak-aircraft-be-deployed-international-service

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS237443+09-Jan-2009+BW20090109

http://www.questaircraft.com/index.php?filename=kodiak.php

gadfly

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

Can we talk about smoke sticks and smoke bomb’s…..not smoke and mirrors as practiced at FPJ.

When I was there they had a very hard time sealing up all the leaks when pressure testing the cabin. If I remember correct it was very close to the point of if 1 engine failed it would not be able to maintain pressure. I was looking to save as much time in final system checks as possible. I talked to some tech’s and asked why we don’t just throw a smoke bomb in there so we can see what’s going on. I was told they used it in other AC mfg’s they worked at but they didn’t have any. I looked them up and found a company that made them and they were for aircraft use. Needless to say getting anything was about impossible at FPJ and the only way to get anything was to go outside “their” system.

Of course I had to get permission to use them and it proved impossible as no one was in charge and every time someone was asked they would point you in another direction. The best plan we came up with was to send out a company wide email that said we were going to do it at set a time and date and see who showed up to stop us…..anyhow it never got done, SURPRISE!

My question’s are: Is it standard practice or was FPJ’s made so poorly they had more problems than everyone else? Would the smoke damage anything in any way?(they were non toxic and designed for this application) Have you ever used the smoke sticks outside the cabin so nothing would damage anything inside? Anything else I should have asked?

Dave said...

787 is a mess, 748 (particularly the i) is on, off, sideways, non-stop babbling about 777 improvements/replacements.

For crying out loud. How long is the board going to put up with this crap.


"I hope that home page is not an indication of the doom and gloom - Economy/US/GA are going down the tubes mood."

baron95 said...

Fair enough Dave - nice composition ;)

I must have been caught by the mood ;)

So here are some interesting developments and upbeat developments:

Happy 25th Anniversary to Virgin - Classy and Upbeat

It looks like the A350XWB will use 3M's Novec as fire suppressing for the engines and maybe other parts. No Phostrex there - which, I guess is good news, for all involved in the A350. ;)

Despite all the problems, today ANA decided to order 5 more 787s!!!!

Boeing today was awarded a $750M contract to extend life of the B52. It is now rumored that the B52 will fly until 2175. ;)

Japan is using Eclipse engines for their F15J-launched UAV Perhaps a whole Eclipse could be launched from a slightly larger aicraft ;)

Eclipse is far from being the cheapest twin jet sold.

Few people know that the Luftwaffe operated until 2003, 24 Mig 29s. Well, those were sold to the Polish Airforce for 1 Euro. That is right. Not 1 Million. But 1.00 Euro. Sadly, though, they don't seem to move much on their own, since the poles got them.

baron95 said...

While others....routinely brake the sound barrier burners off

baron95 said...

Oh, forgot to say that Phostrex features a 10-year, no maintenance cycle, and will be mandated by the FAA and EPA soon

airtaximan said...

I hear there are 1,500 hedge fund mangagers that are a perfect market for PhosterX...

eclipso said...

Glad to see so many show up...looks like it will get interesting for some time to come..

Phil Bell said...
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Phil Bell said...
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FreedomsJamtarts said...

It is interesting to hear that the crap quality of EA-500's was indicated in excessive cabin leak rates.

Wasn't this the outfit which was going to build a single engine A/C for FL 410?

Phil Bell said...

Finally (!?!)...

A380F
MTOW: 1,300,000 lb
Wing: 9,100 sq.ft
Speed: 0.89 M


Space Shuttle
MTOW: 230,000 (max landing weight)
Wing: 1749 sq.ft*
Speed: R-E-A-L fast**

*Do it yourself engineering
I tried to find shuttle wing area on the web- and couldn't- thank you NASA. I did find this exercise for school children though. Somebody have their 8 year old check my math.

**The shuttle slows to subsonic around 50K feet I believe, and has something like a 4:1 glide ratio. Which emphasises that although wing loading was surprisingly low, wing shape has a lot to do with maneuverability (being otherwise optomized for speed in this case, and for the F-104 as well).

At the other end of the scale (literally!):

Wright Flyer
MTOW: 745 lb
Wing: 510 sq.ft
Speed: 0.04 M

Cessna 152
MTOW: 1,670 lb
Wing: 160 sq.ft
Speed: 0.15 M (or so)


So, what's it all mean?
Heck, I donno.
But, figuring wing loading is at least part of maneuverability, let's compare the MTOW/wing areas. As mentioned before, some of the airplanes have leading edge devices, etc which can help; and some of the MTOW's reflect external stores which could be jettisoned in a dog fight, but still it's an interesting comparison:

Flyer_____1.46 (Wright Bros.)
C-152____10.44
C90GT____34.56 (King Air VLJ fighter)
T-37_____35.70
T-6A_____37.14 (Texan II, not WW II)
Mustang__41.17 (Cessna)
EA-500___41.32
Premier__50.61 (Beech)
P-51_____51.49 (WW II)
F-86F____57.99
Mig-15___60.63
YF-23____68.89 (prototype)
T-38A____73.53
Orbiter__88.62 (max landing wt)
YF-23____96.11 (at F-22 MTOW)
A-10_____98.81
Su27_____100.60
F-22_____102.98
F-35C____104.79 (Naval variant)
F-15C____111.84
Mig29____115.17
F-4E_____116.59
Av-8B+___127.57
F18C_____128.75
F-2______129.87 (Mitsubishi)
F-35B____130.43 (Marine variant)
Orbiter__131.50 (empty)
F-14D____131.59
F-18E____132.00
F-5E_____132.60
F-16C____141.00
A-380____142.86 (Frieghter version)
F-104G___148.10
F-35A____152.17 (Air Force variant)

Phil Bell said...

Er- that's pounds(MTOW) per square foot on the right.

I find it interesting that the F-86 had lower wing loading, but was less maneuverable, than the Mig-15...perhaps disproving my association with wingloading and maneuverability- I hope that is the case for the F-35A Air Force version !!

airsafetyman said...

Phil,

The maximum allowable take-off weights and the combat maneuvering weights are two different things. Look at your figures for the T-38 and the F-5E: 75.53 and 132.60. They are essentially the same airplane!

Troglodyte said...

Re: Phenom 100 compared to other *real* light jets...

I'm Interested in the collective wisdom of the blog on the Phenom 100 now that there are 20 or so in service. Initial depositors paid $2.75M in 2005 dollars. Accounting for realistic options and CPI it’s about $3.2M in current dollars delivered in San Jose (Brazil).

Given the capabilities, quality, and avionics of the aircraft and the new economics of the used (and new) aircraft market, I wonder how the Phenom fits in at $3.2M? Are new aircraft, even well designed ones, practical when the used aircraft market is swamped with good/great planes? For example, an early model CJ2 is now approaching $3M, down from $4.6-$4.8M maybe 18 months ago?

--Trog

Phil Bell said...

Hi ASM,
Good point- I had wondered how different the F-5 and T-38 are, they sure look alike.

I debated using the empty weights, or MTOW weights, for comparision exercise, and decided to go with MTOW, as more of a "real world" situation. But if I had "bandits" on my tail, when one would best appreciation maneuverability, I'd try to stay by living in a differnt real world, with max thrust to weight and a minimum wing loading situation.

Rechecking the F-5 and T-38, the wing areas are almost the same; F-5 186 versus T-38 170 sq.ft. (F-5 has a bit of a strake/leading edge extension near the wing root, which maybe explains the difference- I believe Northrop used the idea and expanded upon it for their YF-17 which became the F-18).

The F-5 can carry three 275 gallon drop tanks (say, 5500 lbs total), so this would be quite a bias from it's 9,558 lb empty weight, whereas the T-38 has no external stores (I think), and has an empty weight of 7,200 lbs. (Still, the F-5 is 33% heavier than the T-38 when both are empty, I suppose reflecting the stronger structure for external stores).

But the multirole fighters, seem to have a much closer mtow/empty weight ratios, so it makes mtow/wing area comparisons within the class somewhat legitimate, but much less so, as you well point out, when comparing them against single-purpose desgins, such as trainers like the T-38.

Thanks for the correction.

Phil Bell said...

"closer mtow/empty weight ratios" to each other- rather dramatic mtow to empty weights though- over 2.5:1 for the F-5 !!

airtaximan said...

newer low time beautiful lear 60s can be had in the low $4M range... but theere is a "right" mission where you could justify both...

Troglodyte said...

ATM:

Lear 60 is a beautiful airplane, but not for the owner-pilot, and not in the same league for operating costs. I think maybe one-third of P100s are going to owner-pilots (the group I fall into).

I think the P100 is a very good airplane, but wonder if anything can compete with good used aircraft? At some point the higher operating costs are more than made up for by the decreased capital outlay...

--Trog

baron95 said...

Troglodyte said....
I'm Interested in the collective wisdom of the blog on the Phenom 100
===========================
Feedback seems to be mostly good (with one exception - see below). Best avionics in the class, simplest operating procedures of ANY jet, nicest cabin in the class, nice handling, passenger pleaser.

Exception is takeoff and climb performance - particularly the latter. This plane does NOT like hot weather. At ISA+15 forget about getting above FL370.

Embraer is attempting to certify an enhanced takeoff performance package to cut some 300ft (ISA) of required takeoff field lenght.

But my guess is that this plane will only shine in climb/cruise when PWC can find another 100-150lbs per side on those engines creating the P100+.

I'm sad to say this, as I had high hopes, but this is not a strong climber and it is not a 390KTS plane.

Come on PWC - lets get those hair driers up to 1,900 lbs.

baron95 said...

Phil Bell - that is quite a list ;)

B.E.G. you found your match. ;)

Some comments....

I think wing area is a poor indicator for maneuverability and agility.

You need to look at control authority (pitch/tail and roll/ailerons, thrust vectoring), energy management (thrust/weight/drag), airframe load restrictions, etc.

Just compare the F-22 with the Euro-Canards (Typhoon, etc). Great planes as they are, and impressive as they are in airshows, when you hang a bunch of external stores on them, including wing-tip IR missiles, roll rates, and drag increases significantly.

You also have to take stealth and low prob of intercept radars (AESA) into account.

If you get a lock on an F-22 and lob a SAM or AA into it, it will turn into a small signature profile, another nearby F22 will be putting a lot of AESA jaming energy on the missile. While at the same time shooting down the any airborne sources.

Oh well - I'll stop - there is no way to continue this in short form - the above statement is not coming out right.

But hopefully you get the point. The F22 (and hopefully the F35) will be maneuvering for a different reason than dogfighting. They'd be maneuvering to maintain minimum LO profile and to dodge missiles in flight. Not to get at your 6.

When the new Slammer Ds are prevalent, life will be very tough for opponents when F22s are nearby.

baron95 said...

Re the Mig-29 from the Luftwaffe - Yes they were used expertly to justify continuing support for the F22.

Basically we did mock combat vs F15-Cs, where the rules of engagement prevented BVR engagement, and some even prevented using Slammers. And no AWACS coordination was allowed either.

Shocking Conclusion: Lighter Mig 29s won their fair share against the Eagle.

Thus: We are doomed unless we have more F-22s.

We did the same thing more recently with the Indian airforce.

Everytime we need to save the F22, we set one of this up and publicized how the Eagles got creamed.

Of course, in the real world, with AWACS, and BVR tactics, it is very doubtful any Eagles would be lost, let alone F22s.

Another story is how F22s would take out opposing AWACS. In exercises (IIRC vs UK AWACS), F22 got easily undetectable within Slammer launching range vs AWACS. And even if they got closer while detected (40-20nm in), it would be hard for opposing forces to launch anything that could lock-on and shoot it down.

That is scary s$@# - When your highest valued air asset - your AWACS - are not safe, you can not fight an air war.

That (F22) is disruptive technology.

bill e. goat said...

Baron,
"B.E.G. you found your match. ;)"

Yikes !!
I've got some catching up to do!!
:)

Until then...
I think what the wing loading statistics are -sort of- useful for, is "sustained turn rate".
As Baron mentions, thrust and drag and airframe limits are also big contributors to that.

Roll authority, and pitch authority, are useful for "instantaneous turn rate".

Put it all together, and you have -what I think- is called air combat maneuvering.

To my rather continued surprise, Wikipedia has a couple of nice articles addressing these topics:

Wing Loading

Air Combat Maneuvering

Instantaneous turn rate using thrust vectoring becomes especially important as air speed is bled off during combat, and elevators have less authority, due to lower airspeed over them- then you can use the engines to "kick the end around". (The US resisted things like the Cobra maneuver, because it bleeds off too much speed, and while you can "get a shot" at the bad guy, the bad guy's wingman has a great shot at you. Seems like the F-22 boys have different ideas- guess it's good for "one-on-one", or they have enough power to scoot away from such a post-stall engagement, quickly enough for safety's sake. (I'm told the F-16 was also cable of the cobra maneuver, but had built in software limits on AOA to prevent such loss of speed).

