Sunday, July 26, 2009

Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do 'Ya, "Pug"?

(apologies to Clint Eastwood) ...and just about everyone else.
Including the late Howard "Pug" Piper, youngest son of Piper founder William T Piper, Sr.

"'W.T.' Piper who happened to produce five sons, one of whom, Howard (Pug), was to be responsible for moving a reluctant company into the modern age." (Well, back when "the modern age" was circa the early 1950's Aztec). Pug was also designer of the PA-24 Comanche, circa mid-1950's.

It's fair to say, Piper Aircraft wants to "move into the modern age" again, with a jet. (And it's got a 3000-pound-thrust-class Williams FJ-44 "Magnum" (-3AP) engine, the most power engine in the VLJ world- it'll knock your socks clean off!- oops, sorry again).

Especially if one considers the relative standings, then (mostly pre-biz jet 1968) to now (2008 anyway):

From 1968:
Cessna, $138M (6578 units)
Beech, $115M (1347 units)
Piper, $85M (4228 units)
Lear, $28M (41 units)
Mooney $24M (579 units)
AeroCommander $22M (435 units)
A History In the Making, by Donald M. Pattillo

General Aviation Manufacturer's Association 2008 delivery/billings:
Bombardier (including Lear) $6,228M (245 units)
Gulfstream (temp. AeroCommander) $5,512M (156 units)
Cessna $4,556M (1,300 units)
Hawker-Beech $2,468M (435 units)
Cirrus $287M (549 units)
Piper $214M (268 units)
Eclipse $207M (161 units)
Mooney $35M (65 units)

There is a temptation to lament the decline in general aviation, as a function of units and pilots produced per year, but from a dollar standpoint, things are going pretty well- using an inflation calculator, and adjusting the 1968 figures to 2008 dollars:
Cessna (1968): $853M (2008 dollars), so $4556M is a 530% increase
Hawker-Beech (1968): $711M (2008 dollars), so $2,468M is a 350% increase
Piper (1968): $525M (2008 dollars), so $214M is, well, a 60% decrease

Throw in Cirrus and Eclipse, and it was a pretty good year for GA, dollar wise. There might be some other items at play, but it seems to "stay in the game", Piper needs a jet. Cessna went into Citations big time, and Beech bought the Hawker and Mitsubishi line, as well as developed their own Premier and Horizon/4000 models.

So, what's the big deal? Seems like they've been shopping around for a place to build it (and maybe to relocate their entire operation). Supposedly, Oklahoma City OK (undisclosed amount), and Albuquerque ($70M "bid") were finalist, with Vero Beach squeezed to contribute $30-50M. Tallahassee offered $90M, and Columbus, S.C. (undisclosed amount) also made offers- but maybe there were some "sticklers" with those deals.

By the way, what did our friend Richard Aboulafia, V.P. of Analysis at the Teal Group have to say, when interviewed by the Albuquerque Tribune (2007):
"'There's a fine line between infrastructure and tax breaks and outright subsidies,' Aboulafia said. 'You have to watch that you're not giving away the store.' He called New Mexico's chances of outbidding its competitors, 'very good'. 'The New Mexican taxpayer is a remarkably generous creature,' he said."

Something to consider, Cirrus has billings (for new aircraft) 40% higher than Piper, and they are struggling financially. Eclipse had billings that were virtually equal to Piper- with only 8 months of production, and, ah, well- you know. So, can Piper pull it off? One thing which should help them is a sustaining revenue stream, from a bazillion (or so) airplanes already in service.

But still, the economy has resulted in challenges for 2009:

PalmBeachPost, February 13, 2009:
"Today, Piper is slashing staff. It laid off 450 workers during the past several months...After Tuesday's round of layoffs, which affected 300 workers, the company reported it had 650 employees...its shares (ACAS) plummet to $2.71, down from a 52-week high of about $37.86 a year ago."
(Ugh- a Friday the 13th. Note: the stock dropped to $0.58 in March)

TCPalm, June 10, 2009:
"Kevin J. Gould, Piper's Vice President of Operations, will become Piper's Chief Executive Officer, and John Becker, Piper's Vice President of Engineering, will become President of the Company."
(Outgoing CEO seemed to get good marks, new guys seem pretty capable too).

TCPalm, July 13, 2009:
"No formal public announcement has been made about Piper’s workforce but according to the company’s Web site, Piper is hiring 17 engineers. As for manufacturing, Piper’s Web site said it 'will not be seeking manufacturing candidates until further notice."

Maybe recent developments may improve the chances (do they feel lucky, well- do they? :) of continued development:

FlightGlobal, July 18, 2009:
"Imprimis, a Singapore investment firm that at the beginning of May (2009) acquired 100% of Piper from American Capital (ACAS). Imprimis has deep pockets funded by the government of Brunei, one of the world's richest countries, and sees its first aviation investment as a way to diversify its portfolio and tap into the industry's budding potential in Asia."

TCPalm, July 20, 2009:
"Piper Aircraft, Inc., will continue shutting down its local manufacturing facility for one week each month until the end of the year, according to a new report from a major aviation trade publication."

As unfortunate developments at Adam and Eclipse demonstrated, it's a tough market to crack, but those were start ups, and Cirrus -and Diamond- are by comparison, relatively new companies as well. Perhaps income from legacy product support, sales of the innovative PA-46; Matrix, Malibu, Meridian (which, ah, sure looks a lot like the PA-47 Piperjet), combined with robust financing from the new ownership will help Piper succeed- let's wish them well. The Piperjet might just "make my day" for a lot of owners!

(I hope we get some good feedback from those attending AirVenture this week).




230 comments:

1 – 200 of 230   Newer›   Newest»
Ken Meyer said...

I kinda like the PiperJet; it's right now parked a few feet from my Eclipse at Basler in Oshkosh.

They have some hurdles to get over though. Among them, certification issues--the plane won't be much use to anybody if they can't get it certified to operate at 35,000 as they hope (and nobody's ever done that with a single engine plane).

Will the market like it? Well, most guys can't hangar it--the DC-10 style engine mount means the thing is sixteen and a half feet tall. And Piper struck pre-emptively against the twin vs single safety issue by writing this report that speculates how safe a single engine turbofan would be:

Single Engine Turbofan Safety

Will the single engine design provide the kind of fuel economy people expect? I'll be anxious to see the numbers.

For now, here's what the twin-engine VLJ market provides for efficiency and comfort in a personal jet:

VLJ enroute to Oshkosh 7-26-09

361 knots on 6.25 statute MPG. Great plane :)

Ken

Phil Bell said...

Hi Ken,
Thanks for the info- on Piper, and on your trip there.
I concur, it will be an interesting certification campaign.
I think it's been selling fairly well though, with a tad over 200 orders this time last year.

I'm curious if there is an Eclipse factory presence, maybe the EA-400, on display?
(Also, the Cirrus Jet- maybe there are two competing booths- ha ha).
Thanks- enjoy the show!
Phil

Shane Price said...

Ken,

The PiperJet has another, really significant advantage over your E500.

A existing company which is not in Chapter 7, to service and support it. In fact, Piper has just had a very significant investment by (in effect) the state of Brunei.

Interesting fact about Brunei. They've huge oil and gas reserves to exploit, which generates more than half their GDP.

I wonder why they paid so much for Piper, when they could have picked up EAC for a song....

Shane

Deep Blue said...

EAC was a one-jet, one-product bet (OK, maybe two, counting the E400); Piper on the other hand was a turnaround investment by the original private equity group; Piper has a rather large installed base, revenues, after-market, dealer network, etc. It was not a start-up; and certainly the P-Jet, while a large bet, is but part of a larger product line-up from single piston, twin, to T-prop to jet. Also a large training market; JV w/Honda etc. And brand.

fred said...

Monsieur Shane :

an other interesting fact for bruneï

it is the home for the second richest man on earth ...

he just doesn't want to his name printed on a silly list , but is really the second wealthiest !
(as he is direct owner of whatever lies in the sultanate ...)

fred said...

Second interesting thing about Bruneï darasallam ...

the sultan birthday festivities HAVE to be celebrated by anyone in the country ...

they last for a whole month !
(how about party lasting for one evening ? too common ! ;-) )

Beedriver said...

The world of investment in new companies is interesting. good high chance of success projects have difficulty being funded where the more outlandish the claims the easier it is to get money.

IE eclipse, Icon etc.

I know of two conservative efforts to innovate in the smaller business airplane market (heavy Piston single and twin and light jet)that are being proposed by very talented people with conservative business plans based on proven existing technology that are having a very difficult time being funded.

one is for a diesel to replace the contential and Lyc 540/52/550 engines with a configuration compatible engine that weighs about the same and will fit into the same space as the existing engine and is based on existing diesel technology. They need about $6,000,000 to do the design build, initial certification tests and probably about $57,000,000 to put it into full production. the market for this engine is in excess of 2000 units per year at $80,000 to $120,000 per engine.

There is a second effort to take a proven jet designed airframe and build a make a personal jet that will be faster and have more performance two engines than the Eclipse with a stretched fuselage to have true 6 passenger and stuff capacity (and use a little more fuel and be a little heaver than the Eclipse) as it is designed to use proven technology and not depend on any new developments. It is estimated to sell for less than $1.8 million. The effort for this one will cost about $40,000,000 to get into production as it leverages a lot of known certified technology and maybe as importantly is being done by a few very knowledgeable people.

Typically these projects work because there are only a few people smart people. This the "Skunk works effect"

If anyone is seriously interested (read actually has real money to invest) they can contact me through Shane.

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Phil said,
As unfortunate developments at Adam and Eclipse demonstrated, it's a tough market to crack...

IMHO, I think the critical element to "crack" is that any investor has a limit he/she will tolerate. The better analogy is to describe GA companies as more like a Big Pharma oligopoly ("rule of three"), since it takes about 10yrs to get a new drug thru the FDA hurdles and it is also a capital intensive industry generally controlled by 3 big companies. The top three GA companies in the list also have more than 70% of the market. Sorting the list, I’m referring to Cessna, Cirrus, and Hawker-Beech (1300+549+435=2284, which is 71.85% of the total, 3179).

Manufacturing companies need a constant cash flow but investors need to see some ROI and net income / profit, no matter how small. For example, I can't understand why on earth EAC didn't crank out PhosTrex and license the product for other companies to use; even if selling to Cessna, it would have provided EAC with some cash. Generally speaking, I think any new GA company has years 0-5 (at best) to get a new plane certified, and then years 6-10 to show they can make them to spec AND deliver a net profit.

When at EAC I was astounded by what I saw them spend $$$ on. I figured that you’d need about $1 billion to design and engineer your plane, and then about **another** $1 billion to design and build your production system. I can't speak to what Adam did right or wrong ...but I can speak to the EAC mess. Peg used to talk about a "paperless factory" yet when it came time to buy those systems, the money was never there (even with SAP and MES, there were a few gaps that affected my area of responsibility). There was no way to crack this nut unless you controlled costs properly AND used what limited time you had to show a paper profit by 2006, 2007, or 2008, even if you couldn't use the "best" production system toys to make the widgets. And then factor in the transitions from Rod Holter as our VP of Manufacturing, to Paul Schumacher, and then finally to Todd Fierro. They were trying to force high-volume production as the sole means that would get them to profitability …..which we have all beaten to death already as a foolish, logical fallacy. FYI, Holter is still working is magic at Cessna:
http://www.cessna.com/NewReleases/New/NewReleaseNum-1192271881526.html

Shane said,
I wonder why they paid so much for Piper, when they could have picked up EAC for a song....

Well, Piper has been around since 1937, yes?! Like Deep Blue said, why buy a Ch7 company with only 260 captive audience members when you can invest in a company with a much larger population of current customers. I think I admitted on the other blog that I sent off a plea to Warren Buffett to buy EAC to feed EA500's and EA400's into his NetJets company. I don't think any company will find EAC assets useful for quite some time. Obviously Warren didn't respond, but if his gatekeepers passed my letter to him, I bet he had a good laugh.

Question:
Does anyone know who was set to buy s/n 261? I bet that person/s is thanking their lucky stars they didn’t get to accept delivery!!!

e.d.t.

Shane Price said...

E.D.T.

Does anyone know who was set to buy s/n 261? I bet that person/s is thanking their lucky stars they didn’t get to accept delivery!!!

I can't say I know exactly who it was, but they are probably a bit pissed at missing out by one delivery position. You can be absolutely sure that they'd paid their 'progress payment' and might even had a premium on top, if they'd bought a position at the height of the market. Thus they could have been 'into' EAC for something north of $1.5 million.

And nothing to show for it...

But then, they shared this unhappy fate with about 700 others, depending on how you count it.

Shane

fred said...

EDT :

Warren is the author of the maxim

"Never put a cent in something you don't personally understand at 101%"

Buffet in EAC mess ?

No way !

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

KnotMPH,

Well said.

Keep

It

Simple,

Stupid

Pity Vern, Roel et al couldn't have followed that precept.

On the TriStar, I personally tend to avoid airliners who's cargo doors fall off.

Shane

baron95 said...

OMG - you guys are giving WAY too much credit to Piper.

Brand equity is very close to ZERO. Cirrus and even Eclipse (when they were operating) have/had much higher brand equity.

Not being in Bankruptcy (Shane's mentioned advantage) - well - Piper, just like Mooney - has been in perpetual bankruptcy and a string of distressed sales since the early 90s. It IS technically a bankrupt company unable to generate sustained profits to operate. The stream of "exotic" investors (Brunei being the latest) is no different than ETIRC and the Russian oil money.

PiperJet projet? I'm sorry, but I can't take it serious. I don't think Piper itself has any confidence in its abilities there.

Example 1: Why the heck in 2009 does a company feel the need to fly a non-conforming prototype, which has little semblance of the actual production airplane? Doesn't Piper have engineers that can design and produce conforming flight test articles off the bat? You didn't see Cessna, Embraer waste time flying frankenstein parts bin non-conforming prototypes, did you?

Example 2 - Configuration. I disagree with the assertion that it is a KISS configuration. I think, it is, again, lack of confidence in their abilities to design a proper more advantageous configuration. That tail mounting will be a constant source of aggravation for Piper. The TOGA regime will be a challenge, airframe blanketing of intake and avoiding compressor stalls will be a challenge. Weight will be a challenge.

The ONLY advantage that I see Piper having, is that somehow, like Cessna, they seem to be able to certify their designs very fast.

I hope they succeed - I really do - as I'd like to see SEJ in the GA market. But I highly doubt it that they will pull it off.

baron95 said...

Phil, the most interesting thing on your headline post is how the companies like Cessna that improved their financial position 2008 vs 1968 are the ones that moved to a higher priced product mix - i.e. "abandoned" GA.

If you use your numbers (divide revenue by units), you'll see that Cessna's average unit price went from low to high, Beech's wend from mid to high and Piper got stuck on low.

The lesson is simple - build turbines or die.

WhyTech said...

"OMG - you guys are giving WAY too much credit to Piper."

Perhaps, but they have found a way to hang in there through all the hardships (so far). Overall, I find the design quite interesting, and if some of your "issues" can be dealt with constructively, IMO they have a chance of having a successful product. Overall, much more appealing to me than any of the other SE jets that have actually flown to date.

There is a new Mustang based across the ramp from me and while nice, you wear it. The Piper seems to offer a much more confortable cabin, at least in concept.

baron95 said...

@KnotMPH - please don't lump Ford together with Government Motors and Fiat.

Ford is still duking it out vs Toyota and Honda et al even though Obama used our tax dollars to gift money to Ford's two largest competitors enabling them to sell their cars bellow cost against Ford's cars.

I said it before - Americans should severely punish Fiat/Chrysler and Government Motors by refusing to buy their products.

Want to buy American, buy from the free enterprise American auto industry: Ford, Tesla, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, etc - look up the NY Times guide on American content by model on those companies that build cars in the US.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

The stream of "exotic" investors (Brunei being the latest) is no different than ETIRC and the Russian oil money.

Sorry to be a bit 'Ken' about the facts here.

Ok, scrub that last remark. Ken rarely recognizes facts which disrupt his world view.

What I meant to say was that this is yet another key difference between Piper and EAC.

The 'Russians' never had the money.

Roel's principle Russian contact in the whole deal turned out to be, like himself, a man of straw.

