Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boeing 787 First Flight Competition


Mysterious goings on at the Lazy B ranch !!

"Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) --Boeing Co. may not get the 787 Dreamliner flying for another six months following its fifth postponement, said Senior Plc, a British supplier of air ducts and other parts for the plane.
" 'We estimate another six-month delay,' Chief Executive Officer Mark Rollins, said today in a telephone interview. 'Their credibility is somewhat in question.' "


Well, now THERE's a quote for the blog to remember (no doubt, a view well established in the minds of both "advocates" and "critics" of a certain program in ABQ...)

Aviation critics (and enthusasts!!) have long been presented with challenge of finding a good metric for measuring progress of a new development program. First flight is an obvious one. One of my favorites is/was, second flight. And Type Certificate. First Delivery. Entry into Service.

Alas, Eclipse has taught us to re-evaluate the meaning of all those terms...and left me with the ill feeling that the only ones -really- quantifiable are: first flights. Still, I'll go out on a limb, and say TC, and first revenue flight are big milestones for the 787 program.

Along those lines, I'm "keeping score" for everyone wanting to offer a guess on:

a) 787 First Flight
b) Type Certificate Date
c) First Revenue Flight

Extra Credit Problem:
d) Number of aircraft having flown by the end of 2010

Super-Duper Extra Credit Problem:
e) Invent your own metric/milestone and share it with us!

Winner of the 787 First Flight will get a courtesy copy of Shane's forthcoming book.
(I'm pretty sure it will be finished before any of the above items are accomplished...)

415 comments:

1 – 200 of 415   Newer›   Newest»
Phil Bell said...

"This is the worst blog/forum engine on the internet"

Why thank you! I am pleased to excel at something...

"and obviously Phil is not interested in moderating this or getting fresh posts up to move the discussion forward when it gets stuck in a rut. Sad."

What's not so obvious is an out of state family illness, death, and funeral. Also- sad.

During the past 10 days, as a visitor during a time of hardship and grief, it seemed uncomely and inappropriate to spend time on the internet pursuing hobbies- my apologies for my moderation duties having suffered as a result.

No condolences please- I was rewarded with a lifetime of observing graciousness while living, and most recently, even more astounding graciousness while dying.

And if I may- I strongly encourage all to explore- and celebrate- Grace for themselves. Thanks!

Phil Bell said...

"Could you please explain to the Blog how the economics of a Google blog site work. Who is getting paid here? How much? Regards."

Thanks for the good question. A complete economic history of all three incarnations of the blog is as follows:

Rich Lucibella hired Florida-based attorney Norman Malinski..."

Rich and Norman didn't just go for a quick (and less expensive) dismissal- they pursued subsequent legal action to insure that distasteful episode was dead- and stayed dead.

As a rough measure- and the way I think of it- several years of median mortgage payments went into the effort. Just so the blog could remain unfettered in the discussion of goings on at Eclipse.

The aviation consumers and suppliers who benefited, have Rich to thank for sponsoring (and Norman performing) the legal action defending the good work done by our predecessor blogs (EAC and EAC-NG).

Customers and employees benefited too- I think everyone can recognize that now. The house of cards WAS going to fall, the blog gave notice which helped those who heeded the advice.

Other than that- Stan and Shane were both approached to run ads for compensation but declined, feeling it would detract from the purpose of the blog- an unbiased (ahem, with some exceptions from both sides:), commercial-free discussion.

So far, unlike my predecessors, I've only had zero-dollar solicitations. (To shut up! Curses! I'm working on becoming grating enough to force the ante up).

Phil Bell said...

"If anyone is serious about changing to a true 'forum' - Lefora -is a decent option."

Thanks for the link. I am interested- a forum is the preferred format (recognized and discussed before the stewardship was passed).

I had never set up blog before (thankfully, Shane provided "hand holding"). Once I got that down, to the limited degree I have, I have been looking around at options.

(Regrettably, Google does not seem to offer a forum format yet. I figure about the time I've learned a hard way around, they will...)

I've been looking at Vbulletin, which seems to be a widely used platform.