Some fun videos:
Su-27 Cobra maneuver
(1min:47 sec, pretty good)

F-22 "supermaneuverability"
(7min:17sec, long, but 1.5M views at 4.5 rating- good fun!)

F-22 Hover
(0min:45sec- that's some post-stall maneuver !!)
--------------------------------

"When the new Slammer Ds are prevalent, life will be very tough for opponents when F22s are nearby."
Well, we discussed pitch and roll rate being important- I don't know how close the F22's are, but I'd say D-Slammer has the roll rate thing down pretty good!

(Or- maybe it was THIS Slammer... :)
(AIM-120D, hmmm...best I could find was a range of between 110 and 150 km- pretty dang far !!)

bill e. goat said...

Now, one might wonder why an ERcoupe driver would be concerned with such things. But you see, given the typical "envelope", I frequently come under harassment by ill tempered crows and malevolent ducks. "Fowl" creatures, indeed!

Regrettably, the ERcoupe, by virtue (of course, it has many) of limited elevator authority, is incapable of stall, hence, incapable of post-stall maneuvering (some would unkindly insist- incapable of any maneuvering at all) as demonstrated by the fancy-pants jet boys. So, one has to rely instead upon more conventional (not "disruptive"!!) air combat maneuvers. With an attack/sprint speed of 60 mph+, ducks are particularly challenging adversaries.
How High and How Fast do Birds Fly
(Whooper Swans spotted at 29K over Ireland- Shane- beware!!)

Phil Bell said...

Interesting discussion on maneuverability- I deleted my rather long and monotonous list of candidates (wish voters could do that !! :), but kept the summary, in terms of MTOW/wing.area, although as was pointed out- that's a problematic index, due to the range of weight for some aircraft (depending on freight / weapons / fuel / passengers loaded).

smartmoves said...

Good to see the new blog - Does anyone know of a blog similar to Shane's that provides a forum for disgruntled Cirrus customers? - SM

julius said...

bill e. goat,

compare your article with the Husdson ditching and the "recation" of the FAA (killing Canadian Gesse):
- It is possible to trace birds smaller than geese with radars (and is practised for years)!
- Typically, birds on migration fly above 1000 feet, which might not stop in that area where the geese were killed.

What was the real intention of the FAA: Placeboes for the public?

Julius

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

"smartmoves said...
Good to see the new blog - Does anyone know of a blog similar to Shane's that provides a forum for disgruntled Cirrus customers? - SM"

If your looking for a site lacking in company product cheerleaders, this is as good as any. We frown on company koolaid drinkers.

This site is brand new, so post away, give it a little time, and see what the regulars can offer in opinions and advice. Cheers!

airsafetyman said...

"smartmoves said...
Good to see the new blog - Does anyone know of a blog similar to Shane's that provides a forum for disgruntled Cirrus customers? - SM"

Well, for starters Cirrus' putting an aftermarket normalizing turbocharger on the SR-22's Teledyne IO-520 N to make a turbo model was inane. They should install a Teledyne TSIO-520, which designed for turbocharger operation. They have ensured that their customers who opt for the turbo model will get poor engine relibility, lower engine life, and frequent cylinder changes - which is happening.

RonRoe said...

airsafetyman,

Now that you've made a post on a subject which you apparently know very little about, the new blog is starting to feel just like the old one!

First of all, the Cirrus SR22 uses the TCM IO-550N, not the IO-520.

Second, how is the TSIO series (there is a TSIO-550, it's used in the Cessna Corvalis 400) better or more reliable for turbo applications than the non-turbo models?

The only significant difference between the non-turbo and TS models is the compression ratio. The TS models use a CR of 7.5:1 vs. the 8.5:1 of the other models.

The lower compression ratio, which provides better detonation margins, also decreases fuel economy and causes the cylinders to run hotter.

This decreased efficiency, along with unreliable turbos and wastegate controllers, coupled with inadequate intercooling and poor engine management practices, are what gave traditional turbo installations their bad name.

The turbo-normalized SR22, on the other hand, has new generation turbos, excellent intercooling, full engine monitoring, and is usually run lean-of-peak, including during climbs. The intake charge never exceeds sealevel density, so the engine is not being pushed past its 310-hp certification limit.

Do you have any evidence that turbonormalized SR22's are less reliable than their normally-aspirated cousins? There are over 800 TNs flying, and so far, they are reaching TBO without top overhauls at about the same (excellent) rate as the non-turbos.

If you have any evidence to the contrary, please post it. If not, then please quit telling lies about this fine aircraft.

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

Cirrus in a spin?

What's going on at Cirrus? Layoffs. CEO/founder "out" and looking to hijack The Jet program. Accident rate raisng some eyebrows. Etc.

Wthout The Jet, Cirrus is a one trick pony, and the pony may be in poor health!

Hope the chute works when they pull the handle.

Dave Ivedorne said...

RonRoe said:
There are over 800 TNs flying, and so far, they are reaching TBO without top overhauls at about the same (excellent) rate as the non-turbos.

Well, "over 797" of them, anyway...

The turbo SRs use one of them "new generation turbo" thingies made by Kelly Aerospace, and three of them ( maybe more, maybe not ) suffered hot side turbine failures in a short time span ( according to the article, Columbias and Mooneys also use Kelly turbos ). Sounds like it was a specific turbine manufacturing issue that caused the trouble, and shouldn't be abused to become a blanket indictment on turbo-normalized engines.

Aviation myths are bad things.

Why did we hear about it with the Cirrus, and not the Columbia or Mooney? Numbers.

I wouldn't mind hearing from disgruntled Cirrus owners about specific concerns. While I'm impressed with many things about the company ( and the product as it has developed ), the "little voice" tells me that owning one ( I'm thinkin' SR20-G2 ) might be quite a bit more expensive than say, a comparable Skylane. Which, if true, would affect the outcome of where I want to throw my hard-earned.

Oddly enough, engine failure isn't so much what I want to hear about. There are better places for discussing that.

DI

airsafetyman said...

I am not telling lies about anything. Numerous mechanics with experience on the IO-550 engine that is turbo-normalized with the aftermarket add-on have reported the problems I have mentioned: many premature cylinder changes and lower overall life expectancy. The Continental TSIO-520 or TSI0-550 uses completely different cylinders, among other components, than those in their I0-520 and IO-550 models. Continental also provides OEMs with engineering support. The only reason for crabbing together this Rube Goldberg contraption is....money.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Cirrus in a spin?

What's going on at Cirrus? Layoffs. CEO/founder "out" and looking to hijack The Jet program. Accident rate raisng some eyebrows. Etc
.

Damn, WT - how many myths ( now that I'm talking myths ) can you bundle into such a brief post?

- The accident rate was raising eyebrows seven and eight years ago. One result has been a recognition across the whole industry that TAA require a different approach to training pilots. And it seems to me that Cirrus has aggressively pursued that end.

The one that raised my eyebrows was the chute deployment where the chute ended up on one side of the mountain ridge, and large parts of the airframe ended up on the other - it was deployed above its designed max speed, apparently.

Wanna make a little lunch money? Buy a couple of bottles of Tums Smoothies, and stop by the BRS offices when they're working on the chute for the jet. You can sell 'em for quite a markup.

- The Klapmeier ouster is all about the jet, and all about the wisdom of continuing to pour development money into it at this time - to the detriment of existing operations. The finance-side guy, Wouters, saw ( among other things ) a billion+ dollar effort in ABQ go down in flames and wondered if the market was really there. The founder clung, Wedge-like, to the belief that it can't help but succeed. Ownership disagreed with the founder. It's that simple. As for "hijacking" the program, I have to imagine that Wouters would love for Klapmeier to take that albatross from around the company's neck. He'd love for it to succeed, and to have Cirrus' name on it, but thinks it's not a good bet at this point in time.

- Layoffs? That's so, 2008. They've rehired some of the layees, and are contemplating the wisdom of rehiring more. They had over 100 white-tails leading up to the layoffs, and are down to 10 or so. They're actually getting orders for new aircraft, from people who can pay for them. But like the rest of GA, the glut of their product on the secondary market puts a serious brake on their immediate prospects.

- In a spin? I thought they were designed for spin-resistance.

I've always disliked something about Cirrus. I'm not sure what, but I've taken the opportunity over the years to jump on every_single negative about them in order to justify myself. Problem is, in every case, deeper investigation has made them look better to me. I'm on the verge of becoming downright "gruntled" with 'em. I'm still quite concerned about cost of ownership/operation.

DI

airtaximan said...

everyone should listen to the recent 15 minute AVWeb webcast interview with Klapmeier

baron95 said...

DI said...
- In a spin? I thought they were designed for spin-resistance.
============================

Hey D.I. excellent post. Well done.

One nit pick, I think (IIRC) that it was the Columbia planes that were certified as spin resistant.

The Cirrus planes, were certified as, if you spin, pull the chute. I.e. no resistance to spin, nor conventional recovery were ever demonstrated.

Am I mistaken?

baron95 said...

B.E.G. said ... AIM-120D, hmmm...best I could find was a range of between 110 and 150 km- pretty dang far !!)
============================

B.E.G. those range quotes are meaningless, unless you state conditions.

Those big numbers are for head on altitude launches with little or no terminal maneuvering.

And that is when an AESA high-power radar and stealth comes into play.

In order to hit a target 100 KM away, first you need to detect it. Then you need to target it. Then you need to get within EFFECTIVE range (not theoretical range) of your weapon, then you need to launch your weapon, then you (using ship radar and missile radar) need to keep that weapon on track. Then your weapon needs to track against countermeasures/jamming and evasive maneuvers.

So, if you have an F-22 at M1.4 supercruise approaching a Mig 29 at M0.9 head on. It is very likely that the F22 AESA radar would detect, track, target and effective range would be very long for an Slammer D. If rules of engagement allowed, and there were high value assets to protect (say an AWACs), the F22 would prob launch 1 or 2 missiles from pretty far out 100 KM+, provide mid course guidance to the missiles, and there is a good chance that the Mig would be hit without detecting the missile, or would only detect it when it went active in the end game (too late with a M4.5 closing rate).

Now different scenario, F22 pursuing a Mig at low altitude due to SAM threat, and the effective range may be only 20 KM or so.

And reverse the tables, say a Saudi typhoon launching an Slammer against an F22, and it becomes a hard problem.

Current typhoon radar is unlikely to detect a head on F22 until about 20 KM. Assuming the F22 pilot is taking a nap and hadn't shot down the Saudi pilot. If the Saudi launched the Slammer D (which they wouldn't have, but lets assume they did), a near by (not targeted) F-22 would jam the missile with his AESA radar while the other F22 would launch and bug out from the missile. Point being that the effective range of a Slammer D against something like an F22, would be very short - prob inside 10 km or less.

baron95 said...

And good luck getting that close;)

All of those that don't back the F22, have no appreciation for the level of disruption it brought to AA combat and tactics.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Another aviation myth: debunked:

"Section 23.221 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 23.221) requires that single-engine, normal category airplanes demonstrate compliance with either the one-turn spin recovery or the spin resistant requirements. The airplane, for spin recovery compliance, must recover from a one-turn spin or a three-second spin, whichever takes longer, in not more than one additional turn after the controls have been applied for recovery. The Cirrus SR20/SR22 are not certificated to meet the spin recovery requirements or spin resistant requirements of 14 CFR 23.221. Instead, Cirrus installed Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS) that was FAA-approved as part of the SR20/SR22 type design."

Dagnabbit, Baron, I hate proving you right.

The tubes of the interweb are chock full of both sides of this notion - but mostly that the Cirrus is spin resistant. If we presume competence from the FAA ( insert your own punch line here ), it isn't officially so.

DI

Beedriver said...

If you look at the Cirrus accidents, you will find many (more than 1/2) that are in the category of Bonanza Dr Killer Too much money too little training/ experience/caution. We had one locally this winter where it was a low time pilot, very low time instrument rating low ceiling at night, possible ice. it went from 4000 feet to the ground 1000 ft in less than 1 minute. the guy wasn't even able to pull the chute. (the safety pin wasw still in the handle in the debris). Too many people are buying it and flying it well beyond their capability. one just went down where there were erratic airspeed and altitude readings and instead of using the alternate static source he pulled the chute. Certainly lack of experience there

The cirrus is a nice new airplane but if you are looking for value you can get a better performing used Bonanza etc with a brand new glass cockpit for less than 1/2 of the price. you can even buy a good used quality known ice twin like a Baron or Seneca for 1/2 of the price. You can buy lots of fuel for the price difference if you are only flying it less than 200 hours per year.