It would appear that the Sultan of Brunei has approved this investment in Piper. In the automotive world, this individual is very well known to companies like Roll Royce, Ferrari, Mercedes and Bentley, to drop a few names.

They queue up to provide him with exotic versions of their 'top of the line' models.

In return for a not insignificant percentage of the oil and natural gas revenues I alluded to earlier....

Shane

gadfly said...

baron

(The following are just some observations . . . 'not looking for any arguments . . . too tired to react.)

Sometimes the picture gets a little fuzzy. Not long ago, I remember reading Ford boasting that much or most of their production was moving to China, with “billions” (“ten?”) being outsourced to China by 2010. ‘Sounds like something right out of the Wal-Mart saga (we shop elsewhere).

On the one hand, I applaud Ford for not accepting the bribe/buy-out (the right thing on their part) . . . on the other hand, I wonder about Ford’s loyalty to the US of A.

In either case, I’ll continue to purchase things either built in the United States, or from a country that has exhibited a loyalty over the past half-century, “Toyota”. And if I were vastly rich (which is far from reality, for sure), I’d have my order deposit on a “Honda Jet”, based on their excellent performance in the past.

gadfly

(With two “Lexuses” in the stable, or is it “Lexi”, our ‘86 Honda, with 190,000 miles still doesn’t burn a “drop of oil” . . . ‘funny how quality shows up, over and over, again.)

airsafetyman said...

Re the L-1011 center "S" duct. The Boeing 727 and the new Dassault 7x both have "S' ducts that work fine; it gets the center engine thrust in line with the outboard engines. The L-1011 was a much more accomplished airplane than the DC-10 in my opinion. The RAF took some surplus L-1011s and made refueling tankers out of them; I believe they are still going strong.

baron95 said...

Got it Shane.

No question ACTUALLY putting up the money, rather than saying you "have it lined up" are very different and the Sultan of Brunei has the business credibility, where people actually will do business with him on a handshake.

Yes WhyTech - I think all the issues can be dealt with given enough time and money.

Does Piper have time and money?

I don't know - we are back at the discussion above.

airsafetyman said...

It seems like the optium intake design for the PiperJet would be to emulate (OK, copy!) the F-16's intake. The nose gear folds into the intake structure behind the mouth of the intake which lessens the odds of foreign object damage from stuff being kicked up by the nose tire. In such an arrangement the thrust line of the engine is in line with the airplanes CG, so no need of all the trim wazoos with power changes.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

I think we all agree that in aviation, time equals money.

For sure, Piper now has more money.

Gad,

Only 190,000 miles?

That Honda is hardly run in....

Friend of mine has an early '90's Accord with that fabulous V-Tech twin cam 2.2 liter (yes, I know, only four pots...) with something north of 300K up, last time I looked.

Still goes like stink, when he's in the mood.

Oh, and it looks like the only bid on the table for 'the assets' hails from WalMart's favorite 'country of origin'. I'm sorry to disappoint you with these rumors of yet another lot of jobs going East.

Even if its' only for the length of time it takes them to work out what a pup they've been sold....

Shane

baron95 said...

Gad, I don't want Ford to make decisions based on what is good for the USA. Their primary responsibility is to achieve sustained profitability for the benefit of their shareholders.

I simply pointed out that if you feel like buying American - there are plenty of choices in the free market vs the obscene government owned automakers.

Buy a BMW X5 from SC or a Mercedes from Alabama or a Ford from Michigan before you buy a Fiat/Chrysler or a GM vehicle built with unfair (to Ford and others) government subsidies.

gadfly said...

baron

You’re right about being accountable to the shareholders. But as a consumer, I come with a different point of view. I like things that don’t break, and are fun to use.

Once . . . no, twice, I owned BMW’s, and enjoyed driving them very much . . . but after beginning a business, I could no longer afford to keep them repaired. They were “fun” while it lasted. (And, Shane, I found I could climb our narrow winding “hill” at 7,000 feet, faster with the “Honda” than with the little “Beamer” . . . in the summer. The “Beamer” was almost impossible on ice, without “chains”, with the rear “toe-in”, and rear-wheel drive. After while, I got tired of sliding under a car on ice, with temp around ten degrees, F, and wrapping chains around Michelin’s, in the dark. The Honda still does fine.)

And then I owned a “Volvo” . . . that was an experience! The smell of gasoline still brings back memories of leaking “injectors” in a brand new Volvo. In Sweden I asked a taxi driver in Stockholm why he didn’t use a “Volvo” . . . his answer is not fit for today’s discussion. Funny thing: Most of the cars owned by my wife’s cousins (just south of the Arctic Circle in Sweden) were “Japanese”, but included one Ford, and one “almost thirty year old” Volvo . . . because at thirty years, the “cousin” would no longer have to pay the yearly tax on the thing.

And the water-cooled VW . . . somehow, I never did buy the manufacturer’s story that burning a quart of oil every 400 miles was “normal”. Yes, I confirmed that VW said so . . . I looked it up. That was a pleasant little car . . . easy to drive, but “400 miles per quart”? It reminds me of my first Plymouth . . . I’d stop in a gas station, fill it up with oil, and check the gas . . . and drive to work at ORD. But at least it started at 2AM in the winter, after a couple shots of “ether” into the carbureter.

Well, there’s enough info for a good argument . . . but count me out . . . I’m just reporting what I know first hand, and nothing more.

gadfly

(That Plymouth was an excellent car . . . I could check the air in the tires by looking directly through the “side walls” . . . and the air conditioning came right through the floor, between my feet . . . and I could check road conditions by looking straight down. That car was wonderful . . . cost me fifty dollars for two years (not counting the oil) . . . and if it “died”, what did I lose? It was a sad day when it was towed away . . . but I got $15 “scrap value”.)

(And I agree with you on "OMC" . . . "Obama Motor Corp.".)

Black Tulip said...

"Oh, and it looks like the only bid on the table for 'the assets' hails from WalMart's favorite 'country of origin'."

Eclipse is moving to Arkansas? That's where a man asks, "If I divorce my wife... will she still be my cousin?"

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

KnotMPH,

I remember well the sound of B-36s overhead, as a child near Chenault Air Force Base... nothing quite like it. The Pima Air Museum in Tucson is reassembling one and the Air Force Museum's B-36 in Dayton is a wonder to behold.

WhyTech said...

"Of course on the other end of the spectrum is the American opus magnum to power management - the B-36."

"Convair B-36: A Comprehenisve History of America's "Big Stick" by Meyers K. Jacobsen - a superb large format book on the acft which should be in every pilot's aviation library.

WhyTech said...

"That's where a man asks, "If I divorce my wife... will she still be my cousin?"

No - that would be Vermont.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
"I wonder why they paid so much for Piper, when they could have picked up EAC for a song...."

I wondered the same thing- seems like with the modern factory, Eclipse would be attractive, with or without a TC'd airplane design (especially if they bought Piper with the Jet a long way from certification).

Another thing- the stock price on Piper dropped from $49.xx to $0.5x in two years- down to ONE percent- a drop of truly Wedgian proportions. (Figure good 'ole Wedge transformed $3B into $30M or so -although, I have to give him credit- it took longer than 2 years).

So buying either company, is essentially free. (The Piper deal comes with both assets- lots of in-service airplanes, and liabilities; development expenses for the Jet).

I have to admit- while I like the Piperjet, I fear it might become another textbook case of "aviation making a small fortune- out of a large one".
---------------------------------

?I don't get it- why would the worlds #2 fat cat, goof around with a GA company (no belittlement at all to Piper)? Surely he is aware of aviation's "cash conversion" history? (He might make money on it, even good money, but the ROI is not competitive with electronics or petrochemicals).

Is he REALLY a GA enthusiast or something? To heck with A340's, and Ferraris, how many ERcoupes does this guy own!?!

bill e. goat said...

EDT,
I was shocked at the pragmatism and initiative you mention, in wriing to Warren Buffet, I think that was a great idea! I wish I had such presence of mind!

I checked out the Wikpedia article on Netjets - 800 airplanes- yikes! (last time I checked it was only 500 or so).

I'd think he would be receptive to the air taxi business- seems like a logical extension of fractions.

Even more, I would think he'd be interested in Big Ed's Ant Farming technology.
--------------------------------

Disruption technology- versus, you know, "distruptive" technology...
"The whole idea is disruption technology," said Nemhauser. "You get a plan for something, and then a disruption occurs -- weather or something else -- and you have to make a new plan very quickly."

bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
"the sultan birthday festivities HAVE to be celebrated by anyone in the country ...they last for a whole month !"

Just think how long it would take to clean up afterwards !!
Party Hardy!

"The Istana Nurul Iman palace is the largest of the Sultan’s properties which also include a six-star hotel, climate controlled stables for his 200 polo ponies, five aircraft hangars to house his 5,000 cars.

"Although the palace is hidden from public view through artful landscaping, satellite views provided by programs such as Google Earth, have increased the public knowledge of the palace’s layout. Such images have relayed the existence of two large buildings in the center of the palace and five smaller buildings either adjacent to or nearby the palace center.

"Istana Nurul Iman contains 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, and a floor area of 2,152,782 square feet (200,000 m²). Amenities include 5 swimming pools, and an air conditioned stable for the Sultan’s 200 polo ponies, a 110-car garage, a banquet hall that can be expanded to accommodate up to 4,000 guests, and a mosque accommodating 1,500 people. The palace was built in 1984 at a cost of around $1.4 billion USD and has 564 chandeliers, 51,000 light bulbs, 44 stairwells, and 18 elevators."

Some digs!
.)

bill e. goat said...

Hi Deep_Blue,
"...Joint Venture w/Honda etc."

Interesting conicidence, as Piper's new owners want to develop the Asian market.

I don't see the Honda-Piper deal lasting too long- probably depending on how fast Honda ramps up. It seems like a good short-term strategy for both companies though. I wonder why Honda didn't buy Piper, just to get the service network?

bill e. goat said...

BeeDriver,
I don't know where your friends can get the capital, but I DO know where they can find a nice, unused factory...
:)

I'm reminded of the DeltaHawk diesel- seems like I've been reading about it almost as long as the Moller flying car / giant Roomba vacuum cleaner.

I hope your friends have a speedier development program!

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
"Brand equity is very close to ZERO. Cirrus and even Eclipse (when they were operating) have/had much higher brand equity."

"Buzz-worthy" maybe comes to mind- Piper can use some Pizazz !
The Jet ought to put them in the game with the Mustang- it will be interesting to see how Cessna adapts- the Piperjet is the only plane that I think Cessna would look at as a threat to the Mustang.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Ken,
I was contemplating 6+ mpg, at 360 kts.
That really IS pretty impressive- I think we tend to overlook some of the things Eclipse does a great job at.
Any idea how many other Eclipse's are at the show?
Thanks.

bill e. goat said...

Hi KnotMPH,
"With so many contenders for the same market slice however makes for slim odds with the best laid plans."

Even WORSE odds for The Eclipse program

"...designed from the outset to be revolutionary and unique. In Teal Group’s estimation, the people behind Eclipse have attained this objective. This program is the single worst aviation program Teal Group has ever covered..."

bill e. goat said...

Hi KnotMPH,
"With so many contenders for the same market slice however makes for slim odds with the best laid plans."

Even WORSE odds for The Eclipse program

"...designed from the outset to be revolutionary and unique. In Teal Group’s estimation, the people behind Eclipse have attained this objective. This program is the single worst aviation program Teal Group has ever covered..."

bill e. goat said...

Hi Why_Tech,
It looks like the Piperjet is pretty roomy- 36 inch door, maybe the same fuselage- sort of- as the Malibu?
Nice write up...

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gad,
I know you are a good hearted soul- but didn't realize so many of your fellow New Mexicans were, until I noted Richard Aboulafia's comments...

Generous to a (de)fault? No- I think that's California... :(

bill e. goat said...

Hi BT,
Well, I have agood news/bad news sort of thing, for the folks from Arkansas...

The good news (depending...):
Okay to marry your cousin

The bad news, now they've got to come up with another explaination...

No offense to Arkansans- I have cousins there. (And, ah, well, two of them...yup. Nice people- and six fingers sure comes in handy when counting change, although it makes bowling a little tough...).

bill e. goat said...

Hi ASM,
I like the looks of the L-1011 compared to the Dc-10, but I did read (a long time ago) that the DC-10 inlet was a few percent more efficient. But, as deomonstrated, a rotor burst is a more significant event...

fred said...

hi billy ...

in your list of bruneï Sultan , you forgot :

the 5000 (5K) car collection (mostly Bentley and Ferrari , any of those 5K in the 100.000€ minimum price range , each)

the "Little flat" situated in Paris , place Vendome (where there is Justice Ministry , Van Cleef & arpels , Hotel Ritz ...) made in the re-built of N°3 and N°5 of the building designed by Mansart in 1683 , for a total of over 40.000 Sq² ... (reportedly , he has never put a foot inside ...)
together with the Plaza Athené Hotel and a few other babioles ...

the "whole street" in London (earl's court area , for the intimate ...)

and a few thing on the same caliber ...

the article you provided is a bit shortsighted , since his brother burnt half of the family assets , the sultan (as well prime minister , minister of defense , minister of ... etc) has made a few mega

fred said...

(wrong button ... Grrrr!)
Mega-deal on Oil and Gaz ...

as well , he has a team of expert who now take care of his assets ( his , his country and his family = all the same!) and are very talented in where the money has to be put into or what has to be avoided like plague ...

i suspect that only a day of revenue would have been enough to "Darken the Skies" with Fpj , in a real way , not the elucubrations made by Vern and mignon ...!

so if Pieper has a link with him : no more problems of petty-cash !
(petty-cash being anything up to a hundred millions €)

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

“Piper has cunningly reduced the complexity of their craft by finding a way to eliminate an entire engine. One less of every widget associated with an extra engine is also a cost/maintenance benefit.”

True, but show a photo of the Piper jet to most mechanics, and one of the first things they’ll say, is that it must be a pain working on that engine, due to the horizontal stabs/elevators in the way.
Most bizjets have much easier access to their engines. I’m wondering where Piper is hanging the engine accessories, hopefully not under the engine like many manufacturers, but probably so.


"I wonder why they paid so much for Piper, when they could have picked up EAC for a song...."
“I wondered the same thing- seems like with the modern factory, Eclipse would be attractive, with or without a TC'd airplane design (especially if they bought Piper with the Jet a long way from certification).”

I’m not sure I’d consider Eclipse a manufacturing facility, more of a major component assembly line. They didn't manufacture wings, empennage, and a slew of other major components. They outsourced so much manufacturing, I think restarting production is highly unlikely, unless a new group of fools throws another billion dollars at it, which is even less likely.



“I wonder why Honda didn't buy Piper, just to get the service network?”

Honda already had service agreements for the HondaJet in place with a fair number of large FBOs, in 2007, but didn’t want the information made public. Whoops! Did I just say that?

ExperiencedAviationProfessional said...

I think Ken makes a good point about the Piper jet's height. 16.5 feet may keep it out of the hangars full of Barons and King Airs, and put it in the megabuck plush hangars full of Falcons and Gulfstreams, at a substantially higher rent.

fred said...

I think restarting production is highly unlikely, unless a new group of fools throws another billion dollars at it, which is even less likely. ...

Brilliant !

you have summarized 99% of Fpj problems ...!

fred said...

just for the spectators ...

a link to "Imprimis" the fund management dealing with Pieper ...
as well as a confirmation that Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izaddin Waddaulah is behind ...

http://www.imprimis.biz/letter.htm
2007 has been a transformational year for Imprimis. Results in our core Advisory business were encouraging while efforts to develop our Investment and Fund Management activities exceeded expectations and continue to grow. In addition, we expanded our share capital base by placing a 20% interest in our group holding company, Imprimis Holdings Ltd (IHL), with Thornbeam Ltd, an arm of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA). Guy and I warmly welcome Thornbeam as a shareholder in IHL and Dr. Amin Abdullah, Managing Director of the BIA, to the IHL Board of Directors. ...

http://www.imprimis.biz/transaction.htm




Imprimis Strategic Investment Corporation (NBD) Sdn Bhd
American Capital Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) has sold its 100 percent stake in Piper Aircraft, Inc. to Imprimis in a private transaction that aims to secure the long-term success of Florida's 72 year-old General Aviation company. Imprimis will assist Piper to seek long-term growth opportunities in Asia while strengthening its positions in its core markets.
...