(Including by Rich Lucibella's The Firing Line forum).

Vbulletin has been developing v 4.0 for some time, rumored to be a significant advance.

In the mean time, I've been spending a bit of time reading up on MySQL and php.
I'm not especially web-savvy, so I appreciate the link. I think we'd all like our favorite topics segregated for ease of viewing.

In the mean time, I will do my best to keep threads from becoming as long (and at times, as "testy") as this one has been. Thanks for the patience over the past days, and in the coming weeks (? months ?) until the forum format is up and running. (Ah, one of these Tuesdays...)

fred said...

with all due apologies to Phill for digressing ...


Ron :

in your codes yesterday , you forgot one ...

FR3 : "Yes i DO love USA , but not of a blind and meaningless affection "

what do i mean ?

A: i am VERY amused by a group of peoples (MUCH less than all ! be careful you are going to become a kind of baron [black or white ; for me or against me])

the ones who believe to have understood it all ...

the ones who just had to read the "advises" from founding-father ...

or , more simply , just had to look at every other single nation before blunder done before ...

did they do it ?

A: NO , they are so better and so different ! ;-)

now take a few minutes , place a blank page in front of you ...

try to write down on the left side the goods and on the other side the "less" good ...

i bet my hat that one column is going to be a lot more full than the other ...
(this might be a bit difficult , you have to be able to "see" what an outlander could see ...)

the last one (in foreigners eyes , you know the silly peoples out that permit you to have such a wasteful way ...) :

a guy was prisoner in Burma , so someone from US Gov. went to Burma to "trade" a lift of ban against that guy ...

meaning in foreign eyes = One US citizen is worth more than a whole nation under Tyranny ...

while at the same time viktor Bout , a russian citizen is kept prisoner in a thai prison for alleged "arms smuggling" , demand made from USA in the form of an extradition (to Gitmo) but the US whatever Services are totally UNABLE to provide the smallest evidence backing the case ...

The Thai justice has ruled out the extradition ,nonetheless the US Dept. has interjected an appeal for the case being reviewed ...

meaning :

if you are from the US , you have all rights ...
if you are not , you may get into troubles with the ones who believe having all rights !

now you you may see why i am amused by a bunch of guys who believe to have it all understood ...

you do not agree or believe me ?

think for a second :

you have kids = is that because they are yours that they are perfect and therefor can do anything they wish ?

in other words :

if amelioration can come from critic ...

self-satisfaction leads ALWAYS to oblivion !

ps: Europeans are not much better ...
they only know a little more that they are part of the world , not something aside , as it has NEVER and will never exist !

fred said...

While i cannot give any prediction on B-787 ...

Today in Moscow Air Show , a top-brass from Airbus said something quite interesting about Sukhoi Superjet :

"It seems to be the perfect plane to fit what is not covered by AirBus models ..."

to me , it sounds very much like the plan would be :

long Haul A-350 / A-380 ...
and for reaching the smaller airports they cannot reach SSj !

at some $30 Millions it may be a quite difficult to overcome for B-787 .

WhyTech said...

"In the mean time, I will do my best to keep threads from becoming as long (and at times, as "testy") as this one has been."

Dont go too far with this - you risk reducing the entertainment value greatly!

I vote for vBulletin - I participate in other forums using this vehicle and it has much to recommend it.

Black Tulip said...

"I've been looking at buying another (Eclipse)."

Ken, how about a DeLorean? That would fit easier in the hangar and provide variety for your collection.

airsafetyman said...

No factory support to generate the maintenance service bulletins that accompany the introduction of any airplane into service as experience is gained.

No factory support to generate the flight manual changes that accompany the introduction of any airplane into service as experience is gained.

No factory-supplied parts available (no factory).

Many vendors have gone out of business or have walked away from the program.

No factory service reps to give maintenance advice and collect maintenance reports from the field.

The TC has been suspended by EASA.

The TC may be suspended by the FAA.

But it is a "reliable" airplane so you should rush out and buy one, maybe two?

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

But it is a "reliable" airplane so you should rush out and buy one, maybe two? ...

especially if you buy the one from Ken ...