Beedriver said...

being in the same geographical area as Cirrus we hear interesting things like it is virtually impossible to recover from a spin in the Cirrus. The chute is absolutely necessary to recover from a spin. The design features that made it efficient also reduced weight and surface area in places where it was needed. if it was recoverable from a spin it would be slower and heavier.

I don't think that is necessarily a bad compromise in an airplane that is meant for traveling and not for acrobatics. There interesting things about the chute that can catch the unwary such as the original design permanently glassed in the chute and there was no way to get to it even though it requires repacking etc every 5 years. You needed to get out your saw to get to it to do the required maintenance.

The nose wheel is very weak, and the brakes, since they are used for steering tend to get hot and have problems in long taxis in a cross wind.

those are just some of the compromises made to lighten up the design.

gadfly said...

Sometimes the discussion seems to be a little ridiculous. All the “theory” about the bad guy, catching you off guard, with something coming inbound at, what? . . . Mach 1, 2, ? . . . something!

It really gets interesting when something is about to “come down”, and the hours of available breathable air starts drifting from 21% . . . down to eighteen percent . . . the hours tick away, and the “smokers” can’t keep their “fags” lit, no matter how hard they puff . . . and the magic number “16% oxygen”, and “2.5% CO2" gets closer and closer . . . now that’s a story worth telling (as Olly North would say).

A blogger, “uglytruth” made some important comments . . . I was extremely interested in any response to his comments . . . and “Nothing!” I was about to say (in “jest”), that all the “leaks” were designed to point “aft”, so that the sum total would balance out . . . and “leaks” would equal “lost thrust”.

Now, this may seem a silly response to some, as an aircraft that has lost pressure at altitude, I think maybe (since I have never been in that situation) the conditions happen so rapidly that it doesn’t matter, but if it happens over time, there may be a different outlook on the matter (as in, “Been there, done that” . . . signed, “gadfly”). But there was an incident . . . others can fill in the details . . . not long ago, when a private jet continued on, and all aboard did not survive.

Bottom line here, as we make the transition from “Eclipse” back to the real world, we are reminded, as “uglytruth” has mentioned, there is much to be considered, when claiming to suddenly change the many hard-earned goals over the last century of aviation, beginning with men who put their lives on the line, and even the “Wright Brothers” recognized, and honored those earlier pioneers.

gadfly

(Now, the “gadfly” has done both . . . depended on life, itself, deep under the ocean . . . my record? on an old “diesel boat”, with a “snorkel”, . . . thirty days, eight hours, fifteen minutes . . . or should I admit, 60 days without a bath or a shower . . . and many years later, a couple hours at 49,000 feet in a “Lear”. “Back then”, there were some unfriendly folks that wanted to keep us down for a much longer time . . . maybe they wished to help us set a new record . . . but we “declined” the offer, and left the area.

I’ll take the “Lear” any day . . . at least I could take a shower within a couple hours after landing . . . and it didn’t take a week or two to lose the “aroma” of diesel fuel.)

(Excitement is where you find it . . . flying, diving, whatever butters your bread, but there is no excuse for stupidity, which seems to have been the main theme of the "Eclipse".)

RonRoe said...

Beedriver said:
"...it is virtually impossible to recover from a spin in the Cirrus."

The word from test pilots is that it is not possible to recover from a _fully developed_ spin. Incipient spins, first turn or so, recover with conventional technique. Three or four turns in, you're going to have to use the chute.

This is because of the "cuffed" wing airfoil, the same design used on Columbia/Cessna planes. The Columbia 300/350 used a rudder limiter at high power settings to prevent spins, and are not certified for recovery. The 400 _is_ certified for recovery, and they had to enlarge the vertical stab and rudder to do it.

The Cessnumbias and Cirri are quite difficult to spin. It takes lots of power, an extremely high deck angle and plenty of left rudder.


"There interesting things about the chute that can catch the unwary such as the original design permanently glassed in the chute and there was no way to get to it even though it requires repacking etc every 5 years. You needed to get out your saw to get to it to do the required maintenance."

The maintenance (repacking) interval is 10 years, not 5. Early models did require removing the top hatch, which is thinly glassed in. This is the same hatch that the rocket blows out when you pull the chute.

You can inspect the chute through a removable panel in the aft bulkhead, but it's not big enough to remove the whole chute.

Later models have a chute access door.

"The nose wheel is very weak,"

The nose wheel is plenty sturdy. It is a castering nose wheel, and if the Belleville washer tension is not adjusted properly, it can shimmy on landing, especially in a crosswind, where the wheel is cocked on touchdown.

"and the brakes, since they are used for steering tend to get hot and have problems in long taxis in a cross wind."

Only when improper technique is used. The rudder is quite effective when taxiing in a cross wind, even at low speeds. There is no need to drag the brakes. There was one case where an overheated brake caused a fire. The ATP-rated pilot swore that he wasn't dragging the brake, and was taxiing at normal speed. Analysis of the engine monitor data, which also records ground speed, showed that the was taxiing at 2,100 RPM (normal idle/taxi speed is 1,000 RPM or less), and based on the ground speed was using a lot of braking (as he would have to at that RPM).

If used and maintained properly, the brakes are well-matched to the aircraft.

"those are just some of the compromises made to lighten up the design."

Actually, I don't believe that any of the things you cited had anything to do with weight compromises. In fact, the parachute adds about 85 lbs. of weight. I'll bet they could have spin-certified with less additional weight than that, but the chute is useful in many other situations, like pilot incapacitation. There has been at least one such save, where a non-pilot pulled the chute.

Regardless of what compromises were made because of weight, do you know of any aircraft designs where there weren't weight compromises?

baron95 said...

Happy Fourth of July!!!

For our British friends, Don't feel bad you lost the "colonies". You still make the best cars.

Bubba said...

"For our British friends, Don't feel bad you lost the "colonies". You still make the best cars."

Clearly you've never owned an MG! Or ANYTHING that used Lucus wiring!

gadfly said...

Borrowed comments related to British cars:

Not many people know that Land Rovers attempted to market a computer. Why did they stop? They could not find a way to get it to leak oil!
A Land Rover doesn´t leak oil, it marks it´s territory. Did you hear about the man whose Land Rover didn't leak oil? The factory took it backand worked on it until it did.
Did you hear the one about the guy that peeked into a Land Rover and asked the owner "How can you tell one switch from another at night? They all look the same. " - "He replied, "It does not matter which one you use, nothing happens !"
The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."
Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.
Lucas - Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.
Lucas - Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.
The three position Lucas switch - Dim, Flicker and Off.
The Original Anti-Theft Device - Lucas Electrics.
>Lucas is an acronym for Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices
Lucas systems actually uses AC current; it just has a random frequency.
"I have had a Lucas pacemaker for years and have never had any trou..."
If Lucas made guns, wars would not start.
A friend of mine told everybody he never had any electric problems with his Lucas equipment. Today he lives in the countryside, in a large manor with lots of friendly servants around him and an occasional ice cold shower...
Back in the 70's, Lucas decided to diversify its product line and began manufacturing vacuum cleaners. It was the only product they offered which did not suck.
Q: Why do the British drink warm beer? A: Because Lucas makes their refrigerators
Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone.Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb. Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.
Recommended procedure before taking on a repair of Lucas equipment: Check the position of the stars,kill a chicken and walk three times clockwise around your car chanting:" Oh mighty Prince of Darkness protect your unworthy servant.."

gadfly

(My good friend's wife owns an "MG", parked neatly over a large "catch pan" in an otherwise spotless garage.)

WhyTech said...

"Three or four turns in, you're going to have to use the chute."

And, your are going to have to hope:

1. That you have remembered to remove the safety pin and to pull the handle (some have not)

2. That the rocket motor which extracts the chute actually fires
(some have not)

3. That the acft is within the speed envelope for which the chute is approved (probably will be in a spin, but chutes have failed due to excess speed in other situations)

4. That the chute deploys properly, without collapsing, getting tangled in structure, etc.

5. What have I missed?


In any event, too many conditions for me. Give me a recoverable acft any day.

WhyTech said...

"Damn, WT - how many myths ( now that I'm talking myths ) can you bundle into such a brief post?"

Show me the myths.

Read every NTSB accident report (including the 6 fatals this year to date) and tell me there is no reason for raised eyebrows. These things make the Dr. KIller Bonanza look good by comparison.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Lucas made a vaccuum cleaner once, it was the only thing they made that did not suck.

;^)

baron95 said...

WhyTech said...5. What have I missed?
================================

That the chute was deployed with enough altitude to do any good - 1,000 ft AGL or so.

That the winds don't drag you, your chute and your plane into some nasty stuff, because once you deploy it, you are a passenger.

That surface winds are not such that your plane would be dragged around after impact (yes - it has happened), further injuring you.

=================

I'm not opposed to the chute for marketing purposes (spouse pleaser), and for the situations where only the chute will do (mid air, structural failure, pilot incapacitation).

But why the heck did they need to cut corners and not made the SR-22 spin resistant like the C350 and/or spin recoverable with normal technique? The C350/C400 are generally thought to be 10KTS faster than the SR22/SR22TN - so clearly, having proper flying/recovery techniques did not slow them down.

Having said that....

My philosophy on spin recovery is and will always be stall prevention. There is no reason, why in the 21st century, new advanced airplanes like SR22 Perspective stall.

Lets get the cost of shakers/pushers down and mass install those on GA planes.

THAT is the answer. After all, neither chute nor normal technique will help anyone when you stall/spin from base to final, or on first segment climbout.

WhyTech said...

"Lets get the cost of shakers/pushers down and mass install those on GA planes ... THAT is the answer. After all, neither chute nor normal technique will help anyone when you stall/spin from base to final, or on first segment climbout."

Well ... maybe. But this introduces additional challenges, such as uncommanded pusher operation immediately after rotation, or on short final. I suppose that enough technology can solve this one too, but its seems complex for very light personal piston acft.

baron95 said...

You are right. I think it will be relatively easy to implements on planes like SR22s, Barons, etc that are flown into the runway more or less. A bit more tricky for the Cessna's and their pilots that enjoy those full stall/full aft control landings ;)

I was going to skip mentioning shakers and pushers for GA, and go straight into the ultimate solution of implementation of FBW control law - but we are still a few decades away from that one.

Phil Bell said...

Ditto Happy Fourth of July

WhyTech said...

"I have to imagine that Wouters would love for Klapmeier to take that albatross from around the company's neck"

In the AvWeb podcast, Wouters says that Cirrus is "absolutely committed" to The Jet program. But, admittedly, this statement is surrounded by many weasel words.

Phil Bell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Bell said...

Thanks to Baron for the nice picture of the F-22 and missile uploading.

The Cirrus saga is interesting- regarding myth busting, here's one I've heard repeatedly about Cirrus:

They've never made a profit.

I doubt if that's true, as they have outside investment (but, ah, so did Eclipse...)

Beedriver said...

The only real solution to pilot error is to get rid of the pilot.

Pilots make stupid errors and especially new pilots who do not know what they do not know or can't do.

the solution is to put in a full time autopilot and move the pilot from controlling the airplane to programming the route etc. Maybe the pilot could be allowed to land the airplane and take it off as these activities seems to be something that most people can learn to do safely without extensive training.

these systems already exist and many if not all of the UAV's use them .
one to look at is the Athena INS they are now owned by rockwell. a good article is in the Jan 2009 AOPA pilot Page 36. under Waypoints by Thoimas B. Haines.

I myself love the challenge of piloting safely and will rue the day that the only way you can fly an airplane is under the control of one of these smart boxes.

These smart boxes even have the ability to fly the airplane when there is control malfunction such as when a control cable breaks etc.

Most business pilots and commercial pilots I know fly their airplanes from take off until the actual landing totally under control of the autopilot. so it is a small step to having the computer take total control of the airplane.

baron95 said...

Phil, that is an actual AIM 120D being uploaded.

A very nice piece of "fireworks". ;)

Most people have no idea how big an AMRAAM is and how tough it was to redesign it and the F-22 for internal carriage. It is also a bitch to load it on the F-22 (so I have been told).

Beedriver - I share your views that the future of light GA jets will come about courtesy of UAVs. Why? Because that is where the technology to lower costs will come from. From less expensive fanjets to the autonomous fly-by-wire systems to automated failure detection and isolation to cheap autoland, etc.

RonRoe said...

Phil Bell sez:

"The Cirrus saga is interesting- regarding myth busting, here's one I've heard repeatedly about Cirrus:

They've never made a profit."

Phil,

According to a Cirrus shareholder I know personally, who has seen several years of financial statements, Cirrus has been nicely profitable during the several years when they were at full production.