Kathy said...

Beg, good job of bringing the already snuffed blog IQ down a bit with your Arkansas comments.

Deep Blue said...

BEG:

"I don't see the Honda-Piper deal lasting too long- probably depending on how fast Honda ramps up. It seems like a good short-term strategy for both companies though. I wonder why Honda didn't buy Piper, just to get the service network?"

Agreed; as for a buy-out or to get the service network, Honda's not much of a M&A shop (they did JV on the engine with GE though) and their plans for the Honda jet are still rather murky; it appears to be a strict R&D project with a very small/controlled sales effort; kind of a "Beta" test, which would be smart (and they can afford it: the Honda Jet project is barely a blip on their financials).

As for the Piper Jet, my judgment is that a single engine jet may be a fundamentally flawed concept. I did an informal survey with family that fly alot and have flown private alot: no way in a SE Jet. The problem I see is that the engine gets you into the flight levels, into high performance and speed, into IFR, but with a fundamental safety gap: no thrust redundancy and grim prospects as a glider.

The only jet I ever flew that had excess power was the Lear. You had to pull the throttle back even with one engine out!

As for the S-duct issue, the Falcon 50 had it as well, decades before the 7X of course; a beautiful design and an engineering superiority. The L-1011, which my relatives flew in airline service, was a magnificent airplane, just not the most cost-effective nor designed for terribly long-haul flights at weight; simply an older generation transport. The DC-10? Talk about a rush job, politics and short-cuts, that's it. And damn ugly to boot.

WhyTech said...

"my judgment is that a single engine jet may be a fundamentally flawed concept. "

Perhaps, but they were saying this about single engine pressurized turboprops 15-20 years ago. Lack of redundant power has not proven to be a major issue in this segment, but there will be some differences to be sure with a jet. All else being equal, most would prefer redundant propulsion, but of course, all else is not equal.

baron95 said...

WhyTech said...
No - that would be Vermont.
======================

Except that in Vermont, your "wife" may now be another dude and shave with you in the morning.

But kidding aside, I thought Shane was talking about China. Right?

baron95 said...

Deep Blue said...The problem I see is that the engine gets you into the flight levels, into high performance and speed, into IFR, but with a fundamental safety gap:
----------------------------------

What safety gap? The TBM850 and Pilatus PC12 fly at FL310 and 300-320KTS already and sell about 100 planes/year between them.

What is the big deal about going 30KTS faster and 4K ft higher?

Oh My God - that engine turns a fan, rather than a prop - Oh My God - the world will wend - the FAA requires a type rating...Oh My God.

What is the different in safety record between a PC12 and King Air 90/200 when operated by similarly-trained experienced crew?

Oh Wow - it appears that the single is actually safer.

For the record, I think SEJs for now should be proven out on personal transportation - DJet, E400 class.

I think the PiperJet is a bit too big and expensive to be a single, but that can be its niche.

I don't think the owners of Meridians, TBMs, PC12s, even some Malibus would think twice about stepping up to the PiperJet (if they can afford it and get typed).

I think it is also reasonable to assume that just like previous KIng Air owners stepped down to TBMs and Baron owners stepped down to Bonanzas/Cirrus, that some twin-turbine owner will also have no problem stepping down to a PiperJet.

So that is a proven pool of people that would buy a single engine turbine. To those people, 30kts faster and 4Kft higher are a PLUS AND A SAFETY BENEFIT not a minus or a safety risk.

Deep Blue said...

B95:

Good point about the P-jet maybe being a bit too big as a personal jet; yet it may be a niche; that it certainly is.

As for the "safety" issue you challenge, I suppose I'm expressing more my professional position about singe engine anything: I just don't fly them (recip, t-prop or jet) or ride in them or charter them; I do fly a s-engine aerobatic but it's strictly day VFR (and I've got on a parachute!). Light twins have indeed done in alot of pilots, but that's more from pilot incompetence and/or training levels than the inherent s/e flight quality (which is admittedly marginal).

As for that "niche" you argue, that is a very interesting issue. GA aircraft do have utility and the P-jet cabin seems to have a decent amount; anything much smaller (E500) is really a either a sport jet or pilot/owner.

Could the P-jet make a good air taxi platform?

airsafetyman said...

"I think the PiperJet is a bit too big and expensive to be a single, but that can be its niche."

The big part would appeal to a lot of operators, just look at the number of PC-12s out there. I look for most of the airplane subassemblies to be made in China and elsewhere and assembled in Vero Beach so they could say it came for the USA and has a US Production Certificate. Kind of like Boeing was trying to do with the 787, but with better luck. As for SEVENTEEN engineers working on the airplane - you have got to be kidding! A hundred times that would be needed for the design and tooling at this point of the process. Can't figure out what is going on there unless they are outsourcing the detailed design also.

WhyTech said...

"I don't think the owners of Meridians, TBMs, PC12s, even some Malibus would think twice about stepping up to the PiperJet (if they can afford it and get typed)."

The Piper is far less money than a PC-12 NG (12/47E), almost $2mm less IIRC.

WhyTech said...

"As for the "safety" issue you challenge, I suppose I'm expressing more my professional position about singe engine anything: I just don't fly them (recip, t-prop or jet) or ride in them or charter them; "

Since introduction into the fleet,the PC-12 and TBM have had about 3 engine failure accidents combined (thats since about 1992) none of which have been fatal. This in a fleet numbering around 1500 acft. Again, IIRC these were all Pilatus. (Dont take me to task if these numbers are slightly off - they are close if not dead on.)AFAIK, all of the very few PC-12 fatals have been attributed to (or are suspected to be) due to pilot error. Not a strong case for two or more engines, IMHO.

WhyTech said...

"AFAIK, all of the very few PC-12 fatals have been attributed to (or are suspected to be) due to pilot error"

Just checked the NTSB database - shows 7 fatals for each acft, all pilot error except that the most recent PC-12 fatal is unclear (but not due to engine failure).

WhyTech said...

Current base on the Piperjet is said to be $2.2mm. Well equipped PC-12/47E (NG) around $4.2mm. Not quite an apples and apples comparison, but makes the point.

Shane Price said...

Anyone able to answer this:-

Is there any reference to s/n 260 (the bird that was 'delayed' after being paid for in full) which is in the public domain, and that proves it actually escaped before Chapter 7 closed the doors at EAC?

Answers to Phil, or post a comment here. A link to some records database would be great....

Thanks

Shane

airtaximan said...

IMO, A big single is dumb, and so is a small twin...

go figure

airtaximan said...

"I wondered the same thing- seems like with the modern factory"

Sorry, a large hangar with obsolete tooling is NOT worth anything... really. The modern factory might be some computers tied together and fancy bin numbering for tools and fasteners.

Spirit is modern, EAC was state of the art... a large floor space... and little else of use.

Ken Meyer said...

Shane, it is N877PM, delivered to 100 PM Inc. You can check out the registration here.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
"IMO, A big single is dumb, and so is a small twin..."

?? What's your take on small singles and big twins??
.)

baron95 said...

WhyTech said... Current base on the Piperjet is said to be $2.2mm. Well equipped PC-12/47E (NG) around $4.2mm. Not quite an apples and apples comparison, but makes the point.
=====================

Two points actually.

1 - PC12 is overpriced, due to lack of competition and over engineering - please look at that NG panel - there are hundreds of buttons and switches, and yet the PFD main inst area is tiny. Now look at the clean Prodigy or Perspective - cleaner, cheaper, bigger PFD main inst area, SVS. What were they thinking?

2 - PiperJet will end up costing closer to $3M out the door. I think the $2.2M is 2006 $ or something like that - add escalation, unavoidable price increases and optional equip and you are at $3M.

baron95 said...

The Meridian is the $2M-class Piper plane. The PJet will be their $3M class plane - IF it gets built.

baron95 said...

Boy Garmin just announced a pretty buttoned-down line up of flight decks at Oshkosh.

G3X - a modular - Aspen-like system.

G500 (a G600 light) now starts at $15K - Will be on DA20s.

G600 - now with SVS and A/P interface standard - will be in a bunch of Pipers.

If all these things start shipping soon, it will squeeze the air out of the competition.

It's looking like Garmin-only in the entire sub 10K lbs market.

Pretty amazing, since they had ZERO market share 2 decades ago.

That just shows how vulnerable the GA Jurassic players are.

No reason why a new player can't do the same to piston engines.

Cirrus and Diamond, again with virtually ZERO market share 2 decades ago, have over 50% of the piston market.

Even Eclipse, for a time, had a huge percentage of the light jet market (by unit).

Light GA (sub 6K lbs) is truly a Jurassic industry - quite amazing that it hasn't been taken over completely by new entrants.

Well - it has in avionics. 50% on airframes - lets see if Austro or some other entrant can do it for engines.

Shane Price said...

Ken,

Thanks for that. We 'had' the FAA info, but needed confirmation that the litigant (100 LLC) was in possession of the aircraft. Another contact was able to provide the name of the owner, so it's all squared away.

Today is (yet another) court date.

I wonder if we'll finally see some movement on the 'assets' of EAC....

Shane

WhyTech said...

"PC12 is overpriced, due to lack of competition and over engineering - please look at that NG panel - there are hundreds of buttons and switches, and yet the PFD main inst area is tiny. Now look at the clean Prodigy or Perspective - cleaner, cheaper, bigger PFD main inst area, SVS. What were they thinking?"

Like your MB, you mean? A Kia Spectra is cleaner and cheaper. Pilatus has for years had a 1-2 year wait for a new acft (except possibly for the current downturn). I sold my 3 year old PC-12/45 for 10% more than I paid new. The market speaks.

fred said...

The market speaks ...

yes , absolutely ! ;-)

I fear that is something Ea500 owners are going to find-out very soon ... unfortunately to their expenses ...!

i forgot to tell you from previous :
Yes , Israelis are often a bit over the top ...
one of the thing i had difficulties to get accustomed to : in Israel people do not talk ... they shout ! ;-)

but one thing i can tell you = a real Fighter-pilot would NEVER tell you or admit he is a pilot , even under torture ...

Ken Meyer said...

They got it months ago, Shane. Stale news.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
Thanks for the updates about court proceedings- I wasn't sure if it was still happening or delayed again. Seems like the trustee had promised/threatened/encouraged things to be closed before Aug 29 (as Fred deduced- Tuesday past :)
But maybe it was "on or before" Aug 29, in which case today bring news.

Personally, I think in the what depressed market, the best thing for the sellers would be to lock the doors until 2011.

Of course, I thought the BoD should do the same thing to Wedge's office, with him in it. Or not.- the BoD chose the "not" option- one year ago today, as I recall?

Oops- yesterday- a Tuesday !! :)
"Vern Raburn: Never Saw It Coming?"
(...like so many other things...)

fred said...

billy

Personally, I think in the what depressed market, the best thing for the sellers would be to lock the doors until 2011. ...

i would say that with an unemployment and scarce activity ratio of 17.3% (making less and less to afford consuming ) 2011 is quite optimistic !!

Deep Blue said...

Anyone at Oshkosh and seen the Icon? If so, any observations?

eclipse_deep_throat said...

FYI:
Local media outlets here in Albuquerque repoted that our GE Aircraft Engine plant will be closing in 2010. Another nail in the coffin for American manufacturing, yet it is a small blip for Abq since far from its peak headcount. I got to work with some good former-GE people at Eclipse, some who were hired by EAC, others who remained at the GE plant or who I met at TVI in 2005....

e.d.t

http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/business/business_krqe_albuquerque_ge_closure_plan_jolts_aviation_workers_200907282223

You mite need to watch an ad to read the Abq Journal story:
http://www.abqjournal.com/news/metro/292231451876newsmetro07-29-09.htm

bill e. goat said...

Hi E.D.T.,
Thanks for the news, sorry it's not good news, about General Electric in ABQ.

I dug up a different link url (same article, I believe):
station KRQE: GE to close in ABQ

"On Tuesday morning managers told the employees that this plant is scheduled to close in the fall of 2010. It's a rumor that employees say they've been hearing for years...Of the 400 employees 275 will be eligible for early retirement."

I'm glad most will be eligible for early retirement- and wish the remainder well (maybe at DoD facilities in NM?).

I hope this doesn't have a trickle down effect our friend Gadfly.

gadfly said...

goat

GE closing the plant here is really no surprise. GE took over the big “ACF” facility back in the 1960's. ACF (“American Car & Foundry”) was a major contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission, building containers and other components for Rocky Flats in Colorado. (I’ll not go into the history.)

As time passed, the unions gained more and more control over the work at GE, so the cutbacks have been going on for the past twenty years . . . quietly cutting back on work, sending it to the other GE plants back east. The entire Albuquerque workforce is a “skeleton crew” compared to the early days.

In its prime, major developments took place here, in “investment casting” of rotor blades, and stator rings . . . and we have had an impact on that portion, inventing/designing/fabricating special tooling for EDM, precision grinding, “plasma spray tooling”, and inspection fixtures. A man I had trained in our methods took a position as a head tool designer at GE, taking our ideas with him . . . at our encouragement. Today, GE thinks they invented the process . . . but that’s OK, as we supplied the perishable tooling to “fit” in those same fixtures. And most of that work has already been transferred to the other GE facilities. With “FedEx” overnight, it’s no big thing.

The closing of GE is bittersweet . . . but long in process. A somewhat important thing, little known by most, was the winning of a long fought battle, converting from hand-drawn plans, containing multiple data points (often “in space”), to single file CAD.

(Once, I met with a room full of engineers at GE, pushing to get them “up to speed” with computer files, or at least a "single" rather than "multiple" data points. One person who had been the biggest obstacle was the most vocal, constantly interrupting me with argument after argument . . . fighting for hand-drawn plans with data points "in space", requiring hours of calculations with hand-held calculators, etc. All the others in the room sat there quietly listening, saying little or nothing. After the meeting, I asked the man (mentioned earlier, that was now in charge of the Wirecut-EDM and tool design department), “Who was that guy?” “He is their boss!” A few months later, the individual was “retired”, and computer files became standard, rather than stacks of “D-size” drawings.)

gadfly

michal said...

"PC12 is overpriced, due to lack of competition and over engineering"

You always want to compare amount of aluminum (say empty or gross weight) and see how it compares with prices. I found a great a deal of proportionality between them. Of course PC-12 may still be slight overpriced (after all it is Swiss) but it is a fairly large aircraft compared to other discussed here airplanes.

gadfly said...

michal

“after all it is Swiss”

The first thing that comes to my mind when someone says “Swiss” is quality. Somehow, price doesn’t seem to connect . . . and yet, “Swiss” also implies “expensive”. But not always!

In my earlier comments, I mentioned a man who after working for me, went on to GE, to great success. Back when he still lived in Switzerland, he had an acquaintance, a friend, that designed a little watch . . . it cost $5 (US) to manufacture . . . and sold in the US of A for $30 (a normal mark-up for commercial items). It was plastic . . . kept extremely accurate time . . . you’ve probably heard of it, the “Swatch” (Swiss watch).

When general aviation fully believes in the concept, especially a “startup” like Eclipse . . . the true marriage of precision/quality/new technology/and highly skilled people . . . “Katy, Bar the door!”

Eclipse had the “CAD” files, a collection of great ideas (subject to debate), some high hopes dependant on new technology (yet unproven), but failed to appreciate absolute quality control (and No, I don’t mean “paper work” . . . although that is important) and the true value of fully qualified personnel (both in mechanical/technical skills and human relationship skills).

When we got our first CNC “Wirecut-EDM” machine, the variations of quality were suddenly solved . . . the machine did exactly what I required, without the variations of human involvement. But we still had to carefully bring together a crew of highly motivated and skilled people, to carry out the assembly and interface between “machine” and “customer”.

Eclipse, in my opinion, was so focused on “success” and profits, that they forgot the many things between “dream” and “fulfillment”. And a long list of little “foxes” destroyed the crop, long before harvest. The final stroke was to begin delivering unfinished product . . . no longer in control of ever finishing even “one” complete aircraft.

To this time, no-one knows what a complete Eclipse 500 would, or could do. It remains a mystery, regardless of the claims of some.

gadfly

(Did you know that a watermelon does not “ripen” after it’s picked? . . . from then on, it begins to rot. Somehow, I see a similarity between watermelons and the little bird from Albuquerque . . . once either one “leaves the farm”, it’s all downhill.)

gadfly said...