A great plane that will take you across USA with two teaspoon of Jet fuel ...! ;-)

fred said...

and some other infos about SSJ:

a team of engineers from Italy , France , Germany is already working on dev. to have the plane going to EASA swiftly ...

expected first delivery : end 2009/first semester 2010

at $30Millions a piece = very difficult to overcome for B-787 !

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Black Tulip said,
Ken, how about a DeLorean?

LOL. Didja know that the DeLorean is in production again!!? From a little company in Texas. Only $57,500 for the 'base' version and another $5750 for the 197hp high performance engine. What a deal!

http://www.delorean.com/

Shane: can you help us compare and contrast the production methods of the two companies??? IIRC, the original DeLorean was manufactured in Belfast, Ireland. Same as the Titanic. I swear, irony can be real ironic at times...
;-)

e.d.t.

Bubba said...

KnotMPH said, "Pets.com??? National advertising about buying dog food with a computer....and we believed it!!! We can laugh now because enough time has passed for appreciating the absurd. There was a sock puppet telling us to buy dog food with the latest instruments of technology!!! Good Morning America interviewed the sock puppet while an anxious nation pushed that stock to a new high....yeah, that's normal American business all right.

I'll buy my dog food the old fashioned way and invest in a device that automatically removes the food when the dog is "done with it."

Of course this has nothing to do with EAC or aviation but I wanted to say that was one of the best and brightest posts I've ever read on the Internet! How true. The next time we think about investing in a dotcom businesses we should all make certain it passes the "Knot" test!

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

AirSafetyman writes, "No factory support...
No factory-supplied parts...
No factory service reps...
The TC has been suspended by EASA...
The TC may be suspended by the FAA...
But it is a "reliable" airplane"


Well, the EASA suspension was an *administrative* one--made for lack of payment of required fees.

The other concerns are being addressed by the acquisition of the EAC assets. Perhaps you missed the memo?

For bonus points, since you seem a intelligent follower of aviation affairs--how many aviation manufacturers have changed hands or gone bankrupt and restarted during the last 50 years?

It may seem "countless" but it's not :)

I think Mooney alone changed hands or went bankrupt a half dozen times. But you don't seem to be too concerned about the safety of people flying that plane despite the many fatal accidents the design has suffered compared to zero Eclipse fatal accidents.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

787 Predictions as requested

a) 787 First Flight

November 2009

b) Type Certificate Date

January 2011

c) First Revenue Flight

March 2011

Extra Credit Problem:
d) Number of aircraft having flown by the end of 2010

18

Deep Blue said...

B787 hypothesis:

1. It never flies

2. Senior management is replaced; the 777 and a derivative 767 are introduced as alternatives

3. If "it" (some composite project) does fly, and, if it enters service, it fails in operations; none of the costs are realized; flaw after flaw become unraveled in service; it becomes the "Comet" of its generation.

4. China, Russia, Japan, Brazil and Canada (and EADS) fill out the market (and crush Boeing) as airlines adjust their acquisition strategy to better cost and performance alternatives

5. Engine OEMs and suppliers get locked into above programs, leaving Boeing as a low priority

6. Boeing is sold or acquired, as USG is out of bail out money (unless Treasury convinces Congress to lift debt ceiling above $12T)...

7. In which case, Boeing becomes nationalized with legacy product line

8. But US airline industry implodes into serial BK; restructurings are financed by foreign capital with non-US fleet

9. Boeing is then rolled into US defense conglomorate and sells off civil unit

10. Boeing shares swapped for Newco of BA, Lockheed Martin and Northrup; Ron Sugar becomes CEO of newco.

airtaximan said...

So, Ken, by your logic, you should be loading up on Mustangs, which will net you $1M in profit each from bottom to top. Maybe make $7Million on a L60 or two?

ahhaa! You are one funny man.

Nice example with Mooney, though... is there a basic difference with Mooney compared to the situation at EAC? Uh, yes... nut you will probably not recongize this - -

Ooopps, more poop stains to wipe up in the washroom, another checkride day - you know how scary those can be arounf the flight school... back later.