RonRoe said...

Baron95 sez:

"You are right. I think it will be relatively easy to implements on planes like SR22s, Barons, etc that are flown into the runway more or less. A bit more tricky for the Cessna's and their pilots that enjoy those full stall/full aft control landings ;)

"I was going to skip mentioning shakers and pushers for GA, and go straight into the ultimate solution of implementation of FBW control law - but we are still a few decades away from that one."

Baron,

It is a big mistake to fly a Cirrus, SR20 or SR22, on to the runway. Just like Cessna singles, when you touch down, the throttle should be at idle, the yoke should be fully aft, and the stall warning should be going off.

If you watch a Cirrus land, from an outside vantage point, you will see that its angle of attack on touchdown is about the same as that of a Cessna 172 or 182. From inside the cockpit, it looks much flatter, but that is just because it's a different sight picture.

As to stick pushers, don't forget that they only appear on aircraft that have potentially severe stall characteristics -- like T-tail and swept-wing jets. I doubt that you could justify the extra weight, expense and complexity to add them to a prop single.

Of course, if you go to a full FBW system, then it doesn't add much weight to include a stick pusher, since the extra software won't weigh much (hint: weigh the holes in the punch cards).

baron95 said...

And two 363 sales later http://www.cnbc.com/id/31754224 as of Tuesday the US Gvmt will ultimately control 2/3 of native US auto production. What a shame.

A shame that the Big 3, while they were still big, didn't go down this Ch11-363 path before. All the stupid rhetoric from Wagoneer that Ch11 would be death, etc. What a wimp.

At least the Gvmt did it the right way, by laundrying the good assets, like a good old dope dealer.

This is the model the Eclipse couldn't make work due to lack fo closing funds.

Note to DAVE. In the case of GM it is a straight sale from Party A to Party A financed by Party A. Just like Eclipse/Etirc. I hope the GM 363 completely erased all the doubts you had in your mind that this is how Ch 11 bankruptcies are done in the 21st century. Quick, clean, unstoppable. All claims left behind.

Too bad Pieper could not find enough Rubbles.

baron95 said...

"As to stick pushers, don't forget that they only appear on aircraft that have potentially severe stall characteristics -- like T-tail and swept-wing jets. I doubt that you could justify the extra weight, expense and complexity to add them to a prop single."
=============================

Hummmm....once you have a fully coupled digital A/P like the G700 with all the proper sensor inputs and enough control authority, you are basically adding lines of code vs HW. And code is kind of light ;)

E.g. on the Phenom 100, the G1000/G700 Prodigy has the logic - and it was actually fine tuned post delivery. I believe they do have a separate pusher actuator, but that is just because it is easier to certify - pusher needs to work after A/P breaker is pulled.

But perhaps we'll go straight to FBW control law limits, as that is the ultimate solution. Who knows. Perhaps some of the experiments TPs will add them, then something like a Malibu/Baron, then maybe the SR22 class. Logic says it should trickle down. It may come as part of a future FIKI certification requirement to reduce alpha with contaminants on the wing, or something.

Shane Price said...

A note about our 'old' home

I've just posted the following, on the 'NG' blog. I'm putting it up here, in case anyone thought there was something fishy going on....

After 17 months, 87 headline posts, 21,696 comments (excluding this one..) and the opening of our new 'home' at:-

http://aviationcriticenthusiast.blogspot.com/

I've decided to 'preserve' this blog exactly as it stands.

As a result, no further comments will be allowed, on any of the threads.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed, by comments, post or email for the very real impact this blog had. I propose to let it stand as a record of events at Eclipse Aviation Corporation as viewed by us critics.

From a personal perspective, handling the blog for the period which covered the final breakup at EAC was at times a demanding experience.

However, I think it was worthwhile, and I hope that at least some of our detractors would admit it was too.

Slán, agus bennacht De libh go leir.

Shane
'Goodbye, and the blessing of God to you all'

Dave said...

Note to DAVE. In the case of GM it is a straight sale from Party A to Party A financed by Party A. Just like Eclipse/Etirc. I hope the GM 363 completely erased all the doubts you had in your mind that this is how Ch 11 bankruptcies are done in the 21st century. Quick, clean, unstoppable. All claims left behind.

Are you talking to me? I didn't doubt the use of 363 sales, but rather the relationship between the CEO/Chairman (Eclipse) and the purchaser (ETIRC) as something problematic. 363 sales are standard, but not the relationship between the buyers and the sellers with Eclipse/ETIRC. I don't know what you are trying to get at as I didn't take issue with the concept of 363 sales themselves. What is going on with GM is not the exact same as what happened with Eclipse - namely the fiduciaries at the GM and the creditors of GM are two different groups, but Eclipse was highly tangled with the top fiduciaries being on all sides of the sale.

taildragger said...

Aw Gad, I fear for your very safety! You have challenged the Prince of Darkness and he has been known to wait years, even decades for his revenge! As the owner of a 1960 Morgan +4 I bow in honor everytime I insert that little tiny key in that wonderful Lucas Headlight, sidelight, ignition switch and turn it to ON. When doing the work on my Morgan I replaced the Lucas points and coil with an electronic unit and also replaced the Lucas generator and voltage regulator with an alternator. But I kept the Lucas parts and placed them gently and with honor on a shelf beside my car. I bow in their direction when entering the garage. I also use a factory wiring harness that does not say Lucas on it, but I know that the blood of Lucas runs throught it, as it has at time decided to un-ground itself.

On the Cirrus side of things I checked out in a Cirrus about a year ago and during our discussions the subject of "what if" and spins came up. We conjectured that perhaps opening a door against the spin may work, but we did NOT try that in practice.

As an old instructor (I got my rating in '71)I think we are allowing a group of pilots develop who have forgotten that one golden basic rule...FLY THE BLOODY AIRPLANE. To often in reading the accident reports it appears that pilots have just given up and pulled chute rather then remembering to fly the airplane. While many of them have survived, the airplanes have been ruined but may not have been if they had remembered to Fly The Airplane.

Ah well, I don't think they've made a proper trainer since the Cessna 150/152 series. Those airplanes would teach you very quickly coordination of the controls, something the rudder numb Pipers, Beechcrafts, Diamonds don't do. I make my living selling airplanes, and I am constantly surprised by the number of people I fly with who are not coordinated in their use of the controls. I have to resist my old instructor habit of tapping on the offending rudder pedal.

I notice B.E.G. is sitting back during this stall spin discussion just smiling with his Ercoupe!

airsafetyman said...

"The low-cost airline [Ryanair]would charge passengers less on "bar stools" with seat belts around their waists. Michael O'Leary, the chief executive, has already held talks with US plane manufacturer Boeing about designing an aircraft with standing room. He is seeking approval from the Irish Aviation Authority before ordering a new fleet of carriers, according to The Sun."

Hope the Irish Aviation Authority will do to their resident ass what the FAA failed to do with Vern.

gadfly said...

Anecdote from the past:

A “Dutchman” that worked for me as a designer/tool maker/proto-type machinist (and now in charge of a tooling department in a major aircraft engine company) once worked as a “sales engineer” for a Swiss heat-treat oven company, spoke eight languages fluently, and would travel all over the world including behind the “Iron Curtain”. Once, he said, on “Aeroflot”, he smelled smoke . . . walked to the rear of the plane (a large jet) and found a family calmly “squatting” around a small “hibachi” cooker, cooking lunch. Maybe that’s taking the “standing room only” to the next level . . . Who said the Russians were not ahead of their time?

gadfly

twinpilot said...

Baron95,
Looks like 87J flew into a tree but I agree, not necessarily that tree.
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=DEN07CA035&rpt=fa

julius said...

airsafetyman,

"bar stools"

did anybody see these "bar stools"?

How much did Ryanair pay for proliferating this "old" concept?

How many people looked at Ryanair's websides?

I think it's just a simple PR-gag like paying fees for using a toilet!


Julius

airsafetyman said...

"I think it's just a simple PR-gag like paying fees for using a toilet!"

Is he trying to make himself look like a fool? His airline? The Irish airworthiness authorities? What's the point? The Irish airworthiness folks have already got enough to slam him against the wall until his teeth rattle for the way he is abusing passengers. What does it take to get them off the dime?

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Pilatus PC-12 went down yesterday in Virginia. It had some of my old friends parents aboard no survivors.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/article1016144.ece#comments

baron95 said...

taildragger said....pilots develop who have forgotten that one golden basic rule...FLY THE BLOODY AIRPLANE
-----------------------------------

And since when was that a golden rule? Military fighter pilots have been trained for generations, to, when in doubt, pull the handle, and pull it early enough to do some good.

The SR22 chute is the counterpart to the ejection handle. First generation, does not work too well, does not work in some attitudes and/or airspeeds. In time it will improve, just as ejection seats.

An SR22 pilot that is below max deployment speed and is in doubt of the flights outcome SHOULD pull the chute and pull it early enough to do some good. It is a tool. It is there to be used.

Sinking with the ship, trying to hang on to a loaded Rhino after engine failure on carrier approach or an SR22 after spin or IMC disorientation is just plain silly. Make the call, pull the handle, and let the chips fall where they may. Stressed out single pilots make the worst decisions.

There is no GOLDEN RULE to fly the airplane when there is another viable out, you are in a bad situation and stressed out.

As a matter of fact, I'm interested in knowing how much attention is given in the Cirrus training syllabus to pulling the chute.

I'd like to see pilots trained for say:

- IMC sim under the hood, instructor kicks ruder and announces spin - have user reach and pull (sim) in under x sec.

- IMC sim, instructor pulls master announces elec failure and have student open/remove safety of chute before troubleshooting.

Did they teach you that?

baron95 said...

Why SAM? On a short flight, say LGA-BOS, I'd rather be standing in a bar than sitting next to a 400 lb person spilling into my seat.

And if it meant faster boarding and deplaning, lower fares, etc, I'd be first in line. Sign me in.

If the choice were a 2 section cabin for a 40 min flight which would you take. Front of the plane, $50 fare, standing by the bar, last in first out. Back of the plane, seated 30" pitch, first in last out - $75 fare?

Let there be choice man. If no one takes the front of the plane, joke is on Ryanair. If people fight for seats up front, joke is on everyone else.

Let the market decide. What harm can there be in more choices?

baron95 said...

Above was intended for ASM not SAM ;)

airsafetyman said...

"Pilatus PC-12 went down yesterday in Virginia. It had some of my old friends parents aboard no survivors."

It was first reported that the pilot "lost a panel" leading many to think a structural component had separated. Now released ATC information indicates the pilot reported that he had "an issue with a panel" and are thinking it may have possibly been a PFD problem.

"First generation, does not work too well, does not work in some attitudes and/or airspeeds. In time it will improve, just as ejection seats."

If Cirrus had gone to Martin-Baker in the first place they would already have a safe, highly reliable, and maintainable system in place developed with sixty years experience in the technology. Plus having a M-B system in place would absolutely put the stamp of approval on the concept.

Shane Price said...

"I think it's just a simple PR-gag like paying fees for using a toilet!"

Sadly, he's not joking. The majority of Ryanair flights are less than 90 minutes, from gate to gate.

Already, they make it a) expensive and b) difficult to 'check' baggage for the cargo hold on a Ryanair flight, all in the interest of rapid turnaround.

What could further speed the turnaround time?

Passengers who don't waste time sitting down.

Personally, I avoid Ryanair wherever possible. If I do fly with them, I limit myself to carry on baggage only.

Think about the 'good old days' when we all packed unlimited amounts of junk, were served terrible food and drank too much on short haul trips.

Now, you arrive with the clothes on your back, a toothbrush, hungry and as sober as a judge.

What's not to like....

Shane

TBMs_R_Us said...

I'd like to see pilots trained for say:

- IMC sim under the hood, instructor kicks ruder and announces spin - have user reach and pull (sim) in under x sec.

- IMC sim, instructor pulls master announces elec failure and have student open/remove safety of chute before troubleshooting.

Did they teach you that?


Baron,

It's been awhile since I read each and every Cirrus accident report, but, at least through 3 years ago none of the chute pulls were to recover from a spin. Not to say that your suggestion for training isn't a good one. There is a lot of emphasis on chute strategy and tactics in the COPA safety seminars.

SOP for Cirrus is to pull the chute pin and cover before takeoff, so as not to have any impediment if it's needed. So no need for training to pull the pin. It takes a real PULL to deploy the chute, so accidental deployment is not an issue -- hence, pull the pin before flight. I was trained to put the pin in the ignition key ring, so it's visual and tactile that it's been pulled before engine start.