Now what? . . . “All composite airframe” and “all electric brake system” . . . Boeing is pulling an “Eclipse” on their customers, or is it “gluttony”, at altitude? Somehow, me thinks, . . . too much in a single upgrade . . . Boeing seems to be losing control.

This is beginning to look like the “general aviation” version of “Groundhog Day”.

gadfly

(The movie was great . . . but to sit through it another time? . . . Oh my!)

baron95 said...

michal said...
You always want to compare amount of aluminum (say empty or gross weight) and see how it compares with prices. I found a great a deal of proportionality between them. Of course PC-12 may still be slight overpriced (after all it is Swiss) but it is a fairly large aircraft compared to other discussed here airplanes.
---------------------

Agreed. Since its main competitor for size/mission is the BE200 another overpriced plane, it can afford to be so.

The point, though, is that it is exposed and vulnerable to a true new competitor - if one ever gets in.

I do think the TBM is more exposed, though.

And, yes, Whytech, the market speaks.

But thinks can change fast - fast in GA, being two decades or so.

gadfly said...

And speaking of movies . . . All of you who read this blog:

http://www.archive.org/details/

Check it out . . . historical data like you wouldn't believe . . . audio . . . video . . . text . . . an amazing collection for your use and pleasure. And all "Free"!

A couple nights ago, I watched a video of the "Hindenburg", much film before and during the Lakehurst incident. Films of early submarines (going back almost a hundred years). Bob Hope . . . Jack Benny . . . Lux Radio Theater (a few hundred full broadcasts covering over twenty years) . . . complete high resolution movies going "way back".

It doesn't include everything but it's amazing what it does include: Amelia Earhart . . . video/audio "in there!" . . . Lindberg? . . . same thing, "in there" . . . and speaking of brakes, how 'bout a "brake manual" from 1944, http://www.archive.org/details/Tm9-1827cHydraulicBrakesWagner-lockheed ?

This is one amazing resource . . . even the goat would like it, if he doesn't chew the thing up, first!

gadfly

(goat: Please note, there's no "glue" under the labels . . . most people don't know that goats don't eat tin cans . . . only the "horse glue" that keep the labels attached.)

gadfly said...

As if to confirm my last comments about the excellent resource, I clicked on the following:

http://www.archive.org/details/1946-08-23_Navys_Biggest_Airplane

. . . and immediately was translated back in memory, as my Dad took me out to see an airshow at Lockheed (Burbank, circa 1946) and the maiden flight of the "Constitution". This giant (at the time) "porpoised" all the way in on final approach, barely making it a safe landing. The little cast aluminum "P80" that my Dad bought me that day, sits on a dresser, upstairs, next to a cast aluminum Boeing 247, that my uncle brought back to me, when he worked for Boeing, and then "United Airlines", before and during the war.

And I haven't even begun to explore the treasures in this internet gold mine.

gadfly

(In today's economy, the entire "crowd" at that airshow would have demanded absolute success in the landing of that giant aircraft . . . and a happy "Disney" ending to the day. But back then, a few thousand people, standing together in the hot sun, actually risked their own lives . . . as there were no guarantees of the success of the very first landing of the Constitution. I think only two were ever produced. And the "over control" of the elevators was rather dramatic.)

KnotMPH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michal said...

Swiss Swatch ..? Please not for me.
How about $1.49 mil. Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon which today is the most expensive wristwatch you can buy. But I actually prefer only slightly less expensive Vacheron Constantin Tour de I'lle. And these watches have no diamonds .. just fancy metal!! Swiss know how to make watches more expensive than Eclipse aircraft!

No_Skids said...

ASM wrote-

It seems like the optium intake design for the PiperJet would be to emulate (OK, copy!) the F-16's intake. The nose gear folds into the intake structure behind the mouth of the intake which lessens the odds of foreign object damage from stuff being kicked up by the nose tire.

It may lessen the risk-unfortunately it doesn't eliminate it-at least two F-16's have lost engines due to nose tire ingestion in the last few years. The stuff the nose tire goes over often causes tire failure, and it appears that thrown tread doesn't always head for the back of the plane as we'd like it to.

Gad wrote of the 787-

“all electric brake system”

and touched on a topic near and dear-why in the world does the 787 have electric brakes?

Historically, there have been three justifications for electric brakes-

(1) As part of the complete elimination of all hydraulics on the aircraft.

(2) Because there was a long term storage requirement (say, five years) for the vehicle (bring it out of a hanger, it has to be up and running in an hour). The military likes to ask for that kind of thing.

(3) Because brake fires were an issue.

Reason (1) doesn't apply to the 787-it has a hydraulic system. Reason (2)? If a 787 goes into storage for 5 years, it's probably not coming out at all, let alone in an hour.
Reason (3) just hasn't been in issue on commercial transports-in fact I've read about more tire fire disasters than brake fire disasters.

So the upside for an electric brake is iffy (IMO). The downside?

Historically, the FAA and their worldwide counterparts look at brake system failure modes and only one is considered catastrophic-uncommanded braking. Very bad to have brakes come on full at rotation. Potentially even worse if they come on full on just one side of the plane.

A little thought reveals that electric brakes almost by definition have uncommanded braking as a software failure mode. So the software certification level is as high as flight controls. And that's part of what happened on the 787 to cause current (and perhaps future) delays-see, for example

Brake Software Done? Nope

Airbus, by contrast, already says the 350XWB brakes will be hydraulic.

I love technology and make a living with it. But it has to be applied appropriately, and not for it's own sake.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
"only the "horse glue" that keep the labels attached"

So THAT'S why they keep sticking to the roof of my mouth...
.)

Thanks for the info- I thought my fellow goats were stupid (I suspect the felling was mutual)- and wondered why they licked the outside of the can, rathe than the inside...

Well, I don't want to lanuch the blog into a pro/con nuclear debate, but I was intrigued by your comments about American Car and Foundary, and their involvement in the nuclear industry by building storage and transportation equipment. Makes sense, being experts at fabricating sturdy heavy-dute steel containers (typically, railcars).

Way back when, I was contacted by a company named American Air Filter. I responded, thinking, "okay, so I'll design auto air filters, lawn mower air filters, home furnace air filters- whatever". Well, "whatever" turned out to be nuclear / biological / chemical air scrubbers for missile silos. Go figure- don't judge a book by it's cover.

Speaking of nuclear material handling and transportation...I don't know if everyone had heard (or cared), that the Yucca Mountain
nuclear waste storage site plan has been effectively shutdown by the Obama Administration. Before THAT gets everyone excited, it has been effectively shutdown by every administration for the past 20-some years or so- despite occasional posturing.

I have gone from a mild proponent, to a mild critic of the plan- it's in an area of potential earthquakes, and had too much contractor lobbying. And I had heard some of the nutty star-wars death laser technology actually promised to have some real-world benefit- lazed nuclear material decays really fast. That's still being researched, but that, and some other technologies, seem to hold promise. As does "recycling" nuclear fuel- currently outlawed for terrorism concerns, but could reduce waste by 90%.

The current (August 2009) issue of Scientific American has a very informative article (fitting for "critic" and "enthusiast" alike) on Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste in general- highly recommended reading: Is There A Place For Nuclear Waste

(I don't know about being nuclear, but with the dearth of interest, it seems like Eclipse's assets are pretty toxic. Much like a certain former C.E.O. :)

bill e. goat said...

Hi Michal,
Maybe the Swiss should offer a "two for one" package, watch and PC-12, $3M.

When I wear a watch, I figure it cost's me about $2/day, at the rate I lose them.

Of course, at $1.5M, that would be 2054.79 years. Think of all the watch batteries involved!!
.)
--------------------------------

Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon

"not waterproof"!! Heck, at $1.5M, I would expect it to be radiation-proof!

"a rare watch...almost impossible to find"...I already have THAT problem !!
:)

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
"PiperJet will end up costing closer to $3M out the door. I think the $2.2M is 2006 $ or something like that - add escalation, unavoidable price increases and optional equip and you are at $3M."

I agree- maybe Mustang-price-ish, high $2.Xs.

"The Meridian is the $2M-class Piper plane. The PJet will be their $3M class plane - IF it gets built".

I agree (again !!!). I think Piper is happy as can be selling Meridians for around $2M, why compete with themselves by selling the PJet for $2.2M. And, the flying example does seem, well, a little like the ConJet (EA-400); sort of a demonstrator, rather than a prototype.

That said, I think both concepts had significant potential. And with Piper having new investment, I think the only question about whether the PJet will be a success, is the will to build it at Piper.

bill e. goat said...

Hi WT,
"Current base on the Piperjet is said to be $2.2mm. Well equipped PC-12/47E (NG) around $4.2mm."

Apples to oranges? Heck, it's Timex to Patek Philippe's !!
(Sure looks good for the PJet to me!)

bill e. goat said...

WT,
Was the PC-12 accident in Butte ever resolved- the last 30 seconds sounded like pilot error, but was the reason for his diversion to Butte ever determined?

baron95 said...

No Skids said...Historically, there have been three justifications for electric brakes-
======================

Actually, you left out the main justifications.

1 - Electric systems, including brakes are much easier to monitor for status, wear, inspect, diagnose, maintain.

2 - Electric systems are expected to experience rapid development over the next two decades, while hydraulic systems advances are tapering off (mature technology).

In general, we'll see electrification of systems in transportation. From "hydramatic" transmissions to electric, from hydraulic power steering to electric one, from hydraulic brakes to electric in cars. From direct linkage to throttle by wire. All happening very fast.

Same in planes electric actuators of flight control coupled with fly by wire. Electric subsystems for pressurization, etc. Electric brakes is a worthy evolution.

Yes. There may be a slight short term penalty, but a large expected gain long term.

I'm very pleased that Boeing chose to "electrify" the 787.

Yes they f-ed up the execution. But even with the delays, Airbus with the A350, is still running a substantial risk of having a A340-like plane in a world of 777s.

I'm sure you know that the world's airlines are running with near 100% seats occupied and no spare planes AND minimum union maintenance staff. These airlines will live or die based on dispatch reliability.

What would you rather have on the ramp in 2015? A brake hydraulic leak or an electric fault diagnose code?

Give me electrons any day over voodoo hydraulics.

bill e. goat said...

KnotMPH,
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...Shorts Skyvan

I thought the Shorts 360 derivative to be rather fetching- even if it lacks the universal grace of twin rudders.

baron95 said...

B.E.G. said...it's in an area of potential earthquakes
==============================

Right. I is much safer to leave the nuclear waste on 120 different sites, at or near ground level, and most near major metropolitan areas, and many on earthquake-prone areas.

Clearly, that is much, much safer.

Much, much simpler to "not make any decision" than to make a "reasonable, if not perfect" decision.

Awesome.

In the mean time, China, clears and builds a whole industrial site in 1/20th of the time it takes us to file a permit.

Can you predict who is going to win in the end?

baron95 said...

BEG...why compete with themselves.
----------------------

Well, at some point either you kill your products or the competition will kill it for you.

I know you may find it hard to believe is a Jurassic competitive environment of aviation, but...

If the 767/777 didn't kill the 747, the A330/340 would kill it.

Piper let the Citations kill its turbine line. And now wants to re-join the party.

Would you really want to have your Jet serviced at a Warrior/Archer service center?

Or would you rather have you Phenom services at an ERJ service center and you Citation at a Citation service center?

Get my drift?

Piper is out of touch with the jet customer. Not only by product, but by service experience, financing, training, etc.

I rate their efforts as a tripple 10 on the Baron scale.

I.e. I put their chances as 10% to get 10% of the light jet market in 10 years.

bill e. goat said...

No_Skids,
I found an article by Messier-Bugatti about their contribution to the 787 electric brakes

Sounds like Crane still makes part of the system.

I had fancied the electric brake as being an electro-hydraulic brake, with the pump built into the brake, but it's electromechanical instead. (Propabably more reliable without the fluid).

No_Skids said...

B95 Wrote-

Give me electrons any day over voodoo hydraulics.

Baron, you are absolutely right about electric brakes-but not yet.

I agree with everything you've written except for the idea suggested that better electric brakes than what they have now will be on the 787 in 2015.

Brake systems are extremely expensive to qualify-testing ranges up to max gross weight rejected takeoffs (RTO's) that cost millions and destroy the test wheels and brakes (and often the axle and other landing gear parts).

The large cost of that kind of testing is a big reason why the 737 waited 25 years after Boeing started using carbon brakes (on the 757/767) to finally get carbon (just qualified on a 737NG in the last year, 700 pounds in weight savings that would have helped with fuel usage over the last 20 years).

IMO, Boeing jumped into the technology too early (they were the first electric brake on ANY passenger plane, let alone a large commercial transport).

baron95 said...

Hey Fred...things are getting a bit dicey for the US treasury. Bond auction today had a bid to cover below 2, a long tail and an astronomically high 2.66% yield on 5 year bonds.

With the US needing to place $2,000,000,000,000 in notes and bonds this year, you may actually see your favorite prediction come true.

Pretty soon all our zero % auto loans may have high interest rates - like 1% or so.

I hate when that happens.

On a more serious note, I loved to see Obama, Geithner and the democrats on the hill playing nicey nicey to the Chinese.

After decades of demonizing China, they now get called on the carpet to explain to Chine how they'll bring our debt under control and to beg them to keep on holding on to their $800,000,000,000 in US bonds.

Outstanding development. That should keep the union whine against china down, and the subsidized debt and products flowing in.

I could not be happier.

And on top of that, Cessna is starting deliveries of the SkyneseCatcher LSA.

I hope we have a Chinese built EA500/EA400 soon. That will wake up Wichita and the union shops, huh?

baron95 said...

B.E.G. said...but it's electromechanical instead
============================

And B.E.G., even that is a half step.

Ultimately, brakes may have no wear parts. It will be a purely electromagnetic affair, with regenerative capabilities.

Think about that. No pads or rotors to replace. Just an electromagnet that helps accelerate the plane on take-off and brake it on landing with no contact parts.

Lets see you do that with hydraulics ;)

No_Skids said...

BEG-

There are two 787 electric brake sources-Goodrich also makes them and is on the first flight aircraft. They (Boeing) dual source brakes for the same reason they dual source engines-competition and availability of alternatives for a high cost system.

And they used to have those beautiful Shorts planes at the Edwards AFB test pilot school for training. The idea was "if you can fly that-you can fly anything".

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
"I rate their (Piper) efforts as a tripple 10 on the Baron scale. I.e. I put their chances as 10% to get 10% of the light jet market in 10 years."

Well, hmmm. I'd say- if they are commited- they can sell 80-100 per year, beginning 3 years from now.

Not sure how the market will develop for other VLJs, so I can't make a market share prediction.
--------------------------------

I'd rate Eclipse a double 10/ one on the goat scale of, well, some kind of scale.

(The irony of a fisherman, using a "fish scale" had never dawned on me until now- what wonders will tomorrow hold !?! :)

Ten years, to deliver ten percent of their orders, and investors get one percent of their money back.

gadfly said...

baron has an excellent point about “non-contact” brakes.

Take it a step further, and install a catapult/braking system in each airport . . . launch and retrieve aircraft with an electromagnet (linear motor) system buried in the concrete. Hey! . . . why not? Think of the weight/fuel savings. And maybe a “monorail” on parallel runways. (A heavy magnet is not necessary for a linear motor “armature” . . . eddy currents or closed loop coils can work just fine . . . with the field windings buried in the runway.)

Or, borrow some technology from the Navy . . . they have almost a century launching and retrieving aircraft.

gadfly

baron95 said...

Hey Gad, The Gerald R. Ford Carrier CVN-78 is to have Electromagnetic catapults rather than steam.

Lets hope the circuit doesn't "trip". LOL

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron,
"Outstanding development. That should keep the union whine against china down, and the subsidized debt and products flowing in. I could not be happier. And on top of that, Cessna is starting deliveries of the SkyneseCatcher LSA.
I hope we have a Chinese built EA500/EA400 soon. That will wake up Wichita and the union shops, huh?"


I'm still waiting for YOU to wake up.
--------------------------------

You want people to stop whining about their jobs going to China?