PS. Thanks to Ron Roe for answering my question... next time anyone needs to know the risk associated with flying the ea50... eventhough some folks say they are being properly supported by some shops... go read his post... when a critic writes something like this, its refuted...when a supporter admits it, its, well...ignored? I hope not.

Stay tuned - if the sael does not go through, Ken may have another bite at the "bottom"... let's see if he actually does buy another EA50... for his wife? Have we heard that before?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So now in order to get to a feel good evaluation we are reduced to comparing the 2 year 'safety' record of 259 incomplete, IOU laden twin jets designed over the last 10 years, many of which are not flying (more than one permanently not flying), to 8,000 single engine piston planes, delivered over the past 50 years by Mooney, which have accumulated millions of hours of operation.

My how the mighty have fallen.

A more legitimate comparison would be to an innovative plane which had a shorter production run:

Bonanza - No, still in production after 60 years

Arrow - No, still in production after 40 years

Citation - No, still in production after 40 years

King Air - No, still in production after 40 years

TBM - No, still in production after 20 years

Hmmm, this is really testing my knowledge of aviation history, I am hard pressed to find a good comparison - I will continue to work on this and see what I come up with that is a legitimate comparison.

airtaximan said...

CW, try Adam...

Soccer Dad said...

" Hmmm, this is really testing my knowledge of aviation history, I am hard pressed to find a good comparison - I will continue to work on this and see what I come up with that is a legitimate comparison."

There's always the Swearingen, Sino/Swearingen, Emivest SJ-30 - I think they have sold two, I've heard of a third that was supposed to be delivered this summer and it's only killed a test pilot. Vern may be the king of BS Volume, but Ed Swearingen has staying power.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

A cursory review of 'real' airplanes suggests the Cessna T303 Crusader may be the best comparison.

297 delivered over a 4 year production run. Somewhat innovative for its' time and, to me anyway, a reasonably handsome plane.

Subject to 11 AD's to-date, the first occuring the same year production stopped (4 years after intorduction). Most of the AD's are systems related and effect other airframes, only 3 or 4 were unique to the T303 and were related to icing and fuel delivery.

This design had significant issues re: icing, leading to a couple AD's, AFM revisions, etc - the first occuring essentially after all 297 had been delivered and were in service.

28 accidents since introduction in 1981, 7 fatal with 27 fatalies total.

So it has a 28 year history, not 28 months like the Eclipse but it is probably the best overall comparison keeping in mind it was designed 30 years ago.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Forgot to add that the first fatal accident for the T303 was about 2 years after entry into service.

WhyTech said...

"The other concerns are being addressed by the acquisition of the EAC assets. Perhaps you missed the memo? "

Ken, evidently you missed the memo. No assets have been acquired to date. Ownership will pass if and when there is a closing.

PlaneTruth said...

ASman said... The TC has been suspended by EASA.

The EASA TC approval was revoked because Roel didn't pay the bill, not for technical or safety reasons.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

By way of comparison, the Meyers' previous chariot, the Cessna 340, was one of 1287 examples built over 13 years from '71-'84.

211 accidents over the last almost 40 years - 70 were fatal, with 176 total fatalities.

The 340 has been the subject of 18 AD's to-date, covering mechanical, icing and other issues.

julius said...

Plane Truth,


ASman said... The TC has been suspended by EASA.


that's the correct wording - check at EASA (you will find it!) or believe my "cut and paste:

"EASA Certification Information 2009 - 09: Suspension of EASA Type Certificate EASA.IM.A.171 by the European Aviation Safety Agency for the Eclipse Model EA500 aircraft for administrative reasons."

Julius

airtaximan said...

adam:
- founded in 2008, like EAC...
- had 2 prototype models, like EAC
- certified and delivered one model to 5 clients = about 10% of their stated order book... like EAC
- went BK, asstes purchased, then company closed a few months later...
- no fatalities, like EAC.

kidding... sort of

baron95 said...

Phil Bell said..."This is the worst blog/forum engine on the internet"
Why thank you! I am pleased to excel at something...

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

Phil - that was not directed at you. It was directed at google. This forum has no threads, no auto quotation, nothing. It is as basic as it gets.