Lots of Cirrus pilots focus on things like AGL on takeoff when chute becomes effective (about 500 feet, potentially), or muscle memory triggers for getting the hand up to the handle. Of course, these aren't the pilots who are getting themselves killed flying a Cirrus.

Best Cirrus chute pull story that I know: 1200-hour-in-Cirrus IFR pilot, hand flying level in IMC over New York has a seizure and blacks out. Wakes up, finds himself in a dive at 1600 AGL, pulls power, pulls up, pulls chute. Forgot to kill the engine though, which probably saved his life. Finds himself drifting down onto a propane tank farm, uses power and rudder to steer aircraft under chute to open water on the Hudson. Lands in water, dons life vest, swims to shore as plane sinks. Discovered at hospital to have a broken back (from impact with water) and an undiagnosed brain tumor. Sadly, the guy's flying career was over, although I believe he's alive and well after brain surgery.

RonRoe said...

TBMs,

I know the Cirrus pilot you spoke of. He is doing well. His brain tumor was non-malignant, but of a type likely to recur. After a year or so, and one recurrence, he decided that getting his medical back would be too much trouble, so he gave up flying.

Amazingly, some (non-Cirrus) pilots second guessed his decision to pull the 'chute. Despite the fact that one of his legs was partially paralyzed, he was in marginal VMC conditions, and that seizures often are followed by impaired thinking for a period of time, they said that he should have tried to land the plane rather than pulling the handle! If he had tried that, had another seizure on short final, and killed someone on the ground, would they still have said that using the parachute was a mistake?

I guess old beliefs die hard.

Black Tulip said...

EclipsePilotOMSIV,

Sorry for your friend's loss. Early reports say the PC-12 climbed to FL320, two thousand feet above its certificated ceiling.

WhyTech said...

"Early reports say the PC-12 climbed to FL320, two thousand feet above its certificated ceiling."

Where can these reports be found? Inquiring minds want to know more!

Black Tulip said...

Checkout the track log of N578DC on FlightAware. News of a climb to FL320 is finding its way into mainstream media reports.

WhyTech said...

"Checkout the track log of N578DC on FlightAware. "

Did this. Acft appears to have been above FL300 for about 2 hours. Seems odd. Difficult to believe that the pilot didnt know better. May suggest some kind of incapacitation.

gadfly said...

One night . . . on a Christmas Eve, I knew I was in trouble . . . called one of my “sons-in-law” (a “Paramedic”) and asked him to drive me to the hospital. He said, “No way! . . . call 911 and get help right now!” . . . which we did. Within minutes, the local “Sheriff”, “State Police”, and “Fire Rescue” were lighting up the winter night with flashing lights on the mountain . . . and I was waiting by the gate to climb into an emergency vehicle, to make the twenty-five mile ride into the center of Albuquerque, to Presbyterian Hospital. I was told to get back into the house . . . the “paramedics” arrived, stabilized the patient (me), and methodically prepared me for the ride into the center of Albuquerque. Christmas came and went . . . and the day after, I was opened like a Christmas Turkey, for quintuple bypass surgery, which was successful, I am pleased to report, but as all this was happening I was putting family members, etc. in somewhat of a shock.

What’s the point? It is easy to “second guess” what a person in distress is thinking, or how they should “react” . . . and even the “patient” will have better thoughts, later. But as I stood in the near zero cold by the gate on that dark Christmas Eve, waiting for the rescue unit, it seemed most logical to at least meet them “halfway” (as it were). Later, I realized the need for “nitro-glycerin”, etc., and a calm transition to a place where someone would save my life, for a few more years. The “panic” was over-rated, but I didn’t know that at the moment. And the mind plays funny games. It was serious, for sure . . . but for a person who seldom panics, it was an education.

In an aircraft “incident”, it’s easy to second-guess what might have occurred in the cockpit, regardless of all the training and previous experience, but it might be well to wait for better information . . . or at least, a calm perspective of other factors.

Sometimes it’s best to just “walk away” and admit that we may never know the final answers . . . and at least that leaves us with a “teachable” attitude, which in my own mind is an extremely valuable asset.

gadfly

(Hey! . . . It's good keeping in touch, without the venom that seemed to be the bottom line in the past . . . Let's keep this on a higher level, now that the little jet by the Rio Grande has finally been (almost) laid to rest.)

Black Tulip said...

Note that lat/lon does not change for a long period at the end of the flight track. There may only be one or two replies from FL320 and the system may have gone into 'coast'. One theory in Pilatus circles has him trying to outclimb weather.

Deep Blue said...

Who is admin on this new blog?

Kind of agree w/B95: what's up with a crashed airplane and a 30 year old MD-80 on the "cover?"

Looks like really old and dumb GA, like the cover of Sporty's Pilot Shop

baron95 said...

ASM said... If Cirrus had gone to Martin-Baker in the first place they would already have a safe, highly reliable, and maintainable system in place developed with sixty years experience in the technology. Plus having a M-B system in place would absolutely put the stamp of approval on the concept.
==============================
EXCEPT that the ejection system itself would have cost more than an entire SR22 and weight as much as an entire C172.

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

TBM said... It's been awhile since I read each and every Cirrus accident report, but, at least through 3 years ago none of the chute pulls were to recover from a spin.
========================

Thanks for the info on the SR22 chute SOPs. I'm glad a lot of emphasis are being put into it.

The pull on spin question was just to see if some "automatic" pull situations were being taught.

Re PC-12 crash - was that an NG model? Also, I know the pilot was flying above max operating altitude, but most likely that is not one of the causes of the crash. It may even have been perfectly legal to be there, IF, for example, he found himself in an embedded Tstorm (an emergency) and was trying to exit over the top (perhaps based on top echos on the weather radar). Not saying that is what happened, but the FL320 bit is prob not very relevant to the crash.

WhyTech said...

"There may only be one or two replies from FL320 and the system may have gone into 'coast'. One theory in Pilatus circles has him trying to outclimb weather."

Other reports indicate the crash happend about 10:30 AM, but the track log goes on for another 1.5 hours, and, as stated, the lat/lon doesnt change much from about 10:15AM. So coast is the likely cause of the ongoing track log. Outclimbing wx in a PC-12 at FL300 is a desperate mesure - doesnt climb worth crap at this alt.

Same report (highly suspect as it appears in the "civilian" press) suggests that the pilot may have been flying for as little as two years. If accurate, would be a relatively low time pilot for FL300 in a turbine acft. ANother press report indicates pilot has been flying for about 30 years - more likely, IMO.

WhyTech said...

"Re PC-12 crash - was that an NG model?"

Has been described in some published reports as a 12/45. The NG is a 12/47E.

WhyTech said...

Here is snippet from the Flight Safety Foundation Aviation Safety Network:

"Date: 05-JUL-2009
Time: 10:30 am
Type: Pilatus PC-12/45
Operator: Private
Registration: N578DC
C/n / msn: 570
Fatalities: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: McCormick Farm, Rockbridge County, Virginia - United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature: Private
Departure airport: Teterboro, NJ (KTEB)
Destination airport: Tampa Executive, FL (KVDF)
Narrative:
The aircraft crashed after the pilot reported that an exterior panel had separated from the aircraft while the aircraft was trying to divert to Lynchburg, Virginia. The occupants sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was destroyed. Initial reports indicated two persons on board but it was later confirmed that there were actually four occupants on the flight."

WhyTech said...

"C/n / msn: 570"

Manufacturer serial number (MSN) 570 would definitely be a 12/45, of about 2004 vintage.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

News that is not making the news:

Popular experimental EFIS producer Blue Mountain Avionics closed shop yesterday ('the economy')- they are still supporting the fielded units but will not be making new units and are looking for someone to buy the code and hardware.

An experimental aircraft manufacturer that yours truly is very fond of may be in dire straights, has not been returning calls or e-mails and is rumored to have furloughed nearly all staff. I remain hopeful but am on the verge of suffering deja vu all over again.

Despite hardcore attempts by the President and his cohorts at DoD and Congress, yours truly remains gainfully employed in the aerospace and defense fields (at least for now knock on wood).

The corpse of Eclipse remains untouched although there are promising aftermarket developments in-work.

The Father's Day Fly-In in Columbia California may be one of the best kept secrets in the West (P-51's doing 400 mph passes just over your head, literally felt the propwash on one). If you get a chance to go next year, do it!

Wedge's would-be journalist spouse remains a self-aggrandizing tool.

Blue Skies All

bill e. goat said...

Hi Julius,
"compare your article with the Husdson ditching and the "recation" of the FAA (killing Canadian Gesse): It is possible to trace birds smaller than geese with radars (and is practised for years)! Typically, birds on migration fly above 1000 feet, which might not stop in that area where the geese were killed. What was the real intention of the FAA: Placeboes for the public?"

Thanks for the info on the FAA's de-goose-ification activities- I had suspected they'd "do something"- and I suspect you are right, more or less a placebo.

FAA Wild Goose chase
(Well, they're urbanized wild geese anyway).

Bird Radar Blog
(I guess there's a blog about just about everything !!)

AWACS crash in 1995
(Now THIS was one that I had thought was the "urban legend". Not to ignore the tragedy of it, but it is bizarrely ironic, especially considering "bird detection radar" mentioned in the link above, that this was an airborne RADAR airplane that didn't detect the geese).

bill e. goat said...

Thanks to all the folks who contributed to the Cirrus discussion, re: engines, spins, and 'chutes.
some interesting reading about Cirrus spin recovery

I believe this is the underlying rationale for Cirrus BRS chutes (note: not the same thing as a "spin chute"- because it can't be jettisoned, as a spin recovery chute can):
"Alan Klapmeier had a near fatal midair collision in 1984 and was convinced that a parachute could be a last-resort safety mechanism."
Now, once 'ole Al had tacked on a BRS chute, maybe he decided to tweak the wing for a little extra cruise performance (and little extra spin recovery performance).

I have to agree with Dave I. -
"I've always disliked something about Cirrus. I'm not sure what..."

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,

"B.E.G. those range quotes (for the AIM-120D, 110-150 mi) are meaningless, unless you state conditions."

Um, flying in a straight line through air, not sea water.

bill e. goat said...

Baron- you are right about "effective range".
But I wasnt' referring to missile "effectiveness", just range.
(It's an important number, they don't add extra propellant just to make it weigh more...
.)

bill e. goat said...

Hi TailDragger,
"Ah well, I don't think they've made a proper trainer since the Cessna 150/152 series. Those airplanes would teach you very quickly coordination of the controls, something the rudder numb Pipers, Beechcrafts, Diamonds don't do."

Well- let me just say this, about that...

When I was learning to fly (not that long ago), in a STOL-kit equipped 150, I was doing touch and go's. I lifted off a bit early on one of those "go's", and the airplane started going right- at an altitude of about 5 feet- it was a most perplexing experience. I was "doing everything right", but the darn thing was just not going where I wanted it too.

(Much like many other perplexing experiences in life... :)

At the last, ah, half second, I chopped power, plunked into the mud, and made a hard ground turn, with the wing swinging over and just skimming the tops of rather healthy corn (another second on the throttle, or day of corn growth, and things would have been more memorable) and the prop missing it by about two feet.

I was able to power back onto the runway, and had enough runway left to do a takeoff, and continued to do a few more touch and go's, but the sickening feeling never left that "something's just not quite right about this airplane".

Until...I went flying with a crusty old geezer (well, marginally crustier and older, than I am).

On our first takeoff roll, the first thing he said was, "What am I doing in an airplane with you !?!".

Then the second thing he said was, "use the rudder, not the ailerons".

I knew that, but had not been doing that. Right then it dawned on me what I had done wrong in the corn field episode.

Many people commented on the tracks in the mud- but the grass had just been mowed, and it was attributed to the mower: "looked like it almost got stuck".

I quickly agreed.

(In hindsight, I am rather less convinced of my good fortune in saving face, and more convinced at the graciousness of fellow flying club members...)

But, I have NEVER forgotten the importance/complication(?!?) of rudder pedals.

Not that in a nifty ERcoupe one needs to worry about such crude contrivances...
--------------------------------

"I notice B.E.G. is sitting back during this stall spin discussion just smiling with his Ercoupe!"

Well, I get pretty dizzy sometimes anyway, even without spins!
.)

...you know, sometimes even the ERcoupe does things, which makes me think, "There's something just not right about this airplane..."

(Ah, if only airplanes could talk- the stories they'd tell...
:)

baron95 said...

bill e. goat said...
Baron- you are right about "effective range".
But I wasnt' referring to missile "effectiveness", just range.
===================
Even "plain" (or max) range, is HEAVILY dependent on conditions. An F-22 supercruising at M1.4 at 50K ft launches AIM120D 1.

An F16 flying at 300 kts, and 300 ft AGL launches AIM120D 2.