FINE- get ready to hear them whining about going back to a 90% income tax rate. What the heck- using indifference about manufacturing jobs vanishing as a guide- if it doesn't affect me- why should I care? "I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER !"

"HIGH TAXES, BRING 'EM ON !!"

Is that REALLY what you want to hear??

fred said...

you may actually see your favorite prediction come true. ...

believe me or not, sometime on some subject i would love to be wrong !

the problem is going to come from a mix between "job seekers" "past debts" "lack of savings" etc...

as time goes by , the fiscal revenue of USA is going to crumble ,making the deficits wider at a time when all resources should be oriented to a single aim : ease peoples life !

this is where i am sad when i see firms like "goldmann&sachs" shorting markets or making heaps of profits (which is not very difficult = put a few hundreds billions on a table > with such even Vern would have succeeded , but where the money is coming from ? A: tax-payers pockets)

Chinese want to ease their possession of US financial instruments , they know only too well that if things are not sorted out , a dollar of today won't be worth the paper it's printed on tomorrow or after tomorrow ...
(only a way of saying it won't be actually within the next month ...!)

what can be the alternative ?
A: rising the risk-profit ratio on those , which means a good push on interests rates ...

but if interest-rate is raised , only peoples INSIDE the USA are going to suffer ...

this is where the notion that this current-crisis is a credit-crisis more than anything else is dead-important ...

the situation is far actually to be cured , only need to see the saving-ratio sky-rocketing to understand it :

in less than 2 years , the S-R went from a negative value to +/- 7% today = meaning average americans stop consuming like mad as previously ...

in a system where consumers-spending makes 70 to 76% of GNP , no need to be extra-lucid to see the outcome ...

so if Eco. is not booming , jobs are not going to be created , meaning peoples will save more , meaning less jobs to be created , meaning more unemployment , meaning peoples even more scared and therefor saving more !

(this is where the next tax to appear in USA will be a "saving-tax" anything above XXX $ will be taxed !like in few other countries ...)


you see : it is a question of dying (only a way of saying) now in good shape or tomorrow in ruins ...

Billy said sometimes ago " High Military Spendings and slow weak Eco brought down USSR"
can you understand why F22 is unneeded ?

a few ones to acquire the techs (or to keep it ) for the show (to sell it abroad) but that's about all ...

the more time goes by , the more it looks that USA cornered itself without too many options out !

attempt to domination are ALWAYS producing this effect , there is lots of examples in Human history !

on this , i would love to be wrong !

eclipse_deep_throat said...

I noticed this on the front page of the Seattle Times: Boeing Wing Flaw Extends Inside Plane!!

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/h
tml/boeingaerospace/2009565319_b
oeing30.html

And I'm not sure why on earth the web page doesn't wrap text unless I do it manually. So I'm open to hearing tips on how to get a bloody link here as I've seen others do it. ;-)

Anyway, I bet there is a lot we/the general public haven't been told. I for one am ready to say that I will NOT fly on a 787 any time soon ...that I would change my flight or cancel outright if I booked a flight and later saw it was scheduled with a 787. Someone else can be the flight test dummy for this experiment in disruptive technology. LOL, considering that I only have the money to fly on Southwest, I'm sure it will be a good 20 years before SW has any 787s as part of its fleet...

e.d.t.

WhyTech said...

"Was the PC-12 accident in Butte ever resolved- the last 30 seconds sounded like pilot error, but was the reason for his diversion to Butte ever determined?"

Things went very quiet shortly after the accident. No official findings yet, and I havent heard any recent informed speculation.

No_Skids said...

EDT-

Well, I can't post the text that shows how to embed a link, cause blogger will think it actually IS a link!

But here's a link that shows how pretty simply-

Posting Links

If only Boeings 787 problems were that easy to solve! I can only echo B95's plea of a few days back . . . .

Calling all Gadflys! Your country needs you! Report to Seattle immediately!

Anybody else who can help, too.

Deep Blue said...

EDT said:

"Anyway, I bet there is a lot we/the general public haven't been told. I for one am ready to say that I will NOT fly on a 787 any time soon ...that I would change my flight or cancel outright if I booked a flight and later saw it was scheduled with a 787. Someone else can be the flight test dummy for this experiment in disruptive technology."

There may be at least two issues at play here. One is that we are learning h0w to build a composite airliner; the mistakes are necessary to learn. But the other concerns Boeing management and governance (mostly non-aerospace in the BOD) and how that may affect project management and integrity.

I agree though; no 787 flight for me or family; reminds me so far of the Comet: alot of "in-flight" commercial test flying to find out why the aircraft kept breaking apart in mid-air.

uglytruth said...

Fred said; (this is where the next tax to appear in USA will be a "saving-tax" anything above XXX $ will be taxed !like in few other countries ...)

How does this work? How do you get around it? What do you think about gold? All above if you were in the USA.

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

Uglytruth :

simple way of making a saving tax =

peoples save , on saving they have interests earnings , so you give basically 3 choices :

leave their savings on account not producing interests = no tax but inflation is "chewing" your savings

they put their savings on account which doesn't produce much interests , most of times with an underlined meaning (building social housing , help medi-care getting paid , etc) = no tax

they put savings on better interests earning = tax like revenues ...

Gold : next move in USA is going to be inflation (natural consequences of 100's billions put in the wild)

remember : what is rare is expensive , what is common is worthless ...

would you believe paper or gold (or any hard material) since you know one is fruit of politics behavior , the other not ...

How do we get out of this in E.U. = we have place like Luxembourg to hide our savings ...! ;-) (and a few others with relax fiscal policies ...)

the problem with USA on tax = you are supposed to pay tax as soon as you are US citizen ... we don't , if we are not actually living in the place !

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Beedriver wrote:

They need about $6,000,000 to do the design build, initial certification tests and probably about $57,000,000 to put it into full production.

Unless you put a Carb on that Diesel you ain't getting anywhere a TC for $6M.

Try about $25M for the FADEC HW/SW certification alone.

fred said...

Uglytruth :

i forgot to mention > the BEST move that Geitner and consorts can do now or a bit later = destroy the $ value !

this is probably the only way to "wash away" a big chunk of the debt problem ...
(only = if you are asked to repay , your great-grand-children may see the end ... this year alone : 1.8 to 2 Trillions deficit !)

gadfly said...

Let’s talk about composites from a non-engineering point of view . . . and let’s do it in three parts . . . a general explanation, and an example of practical application, and a summary of what might be of help in aircraft design, in the future.

Part One:

Composites are generally “two parts”:

1. Fibers such as glass filaments, or carbon filaments, or in the case of making adobe bricks . . . even in Bible times, “straw”. These filaments are generally very strong . . . in “tensile strength”, that is, they do not break easily when “pulled”. But they are not generally strong in “compression” . . . it’s difficult to “push” on a rope.

2. A binder, or filler . . . such as “polyester resin”, “epoxy”, . . . or sand or mud. The binder is very strong in compression, but easily pulls apart.

The combination of filler and fiber makes for an extremely strong material . . . the filler holds the fibers together, binding them in such a way that the fibers “hold” in place, due to “shear” strength between filament and filler. The filaments (fibers) hold the filler together, assuring near-full compressive strength, under extreme loads.

Composites with all the fibers in a common direction have great tensile strength in one direction (“unidirectional”), but are “weak” in the direction that would separate the fibers. To address this problem, sometimes a “cloth” is used, but between layers, strength depends on the filler, or binder. Even when the fibers are “laid” on the bias, separation may still occur when the tensile strength of the binder is exceeded.

As we know, a sheet of paper may be difficult to pull apart, yet will collapse if any attempt is made to support a load, standing on edge. Yet, paper is used for strong boxes, by using a “corrugated” core, glued between to thick sheets of paper. And we’ve heard the term, “honeycomb core” . . . used to make stiff panels that are extremely light in weight. Within limits, such panels provide a wonderful alternative to solid forms. But they are generally limited to applications that do not experience heavy dynamic bending loads, and extremes in changing temperatures . . . depending heavily on the characteristics of the bonding glue.

So, when there is a need for large panels (wings, domes, “roofs”, etc.), there must be a method to hold the two “skins” and core, all together, at all times. The slightest failure between skin and core, will start a pealing away along the bonding interface. Play with the “hook and loop” of Velcro, and you will see demonstrated the difference between and overall holding ability, in shear and tension, yet the weakness when it’s “peeled” apart. (But hold the thought of “Velcro” in your mind for later in the second discussion.)

By now, we’ve seen how large containers can have a “thin skin”, yet be extremely strong . . . and if the binder holds, we can make light-weight panels. There is just one other thing . . . how to make hollow structures, that can “bend”, yet not “buckle”. And we have an example right from creation: the “shark” . . . rather, the “shark’s skin”. The fibers within the shark skin are laid out on the “bias” . . . something any good seamstress knows, when she buys “bias tape”, to go around the corner of a collar, yet lay flat. A shark has a powerful body, that smoothly turns in all directions . . . but you never see a shark with “creases” or “folds” in its skin . . . and remains streamlined at all times.

So, we need a “skin” that will not buckle, and remains strong, both in tension and compression, at all times. Solve those problems, and you’re almost home free.

gadfly said...

Part Two:

Many years ago, there was a need for lightweight building material, weighing from 1 ½ pounds per square foot, to about four pounds per square foot . . . for outdoor buildings, water tanks, domes, etc., etc., that would meet all the normal building codes throughout the nation . . . heavy snow loads, extremes in temperature, water/sun, and high wind loads. And remain cheap, easy to assemble, and as much as possible, factory built and easy to haul to any building site on any terrain.

The material chosen was fiberglass re-enforced polyester resin. Glass cloth was ruled out . . . too expensive, difficult to “wet out”, and a number of other reasons. Chopped filament, with a “gun” was too expensive, and un-controllable for large panels, inconsistent in thickness for the final product. So, a “sized” (like "starch") random chopped glass fiber mat was the final choice. (We’ll skip the gel-coat, skin-coat “vale”, etc., and curing.) We had an excellent skin, now, for our panels . . . translucent/opaque/fire retardent/. . . almost any texture . . . and the fiber re-enforcement was omni-directional . . . equally strong in all directions.

Now, for a “core”. That was easy . . . bond two layers of thin skin, “glass and polyester” like the outer skins, but thinner . . . one skin flat, the other “corrugated” with a four-inch pitch, and a 2 ½ inch height . . . cure it, slice it into “noodles” 3 ½ inches wide (to conform to 3 ½ inch dimension of standard “2 x 4" lumber, for door frames or whatever the customer should decide to add) . . . and we’re almost there, right? ‘Just take the “noodles”, sandwich them together and lay them on the first skin, and bind them together . . . then, flop this blanket over onto another skin (82 feet by 12 feet, on a giant steel mold), pressurize the panel together, with a giant nylon/rubber bag, held down with pipes and cables, and filled with air (at about 4 inches equivalent water pressure . . . the pressure gage was some "black coffee" in a loop of clear plastic tubing) with a paddlewheel blower . . . and now we have one huge panel, ready for use.

Ah, but wait . . . there’s more . . . much more. A simple separation of the skin from the “core”, no matter where, and the entire panel will peel apart, and fail. What to do?

Remember, when we “cut the corrugated skins” into noodles? How’d we do that? We used a gang of circular saws, on a single shaft, set with a 3 ½ inch gap between them, and sawed through the continuous length, as the three foot wide stock came out of the final cure section of our core machine. Steel saws quickly get dull, cutting through glass . . . but we kept pulling the stuff through, and shortly, the strips were not really being “cut” so much as being “torn” into strips, with much “fuz” on each edge.

When the core, with the fuzzy edges was pushed into the liquid polyester and chopped glass mat, the “fuz” pushed into and around the glass filaments in the 1/8th inch thick skin, creating millions of interlocking loops, like a blanket of roots under your lawn (or that "Velcro" example). When the polyester “cured”, the marriage between skin and core was complete.

With that material, we made some huge self-supporting clear-span domes, water tanks, portable buildings much larger than any mobile homes, . . . the list is long.

gadfly said...

Part Three:

Back in the early 1970's, we made a lot of “scrap” during our learning curve. Most of the scrap was structurally sound, but not of quality to use for a customer. So, I took a few panel sections home, to use for scaffolding while I was building our house. I dug the basement by hand, and used a large contractor’s wheel barrow, and needed to haul heavy loads of rock and dirt across deep ravines . . . and a couple pieces of those panels, about 2 feet wide by 12 feet long, filled the bill. With about five or 600 pounds of load, in the middle, the panel would flex an inch or two. Those panels have been kicking around for well over thirty years, in all weather, sun and cold and snow . . . and they are still quite usable. And the main secret to their great strength is the interface, the “matrix” between the core fibers and the skin fibers.

From a distance, it appears that Boeing, in their design, has made a common error, of using “glue” and “fasteners” to make connections, between a material that gains most of its strength in a “marriage” relationship between the carbon fibers, extra strong in “tension”, yet weak in bending and compression. How they’ll get out of this mess, I have no thoughts . . . these are issues that should and must be addressed long before the first fabricated component.

Maybe, they can “slap on” a band-aid, literally, much like had to be done in WWII, when “Liberty” ships began breaking apart in the middle . . . a long wide steel plate was welded to each side, literally taping the bow and stern sections, together. (But, of course, the extra weight on a “Liberty” ship was of little concern at the time.)

Well, there you have some of my thoughts on the matter . . . touching only the obvious. Making those huge panels, “back then”, had far more things of which to be concerned, but I’ve given you the “basics” of the secret to our product . . . that was overlooked by the competition. Once, a couple medium size buildings were being hauled on a large tractor/trailer rig . . . a tie-down failed, and the wind sent a building head over apple cart across a field. The truck driver stopped, got some help to “reload” the building, and continued on his way . . . the building little worse for the experience, and with complete structural integrity.

Why isn’t the panel being made today? . . . Good question! But at the time, some of the major stockholders/owners got into trouble with the “feds” on some other issues . . . spent time in a “gated community”, and the reputation affected further efforts to continue the company. By that time, I had gone on to other pursuits . . . including our own little company.

gadfly

(Technial data was avoided . . . and we only touched a very few things, but deemed to be the most important. There will be criticism, no doubt, but "there it is", to stir your imagination . . . and maybe some of this stuff will get back to Boeing, and the others that are playing in this new area of composites. It's an area where conventional wisdom is often the wrong approach . . . 'Like Dorothy remarked to Toto, this isn't Kansas any more.)

baron95 said...

BEG said...You want people to stop whining about their jobs going to China?
=======================

Yes, I do. If you can't compete, shut up. Compete = same or better output (value added + quality) for same total labor costs.

Free auto workers in the US South have no problem competing with Korean or Brazilian or Mexican workers. Midwest union workers need to compete or see their jobs disappear. Simple as that - no whining allowed.
=======================
BEG said...What the heck- using indifference about manufacturing jobs vanishing as a guide- if it doesn't affect me- why should I care?
===================
It DOES affect me. I don't want to pay more for a Skycatcher assembled in Wichita with union anticompetitive labor, if I can get the same for less if it is assembled in a non-union Alabama plant or, if need be, China.

Again, can't compete, shut up. Consumers don't need to subsidize uncompetitive labor. Be it a radiologist reading an MRI or a aerospace assembly line worker. If anyone in the world is able to do a better job than you at lower cost you SHOULD become competitive or lose your job.

Simple as that.

Competition is king. Creative destruction is queen.

Just because I give it to you straight doesn't make me indifferent. The faster these union workers adjust to the market realities, the more jobs will remain in the USA in the long term.

The surest way to make jobs go overseas is to hang on by tooth and nails onto uncompetitive compensation by the union blackmail tactics.

YES. Bring more Chinese Skycatchers and Brazilian Phenoms and South Carolina BMWs. That is what we want.

baron95 said...

Fred said...How do we get out of this in E.U. = we have place like Luxembourg to hide our savings ...!
=====================

LOL.

Do you know where those savings are?

Luxemburg, just happen to be the 15th largest holder of US Tresuries, with about $100B give or take on any given day. That is the highest per capta (by orders of magnitude) of US debt holder.

And Fred, what is your nationality? Do you have one? You claim to have this passport, and that passport, and live a bit here and a bit there.

Are you sure you are not a "Person of Interest" to some agency? ;)

baron95 said...