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

Sorry for your loss. Congrats on a 600+ posts bloody thread. Other engines enable you to set up multiple moderators. You need a multi-core CPU upgrade to multi-thread.

Welcome back.

baron95 said...

Phil Bell said..."This is the worst blog/forum engine on the internet"
Why thank you! I am pleased to excel at something...

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

Phil - that was not directed at you. It was directed at google. This forum has no threads, no auto quotation, nothing. It is as basic as it gets.

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

Sorry for your loss. Congrats on a 600+ posts bloody thread. Other engines enable you to set up multiple moderators. You need a multi-core CPU upgrade to multi-thread.

Welcome back.

baron95 said...

I think 787 first flight will be Oct/09. TC will be June/2010 and EIS will be July/2010 and 30 A/C will have flown by 2010.

I also think that both ZA001 and ZA002 fly this fall and I think there is small chance that ZA002 flies before ZA001.

No_Skids said...

Phil-nice headline post, regrets, and welcome back.

My 787 answer is what you'd expect from someone who has sold all of their Boeing stock . . .

787 First Flight-Mar 2010
Type Certificate Date-Dec 2010
First Revenue Flight-Jan 2011

Number of aircraft having flown by the end of 2010-Excepting Flight Test aircraft-zero

For the "super duper extra credit problem"-in honor of Gadfly and the blog's Eclipse heritage-how about

"When will the first finished 787 fly?".

By finished, I mean the production configuration that is functionally complete (i. e. has the new brake stuff that can be used for high cycle short hop flying) and meets all the original performance guarantees (i. e. for fuel consumption).

My prediction for that is never. I think Boeing's gonna be paying for a lot of gas for a long time.

gadfly said...

No_Skids . . . your comments are noted, and me thinks that in addition to what you say, Boeing is opening a can of worms. The two (?) minor (?) problems, so far exposed to the air of public scrutiny, may be only the beginning of a long list of serious deficiencies.

Over a year ago, I spoke to a friend with a “PhD” in engineering, who used to work for Boeing in structural design, and expressed to him my (then) concerns . . . and he said there were no problems, . . . that Boeing had everything covered. My guess is that somehow the “covers” have slipped slightly, and somebody’s feet are sticking out, on what will probably be a long, long cold winter night in Seattle.

Furthermore, me thinks DeepBlue’s well thought out hypothesis is far too optimistic. In earlier days, I’ve been under the waves to a depth of over four hundred feet . . . and been “under” for over thirty days in unfriendly waters, continuous. But Boeing is about to set new records for being “under” red ink, both in depth and duration. The picture of the future ain’t pretty!

gadfly

(And if Boeing fails, it will hurt us as well, as we are in the food chain.)

gadfly said...

Loose ends, as it were!

baron . . . thanks for the “fly sex” joke . . . it’s seen some more mileage . . . my type of corn! . . . and it’s clean!

RonRoe . . . thanks for reminding me of our “buggy whip division” . . . but a correction here: old “Coke” cans, maybe, but no beer cans . . . please make that correction in your reference files. And thanks for the compliment, that our designs can do so much with so little. In fact, that is very close to reality.

Ken: Long ago, we had a friendly chat within the blogsite . . . I made some comment that if you stick with what you know, you’ll do just fine. Somehow you believe that avoiding direct answers is a better way. But I’ll state it again, stick with what you know, and tell it “like it is” without the constant “put down”, and folks will finally begin to take you seriously. If the little jet is everything you believe it to be, an honest report will get you support, and support for your aircraft. Once, not so long ago, you came to us with a “plea” for funds . . . ‘can’t remember all the details, but it seemed to reveal that you are a real person, like most of the rest of us . . . frustrated with a situation “out of control”. Frankly, that about sums up the rest of our feelings.

And finally, when any of you put someone else “down”, you say more about yourself than the one whom you are deprecating. Have a strong opinion, but use some restraint in attempting to destroy another’s character or reputation. The best approach is to allow the “other” to destroy their own character, without outside help . . . usually, they can do it themselves, and almost always succeed. But don’t be an accomplice in the crime . . . and it truly is a crime, akin to murder!