Which one do you figure will reach farther?

Are you aware that an F-22 has test dropped a JDAM (which has no propulsion) beyond 24nm down range? The trick? It was lobbed from 50K ft and M1.5. Not bad huh? At that distance, head on, the F22 could take out SMA sites using cheap iron bombs and still bug out.

Don't discount energy at launch for missiles or bombs.

As to effective range, beyond launch conditions above, you have to take into account target aspect (approaching/departing), speed, maneuverability, detection and countermeasure capabilities, jamming capabilities, etc.

Your effective range may be, in fact, much greater than max flight range. e.g. If you have a fighter approaching head on to you at M1.5 with jammers on, you can launch an AIM 120D in "lock-on-jamming" mode. That missile would be hard, if not impossible to detect, until it is way too late to even say "Oh shitski". That one could be launched from quite a distance off - Perhaps in excess on 100nm (180Km) with good PK.

Conversely, a Typhoon launching an AIM120c vs an F22 that is bugging out, would have to launch if from pretty close in - perhaps inside 10 nm or less to have even a moderate PK.

baron95 said...

SMA = SAM

baron95 said...

Deep Blue said...

Who is admin on this new blog?

Kind of agree w/B95: what's up with a crashed airplane and a 30 year old MD-80 on the "cover?"
========================

I know, so many cool pictures, even some of British Single Engine VLJs and Larger Jets flying.

Even Shane and the other Europa-heads should be able to like that.

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

Hi Baron,
"An F-22 supercruising at M1.4 at 50K ft launches AIM120D 1.

"An F16 flying at 300 kts, and 300 ft AGL launches AIM120D 2.

"Which one do you figure will reach farther?"

I'm not sure- but I think the one launched in seawater goes faster, because Mach 4 in seawater is 12000 mph, versus only 3000 mph at 30K feet in air.

baron95 said...

On better news...Embraer delivered 13 Phenom 100s to the US in the second quarter - a rate of one a week. Good News!!!

Well, unless you are Cessna, since that prob means they sold 13 fewer C510/C525.

baron95 said...

LOL, BEG.

But kidding aside, you know that the USN will likely be fielding SUBSAM based on a Tomahawk/AMRAAM-D very soon.

So AMRAAM through seawater is coming to you ;)

The BGM-109 submarine-launched Tomahawk missile (below) can carry a 335 lb AMRAAM instead of a 1000 lb warhead. The SUBSAM will have two stages, like the SUBROC missile. It will be fired straight up and then level off to fly a pre-programmed search pattern over the submarine while the AMRAAM operates in the seek mode looking for airborne targets for up to an hour. Once a target is detected, the AMRAAM fires and breaks away from the cruise missile to pursue the aircraft.

If you want to read more- this is a good discussion...

http://www.g2mil.com/subam.htm

baron95 said...

And if you want to work on it, Raytheon is hiring for the job. You can apply here:

http://www.rayjobs.com/campus/index.cfm?Tool=IDS

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
But seriously...
Who- ME !?!
:0)

About that "bomb toss" maneuver- the F16's have a neat-o HUD feature for that (I suppose a bunch of other fast noisy other things do also).

The ever-amazing Wikipedia has a nice article on it:

Toss Bombing

Now, if THAT's not a cool enough item, consider the article mentions:
"Author and retired USAF pilot Richard Bach describes such an attack in his book Stranger to the Ground..."

OoooKay, that fellar sounded a bit familiar...Yup!
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
(Beautiful album by Neil Diamond too- let the yuppies and Gen-X/Y/Z'rs groan all they like- "try it, you'll like it!" :)

Much like 2001: A Space Odyssey, I never quite got it, but it's a cool experience reading/viewing it.

(I didn't see the JLS movie, just read the book...and conversely never read 2001- the film was a STUNNING experience on "the big screen"- and I do mean BIG screen- the "experience" suffers considerably in translation to a smallish multi-cinema screen).
---------------------------------

Ah, for those Gen-something folks...
"cleverly effective in character or execution"

"Eclipse is a neato airplane"
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
:)

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
As you mention, a rocket-powered missile might be coming pretty soon! I hope we have one of our own- the soviet's got'em (no telling who else they sold it to as well...):
VA-111 Shkval
200 knots speed- that's a fast "fish"!
--------------------------------
I couldn't get the external site to open, but-
Naval Undersea Warfare Center

I used to read about the "above sea level" testing of aircraft, missiles, jamming ranges, etc- it was rather shocking to find out the same thing happens "below sea level".

The reciprocal, if inverted, nature of it makes perfect sense- it's just something that hadn't occurred to an "air" head...
:)

NUWC pic

bill e. goat said...

And, just as the "air" heads have Predator drones, the wet folks have some "disruptive" ideas as well:
Stingray
Looks like R2D2 on a jetski...probably about right!

bill e. goat said...

Hi EPx,
I'm sorry to hear about your loss (re: PC-12 accident). My thoughts are with you and the families involved.

bill e. goat said...

Oops- sorry, I meant to post this in reference to above Cirrus BRS 'chute discussion:
Cirrus article, Time magazine, Sept 14, 2003
"Alan Klapmeier had a near fatal midair collision in 1984 and was convinced that a parachute could be a last-resort safety mechanism."

agroth said...

From ColdWet:

"An experimental aircraft manufacturer that yours truly is very fond of may be in dire straights, has not been returning calls or e-mails and is rumored to have furloughed nearly all staff. I remain hopeful but am on the verge of suffering deja vu all over again."

CWM,

Epic?

I sure wonder the reasoning behind coming up with 175 designs rather than just putting all of their effort into the LT and subsequently the Dynasty.

It's not like they needed to generate extra excitement. The LT is an amazing airplane!

WhyTech said...

"But, I have NEVER forgotten the importance/complication(?!?) of rudder pedals."

When I am King, everyone will learn to fly (fixed wing) in a taildragger!

agroth said...

When I am King, everyone will learn to fly (fixed wing) in a taildragger!

1948 Piper PA-17 back in 1992 off of an 1,800 foot grass strip (which was really really long for that airplane).

Shane Price said...

And I thought nobody had noticed....

It seems the closure of our 'old home' is getting a bit of coverage.

On another note, rumblings reach me (yes, I'm still in the loop...) of former Eclipsers being approached to return to the 505.

Hmmm....

Shane

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

"I've always disliked something about Cirrus. I'm not sure what..."

My experience is limited to a roundtrip from Santa Fe to Lake Powell and back. The plane is taxing to fly in turbulence as the side-stick controller has a short throw compared to a floor-mounted stick. An autopilot is a necessity. Also the adjustable spring tension for pitch and roll trim seemed quite primitive.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Agroth, I guess the cat is out of the bag now.

Actually, I like to think of Epic's business model as an intelligent cross between a kit OEM and Scaled Composites, so having a number of related designs on the table at any given time actually makes sense - and their designs, like the LT, are all really amazing in terms of performance and utility.

Believe me, there is a real method to the madness in terms of the variety of designs, like so many other companies though that were marginally profitable or at least cashflow positive, the abrubt changes to the world economy have apparently had a significant effect.

I am hopeful that they get out of this situation but it will take difficult leadership decisions and very open communication with the stakeholders in my opinion - here is hoping.

Black Tulip said...

We saw Gunner’s aircraft in pieces at Epic fourteen months ago and very much hope he got it finished. The company was spread pretty thin. The LT was in need of de-ice/anti-ice equipment but the plant manager seemed proud of the fact that it did not have it as, “owners would not tempt fate.” The Elite twin-jet was just about to leave for Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. (“How’s that working out?”)

Note that far more robust companies such as Socata and Pilatus have concentrated on developing and enhancing a single general aviation model.

Beedriver said...

A piece of information on the spin resistance of the Cirrus.

According to my daughter who was involved in the certification of a small airplane in the the late 90's, The certification requirements for spin recovery changed and got substantially more stringent some time around the late 80's or so. The result is that new airplanes like the Cirrus were much harder to certify than the old airplanes. Thus Cirrus might have met the old requirements and is a good as the older Chrokees, Cessnas or Bonanzas. but the certify it to the new requirements would have forced too many compromises and the Chute was a solution.

Does anyone have the connections to check out the change in the regulations?

Dave said...

A piece of information on the spin resistance of the Cirrus.

Having followed Eclipse so long, I thought at first you were talking about PR spin!

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

I guess Epic is getting ready to eat it as well....

airtaximan said...

I am starting to get this sick feeling, that the failure of EAC will somehow be blamed on the economy.

Let it never be forgotten, that the problems with EAC stemmed from the fact that they blew it on the product spec/market demand/cost/selling price.

No matter what the market conditions were, this "project" was doomed.

Analogies to Epic, or any other GA manufacturer just clouds the fact, here.

There were never enough clients to justify the selling price, or create the production-rate cost advantage to make the EA50 a viable product.

Dave said...

No matter what the market conditions were, this "project" was doomed.

Yes, Eclipse was mismanaged from cradle to grave. The better the economy, the more money that was wasted while the bad economy dried up all the money that was being wasted.

Shane Price said...

Those pesky tail cones just keep burning up

Got this from one of my many contacts. His company has been working on repairing tail cones.

#2 has shown up, and OH-MY, this one has delamination in at least 7 places (directly in line with the exhaust flutes, and one has completely burned off any finish resin on the graphite)

Pretty thing this is, and this will be a real challenge to repair, as all the inner material will have to be removed, this will take away basically the inner barrel (exhaust pipe)

Pass this one on, and if there is interest (if we can repair and are successful), all should REALLY take a good look up their rear ends (er, tail pipes)

I am very sure that hotrodding at full throttle did this one in, and heck, it’s a jet, and why not!

Just who was the boob that decided to design a plastic jet exhaust??

Grumman did, but used metallic weaved stainless or inconnel material (and yes, I have one in the shop now to see how the big guys do it)


Interesting, I think you'll agree. Contact Phil at the new email address, who'll be able to pass on details of the company concerned.

Shane

gadfly said...

Don’t hold me to the numbers . . . it’s been too many years, but back in “olden times”, we (a small dedicated crew of model-maker machinists, including an Englishman, and an "Irishman", Eddy Killops, from Belfast . . . for Shane's information) built and tested various models of ablative heat-shield material, for the “Apollo”, the “Sparton” (2% Thoriated Tungsten . . . a "bugger" to machine) missile nose, and some other long forgotten re-entry devices. We had a continuous DC power supply with about 1,200 Volts and about 2,000 Amps (filling a fair sized building, with “chicken wire” to keep out the rabbits next to the celery fields, and sometimes we would set the weeds on fire when a power supply would go bad) . . . lighting off the arc with Argon, and quickly switching to Nitrogen, between anode and cathode, with Oxygen introduced just downstream of the anode . . . in other words, a 2.4 megawatt plasma generator, duplicating the “Earth’s” atmosphere, of 80% nitrogen/20% oxygen, with something coming in from space at trans-sonic velocities. The testing took place in a huge vacuum chamber, with massive "Roots" blowers, backed up with "LeBold" rectangular piston pumps (anchored on 10 foot deep concrete foundations), taking away the gases and fumes . . . into the atmosphere of Orange County.

We introduced a “carbon model” (Pico graphite) into the supersonic flow, with “Chrome-Alumel” thermocouples (which we made, ourselves, placed at strategic locations on the nose and surfaces), and studied the ablation rate of the carbon model (making movies of the shock-waves, etc.). Then, we would introduce the actual samples . . . it was rather tense, forcing over two million watts of power, through a nozzle less than a half inch in diameter, of water-cooled copper, lined with Boron Nitride . . . about two feet from my face . . . ah yes, those were exciting times . . . and long ago. But I learned much about “plastics” and composites . . . and over the years, little has changed.

(Except the facility was about a half mile from the north end of John Wayne Airport, just over the freeway . . . and all that’s changed over the years.)

Plastic composites still don’t do well at temperatures above 400 degrees F . . . and unless the nearby plastic laminates are designed as sacrificial surfaces/tiles, with the ability to quickly replace them on a strict schedule, as they ablate, it was obvious that "someone" . . . or rather "no-one" had a clue as to the effects of heat on the bonding plastic resins. When this problem was first mentioned sometime back, it was obvious that the designer of engine location/placement on the airframe was in way over his head. Some things can be forgiven, but good grief . . . this stuff is old technology . . . and there is no excuse. Period!

gadfly

(My boss, Adriano Ducati . . . he left his family in the “old country” to build motorcycles: “Make it quick and dirty . . . but precise!” . . . what a great privilege to work with that little genius!)

WhyTech said...

"I believe they do have a separate pusher actuator, but that is just because it is easier to certify - pusher needs to work after A/P breaker is pulled."