Gadfly said...Maybe, they can “slap on” a band-aid, literally, much like had to be done in WWII, when “Liberty” ships began breaking apart in the middle . . . a long wide steel plate was welded to each side, literally taping the bow and stern sections, together.
===========================

Gadfly - you are at your best - thanks for taking the time to post that composite primer. I'll have to re-read it later to absorb another 10%.

Wing bracing to supplement wing spar has been used in multiple aircraft, including many GA ones (e.g. Barons and Aerostars).

I doubt Boeing will need to go to that extent (wouldn't be feasible anyway), but a "stringer cap" process of some sort, will be needed.

I don't think the difficulty will be on actually finding a way to hold the stringers bonded. I think the titanium "patches" can accomplish that.

I think the issue is getting to the space to install the patches on completed wings AND, the BIG ONE, making sure the stress riser doesn't just transfer somewhere else (e.g. edge of patch).

Would like your opinion on that. Preventing stress riser transfers to another weak point.

gadfly said...

baron

Your battle with our “citizen of the world” reminds me of two things:

The first, could be “myself” . . . trying to swat a fly with my hand . . . and if I succeed, I have to ask myself (on the way to the sink to thoroughly wash my hand), “Why in the world did I do that?”

And the second was the three guys who went up into the woods, to hunt bears. They got there at “sun down” . . . two went into the cabin for the night, but the third said that he had to “get a bear”. So off he went.

In a short time, he was heard running up to the cabin . . . “Open the door . . . open the door . . . open the door!” They noticed “two” clouds of dust coming up the path . . . the first their “friend”, the second wearing a fur coat. The friend made it to the door . . . stepped aside as the chasing bear rushed into the cabin. As the third hunter reached in and closed the door, he was heard to say, “Skin ‘em . . . I’m goin’ after another one!”

Now, if you should “catch” our friendly European, or whatever he is, or thinks he is, do you want “us” to skin him? . . . while you round up another?

Thanks, but no thanks, my friend. We have our disagreements, and (I’m glad to say), our “agreements”, when it comes to national loyalty. But, “No thanks!” . . . you skin ‘em . . . I’ll watch from a distance . . . and I’m not lookin’ for any more.

Frankly (now that’s a “funny” I wasn’t planning, but I'm cracking up over my own blunder), I have yet to meet someone from the other side of the pond (British Isles and Ireland, not withstanding) who was ever wrong on world views, the international economy, history and guilt of WWII, and on and on and on.

gadfly

(Oh . . . there was something else, last night . . . electric catapults, etc. The “Wright Brothers” for the first five . . . six . . . seven years, used a tower and weight drop to launch their early aircraft on Huffman Prairie field. It was late, and I was shutting down the computers at home . . . lightning/thunderstorms are a concern, even with a “UPS” unit.)

gadfly said...

baron

It is totally unfair for me to “second guess” a bunch of well-meaning engineers, who did what they were told: Design a complete aircraft by “CAD”, etc. So, I don’t wish to go down that path.

At this point in time, Boeing is in serious trouble. Sometime back, I looked at the computer generated stuff, and told a friend who used to work for Boeing as a structural engineer, involved in testing, my concern. And he assured me that Boeing knew exactly what they were doing . . . and that the “787" is a complete success. Well, I’ll see him again, Sunday morning at church, and I’ll need to be careful how I speak on the subject. (By the way, he’s a PhD in engineering, and I am a “nobody”!)

You ask some excellent questions . . . the same that Boeing should, or may be asking (as we speak).

(Wow!!! . . . it’s 4:09pm in ABQ, and something just went over the shop at a rate I have not heard in a long time . . . the bird’s tail was definitely “on fire”, and in a hurry to somewhere!)

Where were we . . . oh yeh! It’s doubtful that Boeing would do the drastic thing, the major surgery necessary, but me thinks it's almost “too late”.

The “band-aid” approach was in jest . . . like the “speed pods” on the Convair 880 or was it 990's . . . like the “pod” things in “The Body Snatchers”, glued onto the wings. The public didn’t buy it then, and I think the public won’t buy any “band-aid” patch on the Dreamliner, now.

Me thinks the only possible solution is to admit a major mistake, make amends with Mitsubishi and Fuji . . . rip out the entire wing section, and come up with a complete sensible design, and do it right.

No intelligent person is going to feel safe and comfortable on this thing, until there’s some open honesty, and a full program to make it right. (Of course, there is a case for the “band-aid” fix, and convincing the naive masses that everything is “hunky-dory”, etc. And, in today’s climate, that just might work. But I wouldn’t want to be a part of that approach . . . no way!)

Well, now I’m getting into the business thing . . . and I’m not qualified there, beyond our own little company. But I know honesty when I meet it . . . and I’m watching close to see what Boeing will do. In the old days, I had the highest respect for them . . . an uncle, and engineer, who went to England on their behalf, as the war was getting rather serious . . . and now I want them to maintain that high standard of integrity. Sometimes, honesty brings a high price, but the alternative is many times more expensive.

As to your questions, I have enough self confidence to know that if “up close and personal” as it were, inside the wing, etc., I could be of value in solving the problems. But it’s not likely that I will ever have that opportunity. However, it’s a tempting thought.

In the mean time, grab the salsa and chips, pull up a chair, and watch what may be the final chapter in a once great American institution. Beyond that, you and I can only guess.

gadfly

(The trickle down effect is that GE might produce fewer engines, and that will affect us “right where it hurts”.)

baron95 said...

Thanks Gadfly. Have a great weekend.

And remember, the USA has 300M+ consumers and 20M give or take in manufacturing, with about 15M free workers and 5M or so unionized.

What is good for the 5M is not necessarily good for the 15M or the 300M.

And I am FIRMLY on the side of the side of the 300M (first) and the 15M (second).

Just a different perspective. That is all.

I'm SURE, the 5M, when liberated, will be wonderful and productive workers.

It is their union's choice if they'll be liberated when the companies they work for fail/leave the USA OR when they accept market wages and benefits.

I hope they choose the latter, but I respect their choices, whatever they are.

Meanwhile, .SPX is making a run at 1,000 and the 7 year bond auction was well received. Oh, well, life goes on.

gadfly said...

baron

Many years back, the Intel plant over in Rio Rancho, NM, had a problem with their “robot” carts, going from one building to another. At that time, I think the maximum silicon disk size was 8" in diameter (they had just made the jump from 6"). But whatever, the carts could not experience any bump . . . even a slight bump in the passageway, without possible damage to the silicon wafers being carried.

The carts had to travel, by themselves, un-attended between buildings, on prescribed inside passageways. Well, buildings have a tendency to “rise and fall”, over time or even daily, and sometimes hourly. That difference in height creates a minor but noticeable “bump”, so I was hired at one time to provide a smooth transition “ramp”, that would compensate for the smallest of changes, both vertically, and longitudinally. The result was a horizontal sandwich of 7075 aluminum interlocking fingers, half attached to each adjoining building, machined from sheet on the Wirecut-EDM (to build “progressive blanking dies” was out of the question, for such a limited application). The “flexure” of the fingers provided a smooth transition between the varying levels of the passageway, reminding a person of the entrance to an escalator in a public building. It could be that a “fix” of interlocking fingers, for the wing roots, of the wing sections on the “787", could accomplish the transition needed, without the high-stress-points that exist, as I understand it, where wing sections join. Of course, the material and joining would entail some of the fiber interface that I mentioned in the earlier exposition . . . but a possible “do-able” method of saving the first thirty, or so, aircraft in the queue.

But a major re-assessment of the stringers is needed . . . this is not a good thing at all, as it presently exists.

We begin with what some deem “crazy”, and work our way through the possibilities . . . skirting the conventional wisdom, often solving problems by using the not-so-obvious methods, as taught in engineering schools, and outside the software constraints of otherwise excellent algorithms. Do I know how to make enemies? . . . or not! Our little shop has thrived since 1 January 1976, by avoiding conventional wisdom.

gadfly

(And I am anti-union to the core. Period! I’ve been threatened, my family threatened, and my property threatened. Thank you, “IAM”, for confirming my convictions.)

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

Baron,
I'm ready for you to answer a question, rather than ranting about how low wages benefit America.

Q: What is the percentage productivity difference between a Cessna worker and an Embraer worker ?

And you don't get to pick the definition of "productive"- it's already defined:

Productivity:
"the amount of goods and services that a labourer produces in a given amount of time".

This is a biggie- as it will be used for subsequent discussion, so no weasel-wording allowed!

.)

Remember, you can't make up the definition, it's already defined, and the question I asked does not involve any other metric.

Repeat- I don't want any confusion or distortion of the definition:

"PRODUCTIVITY: the amount of goods and services that a labourer produces in a given amount of time."

Please address exactly the question I asked:

Q: What is the percentage productivity difference between a Cessna worker and an Embraer worker ?

WhyTech said...

"Piper is out of touch with the jet customer. Not only by product, but by service experience, financing, training, etc."

As is virtually every startup (jet) acft producer, including EAC. Service, financing, training, etc are formidable barriers to entry which can soak up boatloads of capital even when done correctly. All part of the "whole product" and essential to compete seriously with entrenched manufacturers.

baron95 said...

Gadfly said...Our little shop has thrived since 1 January 1976, by avoiding conventional wisdom.
---------------------

Congratulations!!!

Guess what? When closed out autoplants go to liquidation, guess who is bidding and taking home $200K CNC machines and presses?

YES.

The laid off or retired at age 40 UAW autoworkers.

I'm betting that a good chunk of them, will be running very creative and successful shops/businesses like you. As free men and women.

baron95 said...

Hi BEG.

Short answer is I don't know.

Long answer is:

1 - You are not comparing to the productivity leader. Embraer is a previously government-owned company with a very recent history of private ownership. It is HEAVILY unionized, as in 100%. That is right 100% of production, engineering, even managerial workers belong to a union or class association. The ENTIRE COUNTRY of BRAZIL is a non-right-to-work country. If you do not belong to a union or class association, you can't work.

2 - You definition, is not one that modern management uses. Only old timers at say a UAW plant, where wages are fixed by contract, manage via output per hour, or hours it takes to build a car. Modern entrepreneurs measure in value per labor cost - e.g. Average revenue per employee, value of output per labor cost input. So your definition of productivity is MEANINGLESS in a free and competitive market. E.g. Cessna worker may put together a Mustang in 2000 hours. Embraer workers may put together a Phenom in 4000 hours. But lets say the average Cessna worker costs you $60/hr (fully loaded), while the average Embraer worker costs you $12/hr (fully loaded). In your definition, the Cessna factory is twice as productive than the Embraer one. On my definition, the Embraer factory is 2.5 times more productive. If we went head to head, all else being equal, who do you think would win in your example? See how your definition is useless?

3 - I suspect, that the answer to your question is that the Cessna worker is about 2-3 times more "time efficient" in a Cessna factory, than an Embraer worker. Why? Because in America, the cost of capital is much lower. The cost of power tools, computers, inventory software, electricity, transportation, etc is much lower, so a US worker has much better tools, lighting, computer than a Mexican, Brazilian or Chinese worker. e.g. While an Embraer guy may be pulling rivets with a manual tool, the Cessna guy will have an automatic/autoloading rivet gun. His work place will have better lighting, so Rivets will go in correctly first time, etc.

But guess what? Year by year, foreign workers are getting closer and closer to American and German workers in terms of capital support. Every year, there can be less and less of a labor cost differential, because every year foreign workers are working in conditions that are more and more like an American workplace.

As of now, an American assembly line worker can be paid about 2x the wages in Brazil, 3x the wages in Mexico and Korea, 4x-6x the wages in China and India and still beat them on output per labor cost, when you factor in transportation, etc.

If it is much more than that, then, sooner or later their companies will fail (like Chrysler and GM) or will move production overseas like Apple, Motorola, etc. Either way, they loose their job.

You have to answer the question. Is it better to have 1M jobs in the US making 6x the wages in China, or have 100K jobs making 20x the wages in China and the other 900K jobs moved to China?

Those are the only two choices. American consumer will NOT EVER AGAIN be bilked by unions. They will exact severe punishment on those that try.

fred said...

And Fred, what is your nationality? Do you have one? You claim to have this passport, and that passport, and live a bit here and a bit there. ...


i would say that i am European living the most of its time out of European Union ...

i know it can be a bit difficult for peoples who have problems to know what is actually the shape of the world ! ;-)

(this is a bad comment , but quite funny for me ... when i was in N-Y i have met lot of lots of persons who tried to impress (me ?) by showing their knowledge in saying "France ? i know it very well ... there is 3 cities !" most of times my answer was "thanks a lot , i didn't know !" do not look at wikipedia now , there is over 36.000 towns or villages !)

well to understand this , you need to understand that for my previous job (i'm retired with no professional activity since June) there is too many points of being incline to decide a way or an other depending where you come from ...

sometimes , it is even a way (for some of "your agencies" stated)to "pressure" you to act in a specific way ...

the best ? A: keep your freedom as the most delicate jewel of your crown !
(i can tell you that over time , peoples working with you will finally take you for a human being ... not for a Britt , US citizen , french or german anymore...)

leading itself to analyze a bit the world we are living in ...

what is the best system ? A: Democracy !

is it free of blunders ? A: Not at all !
the first one being : in Democracy = peoples get elected not because they are the best for the job ... not because they are the most intelligent (cleverness meaning) not because of anything ...

EXCEPT because they say either the sweetest lies or what electors want to hear at that time !

so is there any place widely superior to any other ?

NOPE !

that is for the politic aspect !

as for tax :

the best way of NOT paying tax in E.U. = not staying long enough into one to get taxed !

or/and live in a country where the tax-regulations is so relax toward a certain type of peoples ...

for it is Morocco : whatever is the lowest tax in E.U. , they will charge me ONLY half of it to keep me (underlined "my money and purchasing/employing power" )within the country !

if it is at the same time my Birth-country only add to the advantage !!

you get it now ? no need to be from an "agency" ... in my case it would be the best way to loose my freedom and my right to criticize anything and everything to try to make it better or more understood ...

(don't worry : i start every day by watching myself into a mirror ... most of days , there is a predominant thought : " F*** , how ugly son of mother you are !!" ;-) )

fred said...

You have to answer the question. Is it better to have 1M jobs in the US making 6x the wages in China, or have 100K jobs making 20x the wages in China and the other 900K jobs moved to China? ...

only trying to compare apples to cabbage !

do peoples make enough money in USA ?

correct answer : NO ! otherwise they wouldn't be drowning in debts !

is revenues repartition fair ?

Correct answer : NOT at all ! it would greatly benefit USA if more peoples could reach the level only 2 or 3 % could reach ...without having to work "63 hours/week 50.5 weeks/year" (average american )

Is union a way to go there ?

Correct answer : probably not ! but it has t start somewhere ...

comparing China to USA is rubbish , it benefited ONLY the ones who where making money out of differences ...

now what we see is the other side of the token ...

few years ago , in USA most mothers wanted their kids to become traders in W.S.

now they would prefer them to be pimps before being traders ... (don't worry it is about the same ! ;-) )

so all the illusions of before (buying things against nothing or goods against paper) are going to worn off ...

this is why destroying $ is a chance =

no more advantage for outside-produced-goods ...

all "Thin-air-movers" will loose their jobs = production jobs will resurface as a best ...

off course , in between the transition period will do many harms , lots will loose their shirt in the process ...

when will it be over ? A: no one knows yet !
that is why it is important to have social-benefits for the ones who are in distress now ...

ANYONE can find himself in this situation !!!

(a survey from UK show it : make tuition free would be a very big plus ! expensive tuition only means that the ones getting diplomas are coming from upper-society ... would anyone believe or give a chance to Paris Hilton trying to get a PhD ? no , she is totally spoiled by daddy's money ! if she would be coming from a poor background = no problem ! funny thing with Human Nature : only the ones knowing the "taste of shit" seems to keep on moving in the long run !!!)

Shane Price said...

On 'nationality'

When asked where you're 'from', most Europeans will say the country name. I'll respond with Ireland, for instance.

Americans are a funny lot. When asked 'where are you from' they generally reply with their home State, or maybe city (if it's big enough).

Does this make Europeans more patriotic, because they value 'nation' over 'home'?

When I travel (as frequently I do...) I find myself telling people I'm Irish, but I value the Euro.

But that's not technically correct, as I'm 5/8 American by birth and am entitled to an American passport.