Phil, and others, would appreciate a higher level a respect for each other . . . and get on to better things, discussing the technology and problems of aviation, . . . something that has been near and dear to some of us for far more years than most of you have been alive.

gadfly (the “old one”!)

Deep Blue said...

Gadfly said:

"...me thinks DeepBlue’s well thought out hypothesis is far too optimistic."

Well, coming from the Gad, that's both a compliment of course, and a challenge.

Allow me to repeat the prognosis and then make a few follow on comments:

"B787 hypothesis:

1. It never flies

2. Senior management is replaced; the 777 and a derivative 767 are introduced as alternatives

3. If "it" (some composite project) does fly, and, if it enters service, it fails in operations; none of the costs are realized; flaw after flaw become unraveled in service; it becomes the "Comet" of its generation.

4. China, Russia, Japan, Brazil and Canada (and EADS) fill out the market (and crush Boeing) as airlines adjust their acquisition strategy to better cost and performance alternatives

5. Engine OEMs and suppliers get locked into above programs, leaving Boeing as a low priority

6. Boeing is sold or acquired, as USG is out of bail out money (unless Treasury convinces Congress to lift debt ceiling above $12T)...

7. In which case, Boeing becomes nationalized with legacy product line

8. But US airline industry implodes into serial BK; restructurings are financed by foreign capital with non-US fleet

9. Boeing is then rolled into US defense conglomorate and sells off civil unit

10. Boeing shares swapped for Newco of BA, Lockheed Martin and Northrup; Ron Sugar becomes CEO of newco."

I think the "optimistic" part is the roll up of Boeing into a defense conglomorate that leaves the better connected Mr. Sugar in charge.

Please note I make no endorsement of him per se, as he is just another employee, although part of a favored tribe, currently.

As for the 787, it is dead. The current CEO and his board are perhaps among the worst to ever inhabit the Boeing offices.

Ever.

Hello China, Russia, Canada, Brazil, Europe.

gadfly said...

Honoring the comments of our “host”:

Did you get it?

Our host was confronted, again, with the ultimate end of our earthly existence . . . and in his introduction to this thread, he pointed us to some comments about Grace: I like that, since it answers so many questions. “Mercy”, “Not receiving what we deserve!” . . . “Grace” . . . not only not receiving what we deserve, but heaping great benefits on top of the undeserving, because someone else has not only “paid the price” for our miss-behavior, but loves us so much, that nothing is with-held for our benefit. (That’s my “politically correct” paraphrase . . . but the best I can do on short notice.)

Thanks, Phil . . . a refreshing thing as you said to someone you loved . . . “Hasta Luego” (Until Later).

gadfly

(If it’s OK to tear someone else to shreds on this blog-site, I figure it’s OK to allude to things of eternal import! . . . with no apology!)

gadfly said...

Most of Deep Blues’ comments are too far out for me to fully appreciate, or on which to comment, but “Number 3" is the key, in my thinking. He said:

"3. If "it" (some composite project) does fly, and, if it enters service, it fails in operations; none of the costs are realized; flaw after flaw become unraveled in service; it becomes the "Comet" of its generation."

Hey, folks . . . this is serious stuff. “If” the “Dreamliner” goes into service, someone reading this blog, and/or their family will certainly board this flying machine. History offers no panacea for the safety of those who put their trust in anything “man made”. Of course, in the history of aviation, we have the prime example of the “Comet” . . . rightly so.

A nearer to real-life piece of history is the design and manufacture of something built, not in Seattle, but in Belfast. It, too, was based on excellent technology . . . most of that technology remains as “fact” today. But the application of those facts and data came up against the same problems as the “787". New materials . . . new manufacturing techniques . . . great claims . . . “never been done before” on such a massive scale, and carrying more passengers than earlier in history.

The story makes for great movies . . . etc., but only recently has the last survivor of that earlier tragedy bid “adieu” . . . and that’s a long time since 1912.