Does the Garmin AP really have the pusher logic? This was a non trivial task on the PC-12 (which has both a shaker and a pusher to deal with adverse stall/spin characteristics in some flight regimes). A key issue is avoiding a push at the wrong time. The PC-12 has dual angle of attack sensors, dual pusher "computers" completely separate from the AP (admittedly an antique first gen digital AP in all but the NG (12/47E))and logic to decide when to push and when not top push. To put all this functionality into the AP would seem to give up certain desirable redundancy.

Phil Bell said...

EclipsePilotOMSIV,
My condolences for the loss of your friend's parents in the PC-12 accident.

Phil Bell said...

RonRoe,
"According to a Cirrus shareholder I know personally, who has seen several years of financial statements, Cirrus has been nicely profitable during the several years when they were at full production."

Thank you for "myth busting" my mis-perception. I'm glad to see a light plane manufacturer doing well (or at least, not totally badly), during this time of economic challenges.

Phil Bell said...

Deep_Blue,
”Who is admin on this new blog? ...Looks like really old and dumb..."

Why...thank you for the compliment.
;-)

baron95 said...

Beedriver said...
The certification requirements for spin recovery changed and got substantially more stringent some time around the late 80's or so. The result is that new airplanes like the Cirrus were much harder to certify than the old airplanes. Thus Cirrus might have met the old requirements and is a good as the older Chrokees, Cessnas or Bonanzas. but the certify it to the new requirements would have forced too many compromises and the Chute was a solution.
==========================
Sorry, but contemporary competitive planes to the SR20/SR22 got certified as SPIN RESISTANT (C300/350) and CONVENTIONAL SPIN RECOVERY (DA40), just to name a few.

And IF it were true that the SR20/22 could meet the same recovery as Cessnas, Pipers and Bonanzas, as you claim, then they'd recovered readily from a develop spin with correct control input. And that does not seem to be the case.

Cirrus just took shortcuts to certification. Since the chute was there, they chose not to run a spin profile.

Now, I don't think this has anything to do with the VERY POOR accident record of the SR22. So prob not worth debating.

I am almost certain that the accident record of SR22s with G1000/G700/Perspective/SVS will improve dramatically. They now have a proper electrical/redundant avionics setup and single pilot aids that may make a difference.

baron95 said...

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

I guess Epic is getting ready to eat it as well....
===============================

With all due respect to CW/Gunner/Etc....they've been rady for a loooong time - now they just sat at the buffet.

Interesting that they are also fighting with Williams - hello!!!

=============================
airtaximan said...

I am starting to get this sick feeling, that the failure of EAC will somehow be blamed on the economy.

Let it never be forgotten, that the problems with EAC stemmed from the fact that they blew it on the product spec/market demand/cost/selling price.
==========================

Just like an accident chain, a business failure is seldom caused by a single fact.

Eclipse is no difference. Poor management played a role. Vendor performance played a role. The inability to secure $$$ to complete the 363 sale played a role - and that was heavily influenced by the economy.

Would Eclipse be profitable with the EA500 under rosier scenarios? Unlikely. Would they have gotten much further without the economic collapse of financial markets and GA? Absolutely. Far enough to be attractive for another round and/or acquisition? Possibly.

Phil Bell said...

Deep_Blue,
”Who is admin on this new blog? Kind of agree w/B95: what's up with a crashed airplane and a 30 year old MD-80 on the "cover?" Looks like really old and dumb GA, like the cover of Sporty's Pilot Shop “

Oh. Excuse me for the previous selective interpretation...

Baron sez,
"Is there a reason why the home page of the blog has two aircraft wrecks? One GA wreck into a tree, that some think is staged. Another a wreck in the making, in the form of an obsolete airliner that AA is trying to park..."

Agh! You slave all day over a hot PC to cook up a nice home page, and what happens...
:>)

Well- time for some more myth busting- or proving: regarding that Cher-o-tree incident; yup, it's true. Thanks to TwinPilot for posting the link to the NTSB report.
or- this one (NTSB site is acting a bit quirky tonight)
NTSB report

Flight School Myth: True

"Nobody hurt in accident, Pilot said he would be flying again next week. This is only 5 miles from my house."

While incredibly ironic, it just wouldn't do to have a tragic incident on the blog's home page. Rest assured, I had checked it out before the pic went up.

(I confess- I was pretty skeptical and at first thought it had to be a spoof too!)

There is pleasing "tidbit" associated with this incident: our first "letter to the editor" confirmed it (I've been waiting for permission to post all or part of the letter); for now, I will pass along the kiind admonition from the author, that even in a normally arid territory like Colorado, and even moreso in more humid climates:

"From these experiences we have learned with the lycoming engine, GET IN THE HABIT, ALWAYS USE CARBURETOR HEAT ON LANDING"

(Thank you to a fellow Aviation Critic & Enthusiast for sending the letter, and for the good will behind it).

Phil Bell said...

Now regarding the DC-9/MD-80/pointy thingy...

(I actually think it is a rather dashing and inspiring picture !)

Baron comments:
"How about some pictures of success, in the form of a Cirrus SR-22-X Perspective or a Phenom 100 - Prodigy or a 77W?"

In accordance with the wishes of our fellow bloggers- I promise some "pictures of success" on the next "headline post"...
;-)

Baron also kindly notes:
"Having said that - Congrats for the birth of the new blog."

Thank you!
(I'm delighted so many of our blogger buds from the most excellent EAC and EAC-NG sites have "dropped in" !)

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Anyone notice the latest on Controller.com? One Eclipse plane is listed as bank owned! Never thought of planes getting repoed, but considering "the economy," I'm not too surprised. I suspect some owners may even decide to allow their planes to be repoed, considering little to zero prospect of selling the plane. LOL, 260 toxic assets for the banks!!

e.d.t.

text of the ad:
For Sale - $1,100,000, N177CK; 160 TT; 160 SNEW / 160 SNEW; (((BANK OWNED))), AVIO, Class B TAWS, Skywatch HP, Premium Ent. Package, LX Int.. Make Offer.

Phil Bell said...

btw, Deep Blue, and everyone else; please email- or post as Baron has done- your suggestions for topics & pics- thanks!

aviationcritic@gmail.com

Bubba said...

It is being reported on the Cirrus owner's site that aircraft are going AOG due to lack of MCUs for the plane. It seems Cirrus has admitted they won't have MCUs for several months. Speculation is that Cirrus isn't paying the MCU supplier.

There is a giant sucking sound at Cirrus. It is the sound of cash rushing from the company in the form of The Jet refund requests!

Cirrus was a great company until the bean counters took over and kicked the K-brothers out of management. I hope they survive. The Cirrus is a great little plane!

baron95 said...

Well....It is more like the K brothers couldn't make a profit, run out of money several times and had to "invite" in adult money, which came with adult supervision.

SJ50 cancellations are pouring in AND Cirrus can not give the money back fast enough. They are in a liquidity crisis.

Once the novelty of the Perspective/FIKI upgrades (and those were monumental add-ons) wears off, new sales will be hard to come by.

I think there is a better than 50/50 odds that Cirrus runs out of cash.

==========================

Cirrus lucked out that Diamond's DA42/DA40 TDI blew up due to Thierlert and that they run out of money to bring the DA50 to market.

Cirrus needs to spin off or shutdown their jet dreams and focus on a pressurized SR22, a twin, a FADEC diesel, perhaps a turboprop with the the new RR500.

There are quite a few more steps in the ladder their customers can climb before TheJet.

WhyTech said...

"a pressurized SR22,"

lol!

Who-Is-Laughing-Now said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Who-Is-Laughing-Now said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phil Bell said...

I regret performing my first editorial duty in deleting a mean-spirited post.

As aviation enthusiasts, we enjoy updates on the progress, and on the challenges, that aircraft manufacturers face, and the market place realities presented to us as consumers.

However, gloating over the misfortune of others, especially in a private capacity, is not tasteful, and will not be facilitated.

twinpilot said...

Looks like Blue Sky Aviation Group LLC filed a lawsuit against Epic. One of Blue Sky's members appears to be one well respected EclipseCriticNG blogger. Epic appears to claim it is causing big problems with their cash flow. Read about it on AvwebFlash.

airsafetyman said...

In reading the complaint the customer, in good faith, sent in money for the engine, prop, and avionics as well as the basic kit and now the manufacturer can't seem to locate the components or say where the money went. They are toast.

Who-Is-Laughing-Now said...

Phil Bell said... I regret performing my first editorial duty in deleting a mean-spirited post.

As aviation enthusiasts, we enjoy updates on the progress, and on the challenges, that aircraft manufacturers face, and the market place realities presented to us as consumers.

However, gloating over the misfortune of others, especially in a private capacity, is not tasteful, and will not be facilitated.


Huh, the is the Critic's blog! Much of what goes on here is gloating over the shortcomings of Eclipse, and its customer, with gentle ribbing. When it becomes one of your own, the hide is not so thick. That's just lame, in my opinion.

So be it. Therefore, without further comment on the news, read and decide for yourself. As reported by AvWeb...

http://www.avweb.com/pdf/epic-aviation_suit.pdf

and

http://www.avweb.com/pdf/epic-aviation_suit-response.pdf

FreedomsJamtarts said...

You have to wonder why the Ecorpse position holders didn't bombard the Kool-aid factory with this kind of suite starting about the time of the Williams power flight glide of the EA-500.

It is sad to see another aviation dream end up like this, but good to see Rich act aggressively to protect his interests (like he did ours).

I hope this was just a warning shot, with EPIC delivering what they sold.

I personally do not see much of a future for EPIC. They are so patently outside the intent of the Amateur built 51 rule (even if they were the end of a long series of small steps which the FAA keep approving to get there).

Aviation just doesn't need a bunch of high performance non-FIKI equipped A/C charging around.

airtaximan said...

BAron,
"Would Eclipse be profitable with the EA500 under rosier scenarios? Unlikely. Would they have gotten much further without the economic collapse of financial markets and GA? Absolutely. Far enough to be attractive for another round and/or acquisition? Possibly."

NO, actually, we need to grow up and admit, the picture was about as rosey for EAC as it could have gotten - -there's no way without the irrational exhuberance of the gigantic Bubble they would have ever come anywhere near where they got. They would have been toast a LONG time ago.

Cirrus has come a long way, never blowing anywhere near what EAC burned, and they have a proven market for their plane. They designed, and produced a plane that captured the market at a fair price.

EAC, no way, never...ever. At $2.X million, the plane is a non-starter.

No one with any sense would buy this program, because the product failed to meet the market. Period.

Nothing to do with an economic downturn...

airtaximan said...

Regarding the postings I am sure related to the Epic situation...

I would leave them up - it shows how people feel about these issues, and if someone is nasty or taking joy in a problem someone else'ss problems... so what? We all know its more of a reflection on them by their comments.

Epic was a cool little fragile startup company. They had their ideas about things... actually still have their ideas about things in GA. It's a commentary on risk, really.

One can look at any "deposit" situation with open eyes, nowadays since these companies are having such trouble making good on their promises, and/or providing refunds.

As a general rule, I would assume a company goes TU before/during delivery of your plane. There is almost always NO RISK in waiting, and not placing a deposit. Here's why:

1- IF the company is delivering planes at a healthy rate, you can probably get yours without a big advance deposit.

2- IF the company needs your deposit money for anything other than your plane, they most-likely won't make it.

So, any money out of escrow, for any purpose other than building YOUR plane, is most likely being demanded by a company that will not make it financially -nless its a hige multi-billion company. In this case, they are just finding out who really qualifies to buy their planes and will not likely walk away if things turn south.

Rule of thumb, refundability is a reality ONLY in the case of escrowed money. Otherwise, its more a matter of cash availability, and when you want your acash, chances are, there's none left.

So, money in escrow with an independent 3rd party, escrow to be very specific as far as conditions to be releases; funds only to be used for YOUR plane. I would have a lien on all YOUR plane's parts from day-1, plus insurance on your plane/parts naming you beneficiary. Finally, I would demand payment benchmarks with invoices for systems (such as engines) prior to any installments being released.

Hindsight? YES!

PS. it looks to me like Schrameck is hiding behind the built assist company. I would be surprised if the judge is not looking at who is being paid for what, and if the engine was procured by Epic and not the build-assist (other) company, this could get very interesting.

Gunner, I am sure you saw the risk, and I identify you to be one who does not like to be lied to... I suspect, you were deceived recently regarding the status of the engine procurement, and I hope you get your plane. I suspect the expereince is now tainted, and I am sorry you are caught in the situation. Best of luck -- you will probably need it.

Who-Is-Laughing-Now said...

Taxi-Boy said... EAC, no way, never...ever. At $2.X million, the plane is a non-starter.