The fact that I don't want one does not mean I'm 'anti American'...

My passport (issued in Dublin) has 'Europe' displayed in bigger type that 'Eire', which is the official, constitutional name for the Republic of Ireland. The currency I carry is managed by the European Central Bank, with no 'national' emblems or flags. I have the right to live and work anywhere I like across 27 states, and 'free' access to almost everywhere on the globe.

So, for Fred to have German, French and Moroccan 'attachments' is no worth talking about, at least from my perspective.

Is he a 'person of interest'?

Don't know about you, but I suspect I'm not the only one who reads his comments very carefully. There are many gems of wisdom for the astute to uncover....

Shane

baron95 said...

Wow Fred - that is a very long answer to a simple question "What is your nationality"?

Share - succinctly said "Irish".

You went around and around and around and didn't answer.

You are a very confused individual or have a lot to hide or be ashamed or something.

Unfortunately, I have met quite a few people in my world travels that share this profound misconception about the US and this tremendous frustration and envy about America's dominant role in the world. Their reaction is either to predict the "end of America" or to start a jihad - sounds like you are still on the fence on that.

Whatever - not for me to psychoanalyze you.

The fact that you can't answer what your nationality is, is quite telling already.

Back to aviation, now ;)

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

From the Seattle Times, an update citing two separate engineering sources close to the problem...

"The way the stringers terminate and mate at the join, the focus of the problem, is Boeing's responsibility and not that of its Japanese partners. Boeing will have to pay for the cost overruns.

.....

Estimates by the two engineers of the minimum time needed to fix the problem suggest the plane is now unlikely to fly until next year.

...

Analyst Joe Campbell, of Barclays Capital, this week downgraded Boeing's stock.

...

In a note to clients, Campbell estimated the total cost overrun of the Dreamliner program so far — extra startup and engineering costs, penalties owed to customers for delivery delays and contractual obligations to suppliers for engineering changes — as "in the vicinity of $11 billion."

And yet, no executive at Boeing has been fired by the board.

What are they waiting for? Customers will not believe anything Carson or McNerney say.

These people told us in Paris in June that the plane was taking to the air in a matter of days, when this problem was known in May.

Watch out for the investor law suits. The board needs to fire the incompetent management.

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

Hi Julius,

Re compensation, I'm not sure I understand your question. As I said, Embraer is not a low cost producer, and compensation there (all in) is not much different than Cessna or Boeing.

Boeing will, like all companies, seek to improve their competitiveness to do two things. 1 - Lower Costs. 2 - Increase Revenues. That is how you increase profits which is what matters. As it relates to labor, there are two way to lower costs: a - increase output/worker or b - lower cost per worker.

Since the unions prevent a by work rules and b by non-market rate contracts, Boeing can ONLY choose to move production steadily to non-union locations. And they can do that one of two ways. A - outsource, B - set up shop in non-union locations.

Either way, manufacturing union jobs in the US will continue to trend to zero until they change their ways.

As to the 787, Boeing has been testing scale and full zize wings for 3+ years. But it was only in May that they discovered the de-bonding at some point between Design Limit Load and Ultimate Load (150% of limit load). Some blogers quoted the failure at 120%-125% of limit load, but I never saw a reliable source for that.

That May test is as scheduled, part of a series of thousands of stress tests.

It also happened in a completely different mode as predicted by the models.

That is BAD TO THE BONE.

And Boeing lied to the world in June in Paris. And I hope they suffer the full consequences of that.

They fired a CEO for banging the secretary, but don't fire a CEO for lying to the world?!!!???!!!!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I actually agree with Baron on this one, the management (if you can call it that) of the 787 has been embarassingly bad and heads should roll.

julius said...

baron95,

just minor corrections:

back to aviation - Boeing and Embraer: What would happen if all employees/managers and members of the BOD would get the same "compensataion" (salary including boni etc.) like their colleagues with Embraer?
What would happen in Ranton, Everett? Boeing would sell more aircrafts?
How many Us citizen couldn't pay their house - see Fred's words!

To 787:
The cool Al Baker of Qatar Airways recently said to journalists in New York, that BCA explained to him that the first 787 will fly this year! But there was no "otherwise"...Oh, the first 4 deliveries for Qatar are scheduled for the last quater of 2011...

When did BCA perform the first wing/center box tests? In May 2009?
I cannot believe it! They knew that this area is a hot spot ... and waited, waited?

Julius

julius said...

baron95,

as you said "management"... If these gentlemen earn so much money
for "managing" a bigger project (787), why shouldn't a normal employee earn quite a lot if he does his job?

Despite the strike, the delays with the 787 Boeing showed good figures - what is wrong?

Julius

eclipse_deep_throat said...

FYI:
Channel 13 (www.krqe.com) announced just a few minutes ago that the Mayor is going to have a press conference soon regarding Eclipse. Apparently, it will be Mason Holland's group buying EAC assets for $40 million. There isn't yet a link on the web site ....but it would seem that there is a plan to repoen the facility in some capacity. Will post link when I find one...

HOLY SHIT!!!
;-)

e.d.t.

airtaximan said...

GAdfly,

you should check out Rocky Mountain Composites and the Blue's company Spectrum... they claim to have cracked the code on overcoming fundamental issues with composites.

They believe a certain structural configuration allows the the right combination of thinness such that they overcome weight and bulk in their design. The fuselage is made of a thin composite structure... they claim is strong and durable... in all directions that matter.

This would be a big break though in my opinion... from a marketing perspective, they have priced their craft high, using only the Cessna jets as price competition, and are looking to save the customer 10% or so, while they will tell you their cost is less than half Cessnas....

Another engineer in charge of the business, IMO.

airtaximan said...

edt...

this is hysterical...

Shane Price said...

A sale!

Yes, it appears that EAC 'assets' have found a mug.

Sorry, buyer.

The 'Mason' group have come close to closing a deal for $40 million.

Let me think.

That's a mere $1,960,000,000 less than it cost originally.

Seems like a good deal to me....

Shane

gadfly said...

An anecdote . . . going back many years, helpful in understanding the reasons for the closing of the GE plant in Albuquerque:

As mentioned earlier, my leading tool designer/machinist went to work for GE. At that time, there continued a long conflict with the union . . . GE quietly backed off, allowing events to take their course. (Time wounds all heals!)

One night, after normal hours, my former employee invited a couple of us to visit his department. And since we were working together, to advance the tooling that was transforming the methods used for certain processes and manufacturing, benefitting both GE and ourselves, we gladly accepted the invitation . . . and went through the security process to gain access into the “plant”.

But we were warned . . . to not disturb a certain union employee, that worked nights, could not be “fired” because of protection by the union legal system . . . and as we made our way through the passageways, we had to pass this person, “faithful” at his post, at a large precision grinding machine . . . and just as predicted, he was sound asleep at his post . . . head down on a pillow on the grinder table, making “zzzzzzzz’s”. This person had “two jobs” and needed to get some sleep on at least one of those jobs . . . this remote corner of GE was the better choice. (The lights were off in his section, so we were careful not to trip over something in the darkened passageways . . . and made our way to the pristine work area of our former employee.)

This ridiculous story could be repeated . . . but GE found ways to simply “cut back”, department by department, and transfer the work to other GE facilities. It took a few years, but GE was smart enough to avoid the legal battles, and the bad “PR” . . . and slowly, but consistently, close down the Albuquerque facility.

Another time, we might discuss the same sort of scenario . . . about Sandia National Labs, who also recently announced the closing of their own internal machine shop facility, no longer able to afford the “protected status” of the internal machine shop facility, and the “protection money fees” added to the work that the shop “didn’t do” (of their own “cherry picking” choosing). The machines are up for auction . . . the best ever, and almost “brand new” . . . as new as a French machine gun, "slightly scratched having been dropped just once".

gadfly

gadfly said...

taximan

Thanks for the "heads up" . . . I'll check it out when I have some time to think it through.

gadfly

eclipse_deep_throat said...

yep, totally hysterical!!!

hearing set for Aug 10th!!!

check www.krqe.com now...

e.d.t.

baron95 said...

julius said...
Despite the strike, the delays with the 787 Boeing showed good figures - what is wrong?
--------------------
They showed earning in previous 3 months. That is backwards looking, not forward looking.

GM showed great figures in 2007. Lehman Showed great figures in early 2008.

Where are they now? In liquidation.

If you keep your eyes on your rearview mirror too long, you WILL crash.

gadfly said...

There's an entire crew of volunteers that will help load up the trucks to ship the entire "Little Bird Factory", complete with "stir fry" and soy sauce, to anywhere outside the state borders.

http://www.luxist.com/2009/03/16/groups-get-ready-to-bid-on-eclipse-aviations-assets/

But then, the real bad news:

http://www.luxist.com/2009/07/27/swiss-watch-sales-plummet-q1-2009/

My "Swiss Army Watch", barely ten years old, is probably not worth more than half what I paid for it brand new ("$130.00") ten or twelve years ago . . . and I've only had to replace the leather band three times, and maybe three "cells" . . . that's a bummer! Cheap junk . . . 'bet it off by at least "two seconds" as we speak.

gadfly

(No more news about Eclipse, Please! . . . that pain in my side increases every time I hear the word, unless it's something minor like a ruptured appendix!)

baron95 said...

Is this the same team on the old Reuters release that read...

"Eclipse Owner Mike Press, and 60 percent deposit holder of Eclipse Mason
Holland have been working for the last month to organize a team of owners and
depositors with expertise in aviation operations and private equity to bid to
acquire the assets of Eclipse, thereafter providing E500 service, support and
production to benefit Eclipse owners and depositors globally.

The team consists of Retired Air Force Colonel Mike Press, an owner (S/N 4),
Ad Hoc Customer Committee Steering Committee member, 25-year veteran of the
U.S.A.F. with 20 years of aircraft manufacturing experience working for
Northrop Grumman and Boeing and Mason Holland, a 60 percent depositor (S/N
473), Ad Hoc Customer Committee Steering Committee member, 24-year veteran of
private equity acquisition and founder and Chairman of one of the leading
insurance-benefit software companies in the U.S. Both have a passion for
Eclipse and a commitment to its owners and depositors to help restore their
vision and dream for outstanding service and support and aircraft ownership.
"

baron95 said...

An air force jock and an insurance guy - I can't think of a better combo to run Eclipse.

gadfly said...

'Wanna bet Chavez and Richardson suffer memory loss as to their part in ripping off the citizens of Albuquerque and New Mexico?

'Wonder if the media, printed and broadcast, will show some responsibility, in timely reporting and investigation in this fiasco. Of course, they've only had about ten years to gather the information.

gadfly

twinpilot said...

Baron 95,
The new emperor is not an insurance guy, he is: "a longtime aviation figure."

Here is the report:
"Federal bankruptcy court records show the bankrupt jet manufacturer is about to be sold to a group of investors headed by longtime aviation figure Mason Holland for $40 million."

This should be interesting.

baron95 said...

For those who don't know...

Here is info on Mason Holland, spjets (the co he formed with Mike Press), his SW company Benefitfocus, his picture, etc...

http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Holland_Mason_16102013.aspx

baron95 said...

According to the krqe....

"However, Chavez shared his optimism Friday, saying he was "about 98 percent certain Eclipse has been saved."

According to Chavez, the investors assembled a $5 million nonrefundable deposit of earnest money with the bankruptcy court.

He says it's possible other potential buyers could step forward before the Aug. 24 deadline but indicated that was unlikely."

baron95 said...

Eclipse has been "saved".

I've heard that before on Sunday (or Saturday) service.

But...

I have never heard any clergy claim that he/she was 98% certain a soul was saved...

That 2% can be a "devil", can't it? ;)

Either way, IF it is true, GOOD. At least a new chapter will begin, and we can speculate about that, rather than Fred's nationality.

Kathy said...

That doesn't include the salaries that they'll have to "pre-pay" to get anyone that knows what they're doing back in Albuquerque. If a company screws you once shame on them...screw you twice shame on you. Yeah they are different companies...yada, yada, yada...but at the end of the day....well, I'll just say best of luck to everyone.

baron95 said...

And congrats to Mr Mullaly (ex Boeing BCA head) for getting the Ford stock price to $8.00 with a market cap of $22B, in the middle of a big auto recession.

I sincerely hope his compensation reflects this feat.

Kathy said...

Not too sure who your talking about Baron but I've been doing very well elsewhere. Yes I was laid off last Feb but I was at a better job a week later. No it wasn't fun getting stiffed a paycheck but that's life. I don't need to shut up about anything.

baron95 said...

Not "you" personally Kathy. "You" and in "One". Like you used it "If a company screws you once shame on them...screw you twice shame on you".

Don't take it personally. I don't know you personally and would not presume to comment on your situation.

I only make an exception on personal comments for Fred and Boeing management. ;)

Still, don't you know ex-Eclipse coworkers who would jump on the chance to get off unemployment and work for Eclipse v 4.0?

Kathy said...

There will most certainly be folks lined up but will they be the experienced folks that were able to get jobs elsewhere? Doubt it. The "you people" that you speak of will be the Albuquerque natives that went through the local training to get the best job they ever had. To the "12 weekers" it was great. Think about it, go from working retail at Petco or Target to making twinjets.

baron95 said...

More on krqe...

Chavez: "These are serious aviation people that have been put together, serious entrepreneurs. No one knows for sure how quick the start up will be. They will have folks in the building starting next week."

Chávez said there is a chance that several foreign governments might offer competing bids.

Ken - what is your perspective - is this a good development?

Ken Meyer said...

Baron asked "Ken - what is your perspective - is this a good development?"

Absolutely; I've been rooting for these guys since March. I give them a lot of credit for putting together a viable deal. And, from what I've seen so far, they're ready to get parts flowing almost immediately, which is owners' number one priority.

Eclipse Aerospace's Chicago service center has been performing the FIKI upgrade and is reportedly ready to do the other modifications as well. The company has been working behind the scenes for weeks talking to suppliers, identifying and interviewing key engineers & staff, re-negotiating leases, developing maintenance facilities scattered around the country, and has even begun the RFP process to identify and contract with a training provider.

It is very good news indeed.

Ken

Kathy said...

When will we see all the acronyms and silver, gold and platinum service levels that remind one of car batteries? Bet it's coming soon. It would be nice to hear Mr. Meyer's perspective. Will owners now be forced into paying more to have maintenance done? Sure hope not.

Kathy said...

I was typing at the same time Mr. Meyer. How is it different from North American Jet? They seemed to be doing fine without the new name especially considering they service much more than just EA500s.

Ken Meyer said...

Kathy, it *is* North American Jet. I think that's the whole idea--rather than trying to build a service network from scratch, why not utilize well-respected service centers scattered around the country who already know the airplane inside and out?

I had some routine maintenance performed on my plane in Hayward about a month ago. You know what? They were more convenient for me; they were *very* knowledgeable; they weren't hamstrung by idiotic company protocols; and they charged a fairer price. I was real pleased with my experience, and I hope the new company utilizes a whole network of shops like that one who have actual field experience with the Eclipse.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Shane, thanks for the BIG LOL... Thanks...

My favorite:

"According to Chavez, the investors assembled a $5 million nonrefundable deposit of earnest money with the bankruptcy court."

This guy just replaced Chris Rock as my favorite comedian....

Stay tuned... this reality series is chock full of Meyer enthusiasm... which should make for quite the satire....

baron95 said...

Ken said...It is very good news indeed.
-------------------

Good to know. Good luck to the owners. I'd love to see these jets well supported in the market place.

====================
I'm also glad that they did not have to put up too huge an offer.

If my math is correct, at $40M, they have sunk in $150K/jet in the field, or about 10% of each jet's market value (if the fleet is supported).

So, if say over the next 4 years they can get an average of $150K/year/jet, they should be able to recoup their investment.

It would be awesome if the whole fleet (or close to it) could be brought up to the latest config over the next 4 years.

It will make quite an attractive buy on the secondary market.

WhyTech said...

"And congrats to Mr Mullaly (ex Boeing BCA head) for getting the Ford stock price to $8.00 with a market cap of $22B, in the middle of a big auto recession."

I'd sell now before Mullaly goes back to Boeing to replace McNerney.

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real planes for real life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real planes for real life said...

I am going to make a few comments that I feel need to be said.

I have been reading this blog (and its predecessors) for a number of years and I have found some of the content to be informative and enjoyable.