That's where you are wrong. There are always niche customers. It's just not right for you. On that we can agree. Look at it this way, Gunner is paying over $2MM for a non-FIKI, incomplete turboprop-less turboprop. Does that make him a sucker? Our opinions might differ there. , but there is a market for a $2MM small jet, or turboprop.

julius said...

who-is laughing-now,

come on, nobody disagrees that there is a big market for Mustangs/fpjs/... at $1M.

The fpj project was not designed for a niche market, that's why EAC was DOA from the very beginning!

You remember when Vern Raburn started his "saturday late nite sales show" in December 2007?
He needed approx. $30M...

Something to laugh or to cry!

Julius

Dave Ivedorne said...

Baron suggested:
Cirrus needs to spin off or shutdown their jet dreams and focus on a pressurized SR22, a twin, a FADEC diesel, perhaps a turboprop with the the new RR500.

That sounds like a vaguely
Diamond-esque aspiration for the boys from Dooloot, and you trashed Diamond's results not ONE SENTENCE before that. Make up your mind!

But that's not important right now.

Cirrus views the Vision as the replacement for a pressurized piston twin in their model line heirarchy - pretty much the current status of many of the pressurized turboprop singles.

But that's not important right now.

As for pressurizing the SR, I guess we'll see - structurally, the G2 was primarily a fuselage upgrade with a drastic improvement in manufacturing efficiency, and the G3 was primarily a new wing. Perhaps for G4, they go back to the fuselage. If they go that route, I suspect they'd go straight to the RR500 for a pressurized model, and skip a pressurized piston altogether.

( In unison ) "...and skip a pressurized piston."

But that's not important right now.

Is there anybody on board who can land this plane, who did NOT have the fish for dinner?
DI

Eyes-Wide-Shut said...

julius said... come on, nobody disagrees that there is a big market for Mustangs/fpjs/... at $1M. The fpj project was not designed for a niche market, that's why EAC was DOA from the very beginning!

Julius, you miss the point. If someone is willing to pay $2MM for an experimental non-FIKI turboprop project, then there is a $2.5 market for even the FPJ.

TBMs_R_Us said...

If someone is willing to pay $2MM for an experimental non-FIKI turboprop project, then there is a $2.5 market for even the FPJ.

Not necessarily. First, and most obviously, one or a dozen purchases of Epic LTs does not a market make. After all, Epic is now Tango Uniform. For there to be a sustainable market for an aircraft, a number of things have to be true simultaneously, including quality of the product design, quality of the manufacturing processes, quality of the service organization, price/performance, quality and experience of the management team, depth of financial backing, etc.

Evidently, these weren't all true for the FPJ (at any price), nor were they true for Adam or Epic. It remains to be seen if anyone besides Cessna and Embraer can pull it off for even $3M. It also remains to be seen if those programs have legs that keep them going for years.

So you're left only with a hypothetical: maybe a market exists for a $2.5M light jet -- yet to be shown to be a viable concept.

bill e. goat said...

Hi WT,
"When I am King, everyone will learn to fly (fixed wing) in a taildragger!"

Indeed- an objective of mine. The flying club I'm in says 15 hours of dual instruction required for insurance purposes- seems like they are prone to ill tempered demonstrations on landing.

(The taildraggers, that is- although that frequently applies to my passenger/victims as well...)

bill e. goat said...

I have often admired the good looks of sleek taildraggers, what with no obtrusive looking nose landing gear cluttering their lines. (And still do, as a matter of fact!)

"When landing a taildragger, all that matters is you touchdown straight - no drift/crab. You want to make sure your wreckage goes straight down the runway. ..."

Old quote- ha ha.

Not to bore the many here who are imminently more qualified to discuss the topic, but rather for those such as myself who for a long time wondered "what's the diff?"...

First consider: a taildragger aircraft's center of gravity is behind the main landing gear (which is why they, ah, drag their tails- and have the little wheel under the tail). So what? The significance of that seemingly inconsequential arrangement is:

1) directional instability (about a vertical axis)- the "heavy end tries to come around". This is counter-intuitive, but applies to automobiles as well (re: Corvair. And I'm told an analogous demonstration is to drive YOUR car (virtually all are "nose heavy") backwards, and see how fast you can drive in reverse before it spins out of control. And I'm no Corvair hater- I think the late model convertibles were COOL!)

2) longitudinal instability (about a "pitch" axis- consider if you land hard and "flat"- seemingly, not a big deal- no nose wheel to smash- and the tail wheel is still in the air. What happens next is: because the center of gravity is behind the main gear, the "pendulum effect" (not very scientific description, but better than "the tail slams down") rotates the aircraft tail down/nose up- increasing the angle of attack, and the airplane lifts off, rather than "sticks"- so you go hopping down the runway in repeated episodes- or worse- it pitches up and stalls, and falls back onto the runway.

3) A more obvious potential for trouble is "nosing over" with hard breaking or hitting an obstruction, and having a "prop strike".

4) Poor "over-the-nose" visibility while taxiing around on the ground.
--------------------------------

A couple of mitigating techniques are to make "three point landings", touching down on all three tires at the same time to prevent pitch up, and "locking" tail wheels, which don't swivel, to assist with directional control (once slowed down, a release is activated to allow ground steering- via rudder and differential braking).

I apologize for the crude (and somewhat inaccurate, I'm sure) overview. Now the good news:

1) Many consider taildraggers more aesthetically appealing (this, despite the fact that all ERcoupes have "tricycle" gear !!!)

2) More speed for a non-retractable gear aircraft (less drag from a small tailwheel than a large nose gear)

3) Lower weight and/or more usable load (small tailwheel weights less than a sturdy nose landing gear strut & wheel assembly)

4) It's good to change your prop, and wing, and main gear every so often anyway (No- just kidding!!:)

bill e. goat said...

As WT points out, learning to master a taildragger demands good pilot technique- poor technique is amplified rather than "masked" as it would be in a tricycle gear airplane- and the proper skills learned with a taildragger are 100% applicable to tricycle gear aircraft (okay- maybe not "3-point" landings, but the attitude control learned to achieve them is).

On the other hand, forgiving handling qualities are not totally a bad thing either; consider the Cessna 140 taildragger became the 150 tricycle gear; same with the 170 t.d. became the 172 tricycle gear; 180 t.d. became the 182 tricycle gear, and the Piper PA-20 taildragger became the PA-22 tricycle gear.

"At the time the tricycle undercarriage became a popular preference and 1953 saw the PA-22 Tri-Pacer outsell the Pacer (taildragger) by a ratio of six to one."
Piper PA-20 series
(Sissy lazy girly-man tricycle gear pilots !! :)
---------------------------------

WT, my familiarity with the subject is limited- I appeal to you and others to correct any mis-statements I have made- no doubt there are a lot- thanks!

bill e. goat said...

Hmmm- I had great expectations from Epic- the LT is an outstanding design, and fairly proven.

From Black Tulip's comments that Rich's plane was in construction a year ago, I hope the airframe (and hopefully most of the systems) is complete, and a stern look from the judge will "encourage" Epic to provide the equipment Rich has paid for so it can be finished.

Let's hope for some positive developments this week, for Epic and for Rich !!

flyger said...

Email from ICON:

While the current economic climate has taken a tremendous toll on much of the aviation industry, ICON has experienced minimal impact. However, the unprecedented crisis in the global capital markets which began last fall did cause financing delays that resulted in lost time to our production schedule. Given this, we will need to push out our production start date by nine months. First customer deliveries are now scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2011. While this decision was not easy, we're excited that it is the only change in our plans that we've been forced to make.

The good news overall is that you're early on the ICON position list, and the A5 is still the hottest, most anticipated LSA on the global market, bar none. As a reminder, your A5 deposit is held in escrow, refundable and fully transferable. Additionally, with the strong sales rate we're seeing these days and the lengthening order list that recently passed position #410, we're considering closing the order list in the coming months. If/when that announcement is made, those of you holding aircraft orders will be in the fortunate position to have an early A5 slot that others will not be able to gain access to for some time.


Vern's baaack!

Does anyone really believe this malarky? Can anyone be that stupid, again?

And you couldn't ask for a more appropriate name than "I con". It must be Vern's subconscious leaking out.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Dave I.,
"One result has been a recognition across the whole industry that TAA require a different approach to training pilots..."

TAA? Oh- Technically Advanced Aircraft. Yes, as ERcoupes are without rudder pedals, a different approach to training IS required.

What? Er, um, okay- guess that TAA business means something else to some people...including Richard Collins
---------------------------------

Hi Bubba,
"It is being reported on the Cirrus owner's site that aircraft are going AOG due to lack of MCUs for the plane."

Say WHAT?

"Cirrus has electrical system problems and its Master Control Unit is widely recognized as a potential Achilles Heel. The Cirrus I fly has had repeated ALT2 failures and at least one complete MCU"

Hmph. Fancy pants plasticy contraptions. Heck- even ERcoupse have a
Master Control Unit
---------------------------------

(Sigh- kids these days !! :)
...Just in case:
Alfred E. Neuman

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

Hi Flyger,
"The good news overall is that you're early on the ICON position list..."
INDEED !!

What's an I-Con ??
(VERY aptly named, by the way !! :)

...Guess now we know what happened to those 20-some partially completed Eclipse 500's (I mean, the ones that were NOT delivered) and the rest of the DelayJet fleet !!

.)

julius said...

Eyes-wide-shut,

where did you learn that somone who is willing to pay $2M/K/B is also willing to pay for something different or even better $2.5M/K/B?
Ask the GAO, your spouse, wife, employer,... also yourself!
Most people have limited financial resources or simple say: No - not more. That is my budget!

Nomen est omen!

Julius

WhyTech said...

"Indeed- an objective of mine."

Becoming King, or learning to fly a taildragger? ;-)

WhyTech said...

"learning to master a taildragger demands good pilot technique"

This is what its all about, even if all you fly after learning a taildragger is tri-gear, your technique will be "better." Somewhat like a VFR pilot who obtains an instrument rating, but does no IFR flying.

My taildragger time is limited to the Citabria (7ECA), Scout (8GCBC), and L19 Birddog (C305F) that I have owned, plus a DC-3 Type Rating. The Birddog was the best teacher - would swap ends in a heartbeat without great diligence on the rudder pedals. The DC-3 was surprisingly easy.

WhyTech said...

"Vern's baaack!"

Sure sounds like vintage Vern. Isnt he involed in this venture in some official capacity?

Shane Price said...

WT,

Sadly (for them...) ICON still list His Wedgeness as a Director.

I wonder what he does at board meetings.

Trim the new beard?

Continue to mutter 'disruptive' and 'Friction Stir Welding' at odd times?

Boast about blowing $2 billion at EAC?

Ramble on about 'cockroaches' and his newfound interest in nuclear power?

At least he has his loaner E500 to fly up the meetings. On the other hand, is he still entitled to one, now that EAC is officially bust?

As usual with Vern, many more questions than answers.

I wish ICON the best of luck.

With 'that individual' on the BoD, they'll need plenty of it....

Shane

airsafetyman said...

"Additionally, with the strong sales rate we're seeing these days....the lengthening order list ....we're considering closing the order list in the coming months."

Sure they are! A Vern start-up that needs money, especially a hamstrung development program for a tiny niche market in the first place - no way they need money! Here take your money back, right now! With interest!

Deep Blue said...

"His Wedgeness" (that was pretty funny, Shane) on the Board of Icon occurred when VR was still generally considered a "winner." I don't think anyone else at the time would have considered it a bad move on Icon's, or any other GA start-up's, part.

If nothing else, he can advise the company on how Not to do business; how Not to manage suppliers, production, etc.

Really, he is a wealth of business and start up learning; failures (and EAC wasn't all failure by any means) are invaluable; the question is, will be be wise enough and honest enough to share this with others; to do an honest post-mortem on his experiences? I hope so.

Same goes for Ed Ioccobucci at DayJet. Ed learned alot and he's an intelligent man; he should be encouraged to keep trying, or at least keep an open dialogue going with the GA market, rather than being ostracized. His scheduling/demand fulfillment work in the IT area may very well have merit.

At any rate, Icon is a very neat company with some very talented (and honest) management. Let's hope they succeed.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
"I wonder what he does at board meetings- Trim the new beard?"

I think he's figuring out how to give "haircuts" instead !!
.)
-------------------------------

How'd that go again, when discussing Eclipse- something like:

"it's so outrageous- you can't make this stuff up"

Just what I thought when I checked out the I-Con BoD
Note the wealth of aviation industry experience there. (Who needs "dinosaur-think" anyway!)

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

I guess it's all part of the Industrial Equipment Stimulus plan...

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