I will now attempt in my way to give back to the community of readers.

On June 30, 2009 I took delivery of a new Citation Mustang. I ordered the Mustang in 2003. It has been a long six year wait.

In short, I think that Cessna has done a wonderful job with the Citation Mustang and the people of Cessna, both in Independence Kansas and Wichita deserve a great deal of credit.

In many ways, the Citation Mustang represents the best that America has to offer. The Mustang was an entrepreneurial effort within the context of a larger company - Cessna. It was a clean sheet design and built in a new factory removed from Cessna's main factory in Wichita Kansas. The Citation Mustang program is also profitable for Cessna despite the relatively low price of the Mustang when compared to the CJ1+, the next lowest priced Citation. The Mustang is also built with the most advanced manufacturing techniques used by Cessna. In some ways, touring the production line in Independence reminded me of low volume production lines for photocopiers I have seen in Japan. Simple, clean and elegantly conceived.

The Garmin G1000 system with SVT provides extraordinary situational awareness. Nexrad is absolutely wonderful as well. All of this is simply some of the best America has to offer at a fair price.

So far, my experience with the Mustang has been excellent. And most of the surprises have been positive. I consider myself lucky to have this aircraft and in certain ways I am humbled by the whole experience.

WhyTech said...

"I consider myself lucky to have this aircraft and in certain ways I am humbled by the whole experience."

This the way it ought to be with all big ticket purchases (and maybe lesser items). All too rare in today's world even at multimillion dollar prices. Had a similar experience with Pilatus and Enstrom.

Ken Meyer said...

Real Planes--is this one yours? That's a nice plane, congratulations!

A lot of people just don't realize how useful a little jet can be. I'm glad you seem to be enjoying yours (lots of trips to Nantucket!) as much as I'm enjoying mine.

Ken

Real planes for real life said...

Thank you.

Yes, that one is mine. If you come to Nantucket, contact me. I'd love to say hello face to face. The aviation world is a small community.

FYI - at altitude I'm seeing about 5 mpg on the Mustang. That isn't as good as the figures you have shown on the Eclipse, but it is very respectable considering the size difference between the Mustang and the Eclipse.

I will also mention that the external baggage in the Mustang is simply awesome. It works very well for our family and friends.

Shadow said...

If North American Jet/Eclipse Aerospace is already servicing Eclipse 500s without having to acquire the Eclipse assets, then why bother spending $40 million to buy them? Why not just continue to build up the service network without the asset acquisition? Why are they even bothering with talk of restarting production???

Ken Meyer said...

The Mustang is a great plane. At 35,000 feet, midweight and ISA, book numbers are 340 knots and 609 pph, which yields 4.35 statute MPG. That is indeed very respectable. [The EA500 under the same conditions gets 369 knots and 6.26 statute MPG, about 44% more.]

Not that it matters to everyone, but fuel is *my* biggest aviation expense.

Like you, I really like the external baggage holds on the Mustang; I wish I had them in the Eclipse. OTOH, I'm less enthusiastic about the Mustang's lack of internal storage--I like my baggage in the pressurized cabin where the liquids don't leak and we can get at it.

All in all, I really like the Mustang and I congratulate you on having one.

Ken

fred said...

Why not just continue to build up the service network without the asset acquisition? Why are they even bothering with talk of restarting production??? ...

simple : it is called a "captive market" ...

buying the assets is the best way not to have competition ...
then maintenance prices rocket (sorry Kenny !)

if you want to have a fast return : propose to the victims to restart production ... against XXX K$.

they have a simple choice , no more production = value decreasing over time and maintenance going higher ( few is always more expensive than lots)

or have a production eventually restarted = EA500 to keep some value and if enough new "customers" can be found : lower maintenance expenses ...

tough choice !

fred said...

[The EA500 under the same conditions gets 369 knots and 6.26 statute MPG, about 44% more.] ...

Kenny , this frankness honors you !

bravo !

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

Shadow asked, "If North American Jet/Eclipse Aerospace is already servicing Eclipse 500s without having to acquire the Eclipse assets, then why bother spending $40 million to buy them?"

Lots of reasons. One is the IP. Sooner or later, some of the IP will be necessary in order to keep the fleet flying.

Another is parts. There are some parts owners simply cannot get because there is no company to bless them and the supplier doesn't have PMA. And, of course, there is money in parts--that will be a profitable part of this venture for them.

Another is the prospect of acquiring, refurbishing and upgrading existing planes (such as the DayJet planes for instance). Those planes can be acquired for a song, made "better than new" (i.e. brought up to FIKI/1.5/EASA standard) and sold at a good profit.

The most important reason is that the Eclipse 500, finally completed, is a really good product that suffered from lousy management. The buyers believe that, properly managed, the new company can restore the brand and produce the aircraft profitably, albeit not immediately.

Ken

Deep Blue said...

Concerning a new buyer of EAC, one might wonder if the 230 or so E500s already in the "field" may already represent medium term market saturation. If 30-40 bonafide sales per year could be realized (on top of the used churn rates, coupled with stored/idled ones)that would be a lot.

I don't believe anyone is ever going to make money making E500s (or 400s).

What revenues can be produced will come from after-market and it's pretty small potatoes stuff (i.e. I don't see a sizable private equity deal; and a leveraged deal can't be supported by the slim cash flows and illiquid assets). This current buy deal is a little syndication of private investors with some small institutional overlay.

[BTW, the Mustang may be "profitable" at the project level, but certainly not at a consolidated one; even so, the Mustang facility/assets/brand etc could never support a financial carve out (sale) from the parent product mix and is effectively subsidized by Cessna/Textron cost advantages, which is why I don't think stand-alone aircraft OEMs can survive, let alone in a civil-only market].

B95: your math seems to assign all manufactured E500s to an active mode; this is unlikely. Some speculate that over half the E500 "fleet" is nearly, effectively or in fact, idle. Moreover, the quality of the ownership pool is variable as to credit quality, utilization and ownership intent (i.e. Ken Meyer is somewhat of an exception and probably not representative; i.e. he seems active and committed to his ownership).

julius said...

baron95,

And congrats to Mr Mullaly (ex Boeing BCA head) for getting the Ford stock price to $8.00 with a market cap of $22B, in the middle of a big auto recession.

I sincerely hope his compensation reflects this feat.



do you want to sell your Ford shares?
What did Merrill Lynch say to Boeing? "Buy" was the answer (2009-06-05!).

I think Mullaly got his job because the bod believed he will bring some real money into the shareholders pockets!
Now some shareholders might believe this as well.

Mullaly is just doing his job.
It's far to early to say: well!

Julius

julius said...

Ken,

Lots of reasons. One is the IP.



isn't AVIO NG 1.5 IP?
Every new EAC assets owner will like to know how AVIO NG 1.5 was proliferated and who did it!

Juilius

fred said...

deep-blue :

I don't believe anyone is ever going to make money making E500s ...

i don't , as well !

if there is some profits to be made , i would see it more in "keeping" than in "building" ...

this is where IMHO , the buying was a plus (not a good move , more a way to have all aspects on one side) ...

if the new owner want to rebuild some Ea500 ,he may choose to be funded by actual owners who are committed to it ( as Kenny)

they have more to win than to loose in this ... (losses have already occurred )

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

"The buyers believe that, properly managed, the new company can restore the brand and produce the aircraft profitably, albeit not immediately."

Hope springs eternal. Beyond the $40mm for a collection of miscellaneous "stuff" and some rights to IP, what's it going to take to staff up, sort out, tool up, etc etc to make some kind of business out of this, and where is this cash going to come from? What investors will find this deal attractive on an objective, ROI basis? My forecast: Eclipse 2.0 will ultimately be a replay of Eclipse 1.0 but on a smaller scale.

WhyTech said...

"Well, most guys can't hangar it--the DC-10 style engine mount means the thing is sixteen and a half feet tall."

If you can afford the $3mm purchase price and ongoing operating expenses (fuel, training, maintenance, insurance, etc) you can afford the hangar space.

Ken Meyer said...

Whytech wrote, "If you can afford the $3mm purchase price and ongoing operating expenses (fuel, training, maintenance, insurance, etc) you can afford the hangar space."

You remind me of the architect on our mountain home we built 7 years ago. He wanted a metal roof for the house oriented to shed the snow right onto the driveway in front of the garage.

I pointed out to him that while that design might look nice, it was going to be a hazard and a pain in the neck to have snow constantly falling off the roof onto the driveway.

His answer was, "Well, you're rich; why don't you just hire somebody to remove the snow?"

We fired him after that idiotic comment, and I think your comment was at least as ill-considered. At many airports, including both of ours, there are no 17-foot hangars available regardless of how rich you are. It'll be a showstopper for a fair number of owners.

Ken

fred said...

My forecast: Eclipse 2.0 will ultimately be a replay of Eclipse 1.0 but on a smaller scale. ...

yes , kind of ...

it will be more cleverly made (no skies darkening...) but the end will end the same !

the question is : do already owners have any other choice than to rush in ?

fred said...

The group making the bid plans a "slow methodical recovery" to around 100 aircraft per year ...

that alone ring the bell "Alarm ! Alarm " ...

100 per year ?

ok , just drop it ! ;-)

baron95 said...

Real Planes for Real Life - Congratulations on taking delivery of your Mustang and having selected a wonderful airplane.

There is absolutely no question that Cessna's design and execution of the Mustang were absolutely outstanding.

I hope you enjoy and benefit from your plane on the years to come and continue to share your experiences. We need more GA/BizAv success/happy stories.

baron95 said...

Deep Blue said...
the Mustang may be "profitable" at the project level, but certainly not at a consolidated one;
------------------------

Exactly. Excellent post Deep Blue. Most people, including Vern, fail to grasp this point.

Once you have a factory in Independence that was set up to produce 2,000+ piston planes per year (when the market only wants 400), and you have all the marketing, sales, support, Citation brand, financing, HR, IT, etc, etc, etc, in place, adding a PROJECT like the Mustang to load Independence can make a profit contribution.

Now try to do it as a venture. Set up a factory from scratch to produce ONLY 100 Mustangs/year and load onto that project all the overhead costs mentioned above and it is a tremendous money looser.

It is the same with SOCATA/EADS adding 50 TBMs/year.

Or RollsRoyce and Ferrari making 2,000 cars per year. (The Ghost and the California couldn't survive outside the larger BMW and Fiat umbrella)

None of these "projects" are profitable on a fully loaded basis.

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

"It'll be a showstopper for a fair number of owners."

You previously stated "most" owners. I'd say a "few" owners. I continue to be amused by those trying to do jets on the cheap!

I have always felt that hangaring an acft is an imperative for safety and security reasons, and have selected an airport that can accomodate my acft, not an acft that can accomodate my airport. If this results in a bit longer drive to the airport, so be it.

Ken Meyer said...

Yes, Whytech, I believe "most" owner/operators just don't have a hangar 17 feet tall. And that will be a showstopper for "a fair number" of them when they're looking at the PiperJet vs other VLJs.

My feeling is that owning a fast plane loses much of its luster if it means driving an extra half hour every time you want to fly it because it can't be hangared near home.

"I continue to be amused by those trying to do jets on the cheap!"

I am more amused by guys who think owning a jet means you're rich and you like to waste money. I complain at any FBO that charges a higher fee for my 6000 lb jet than they did for my 6300 lb twin piston, assuming that jet owners can afford it. Crazy.

Ken

WhyTech said...

"I am more amused by guys who think owning a jet means you're rich and you like to waste money."

Owning a jet DOES mean you are rich by most conventional measures. Only a very small % of the population has the financial resoucres to pay even $1 million for what amounts to a toy. What gets me are those that spend all their money on the airplane and leave no headroom for the other (considerable) costs of ownership. Thes are the guys who fly 100 miles out of the way to save 10 cent a gallon on fuel, and then still expect "full service" from their local FBO. This mindset amazes me. I am a value oriented consumer, but reason needs to moderate this impulse to produce thiughtful, rational behavior. Aviation is full of the "big hat, few cattle" types.

julius said...

Deep blue, baron95,

Deep Blue said...
the Mustang may be "profitable" at the project level, but certainly not at a consolidated one;


how do you know?
Is the Mustang a cost center and is paid by the pistons or what ever?
Every product of Cessna is a cost center and sponsored by the "mother"?
Perhaps - I don't know!

F. e. perhaps the Mustang team had to use the facilities in Independence and these were less expensive than those in Kansas.
F. e. Cessna people have experience with the FAA.
I think the Mustang is a more conservative approach than the fpj.
It starts with the bigger mass, bigger seize, the conservative Garmin 1000...
Perhaps a (better) budget control?

Naturally there are some windfall profits, but are they the difference?

How many Mustangs were sold below costs? Two hundreds? $1M each?

Julius

bill e. goat said...

Hello Baron,
(Part 1 of 3 - whew!):

Hello Baron,

"Short answer is (re: Cessna versus Embraer worker productivity): "I don't know."

Well, so far- so good! :)

"Long answer is:"

Oops- I knew it couldn't last :(

"Long answer is..."

You try to switch the
conversation to labor rates...

"1 - You are not comparing to the productivity leader. Embraer is a previously government-owned company with a very recent history of private ownership. It is HEAVILY unionized, as in 100%. That is right 100% of production, engineering, even managerial workers belong to a union or class association. The ENTIRE COUNTRY of BRAZIL is a non-right-to-work country. If you do not belong to a union or class association, you can't work."

(ah- Baron- if Airbus in Europe, and Embraer in South America, and Bombardier in Canada, are all unionized, then why do you REPEATEDLY demonize the unions in the United States??)

"2 - Your definition, is not one that modern management uses."

Wrong. I specified productivity, and is it is exactly as I specified.
Productivity

You are trying to switch gears. You WANT to substitute labor cost for productivity, but they are DIFFERENT.

Ah, what did I say in my post? Let's review:
--------------------------------

"And you don't get to pick the definition of 'productive'- it's already defined:
Labor Productivity
"the amount of goods and services that a labourer produces in a given amount of time".

"This is a biggie- as it will be used for subsequent discussion, so no weasel-wording allowed!

"Remember, you can't make up the definition, it's already defined, and the question I asked does not involve any other metric.

"Repeat- I don't want any confusion or distortion of the definition:
"PRODUCTIVITY: the amount of goods and services that a labourer produces in a given amount of time."
--------------------------------

Back to "now":

"3-Only old timers at say a UAW plant,"

Wrong.

".. Modern entrepreneurs measure in value per labor cost"

Baron- I KNEW you wanted to use labor cost instead of productivity- which is why I explicitly defined it TWICE in the question, along with an admonition not to try to switch terms.

"So your definition of productivity is MEANINGLESS"

HA HA HA- Wrong! It's just one you don't want to use.

bill e. goat said...

Baron debunked (!! :),
Part 2 of 3:

"But lets say the average Cessna worker costs you $60/hr (fully loaded), while the average Embraer worker costs you $12/hr (fully loaded). In your definition, the Cessna factory is twice as productive than the Embraer one. On my definition, the Embraer factory is 2.5 times more productive. If we went head to head, all else being equal, "

(Earth to Baron... :)

All else is NOT equal. And I am very thankful. While I'm sure Brazil is quite a nice place, I am very thankful the United States has great public schools and universities, a great transportation system, nearly the best environmental protection in the world, great public safety, good health care, great infrastructure.

These good things could be improved upon. Or they could be eroded. By lower tax revenues, through lower wages. Baron, you live in a fantastic consequence-free world.

Say, how'd that go again?

"On my definition, the Embraer factory is 2.5 times more productive".

HA HA HA; WRONG- Baron, you would LOVE to twist the term "productive" into cost of labor, wouldn'ja? But they are TWO DIFFERENT TERMS.

"3 - I suspect, that the answer to your question is that the Cessna worker is about 2-3 times more "time efficient" in a Cessna factory, than an Embraer worker. Why? Because in America, the cost of capital is much lower. The cost of power tools, computers, inventory software, electricity, transportation, etc is much lower, so a US worker has much better tools, lighting, computer than a Mexican, Brazilian or Chinese worker. e.g. While an Embraer guy may be pulling rivets with a manual tool, the Cessna guy will have an automatic/autoloading rivet gun. His work place will have better lighting, so Rivets will go in correctly first time, etc."

Good analysis- I agree.

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