Carbon fiber technology is far “too new” to base the design and implementation on such grand scale . . . too little is known, and the knowledge of a bunch of “college grads” is not the thing that makes for long-term design and manufacturing integrity.

Sorry to break it to the “young and eager”, but the “old guys” that make the tooling and manufacture all those things that are taken for granted, learned a few things along the way . . . and it will take “their” knowledge, and skill, to put the “new” ideas into a form that is both practical and safe . . . no matter what the bearded college professors have “professed”.

This is not a “CAD” program . . . as much as I like and use CAD and CAM, almost every day of my life. I still have to refer everything I design to what I’ve learned in a lifetime, working with the material that would seem to make the ideal jet liner.

Well . . . enough for now!

gadfly

Deep Blue said...

Gadfly said:

"Carbon fiber technology is far “too new” to base the design and implementation on such grand scale . . . too little is known, and the knowledge of a bunch of “college grads” is not the thing that makes for long-term design and manufacturing integrity."


Yes. Gad is right, and then some. The "787" is better left as a design/R&D project, more like a military "skunk works" one.

The 787 is dead as a commercial deliverable.

It is time for Boeing management to come clean.

WhyTech said...

"The 787 is dead as a commercial deliverable."

Pretty strong statement. Do you have access to info that is not generally available, or are you just generally pessimistic re the project?

baron95 said...

Deep Blue said...
As for the 787, it is dead.
------------------

Hummmm.... As big a critic of the B787 mgmt as I have been, I know of no problem that indicates the 787 is dead. None.

All I see are poorly handled run-of-the-mill project problems.

The above statement is quite something. Care to tell us why it IS dead? Or is it simply the case that YOU WANT it dead because you are against innovation?

baron95 said...

Gadfly and Deep Blue.... you may very well be proven right - I highly doubt it - but you are basically making the argument that anything thing "new" will fail.

Luckily, that in not the case.

The 787 program are failing due to the only part of the program that Boeing did not modeled - the management.

Problems on wing-to-fuselage joins are nothing new - it is a common problem area. Composite wing boxes have been done before.

As of now, I have heard of no problem on the 787 that is unique, shouldn't have been expected and is not relatively straightforward to address.

As for this poll - it will take several months to a few years to see who is right, and it will be long forgotten by then.

But you guys with your - 787 will never fly - prediction WILL be proven wrong in a couple of months - of that I am certain.

I'm not sure if you know, but the parts for the fix are en route to Boeing.

Ken Meyer said...

Gad writes, "Ken: Long ago, we had a friendly chat within the blogsite . . .stick with what you know, and tell it “like it is” without the constant “put down”"

Gad, thanks for the advice.

However, I really don't need another old guy to tell me what to do; I'm old enough myself, thank you. Maybe I can advise you :)

And your plan hasn't worked that great for you--I notice that you're on the receiving end an awful lot of the time. Either way, I already tell it like it is. Every single post.

And I don't "put people down." I point out when they're flatout wrong. In this environment, that's not a popular approach because so much of what is written here is flatout wrong. But I'm not real interested in window dressing. If somebody says, "the Eclipse isn't as cost effective as a Mustang," you *won't* find me agreeing with it to score popularity points--the statement is just incorrect and should be so labeled.

If your suggestion is "don't tell people when they're wrong," my answer is: that's very good advice if you're angling for Prom Queen, but I'm not.

Thanks anyway! I do appreciate it.

Ken

baron95 said...

In the meantime, we can watch ZA002 - 787EX in ANA Livery doing her taxi tests.

Now remember the teeny-tiny chance that this bird may fly before ZA001 Wetdreamliner 1.

baron95 said...

Meanwhile.... in GA land - which many here claim is just fine and dandy and riding a high-note of technology....

Beech shipped a total of 13 - that is right thirteen - piston planes in Q2. That is one a week!!! Very healthy, no problems there. Customers are delighted with the product.

At the highest end of the spectrum the earnings call provided this on the Hawker 4000 aka Horizon...

"We are concurrently producing and incorporating late changes in the type design that need to be filtered into the production line as we move forward," says Boisture. "The delays in bringing the Hawker 4000 to market have been disappointing. We've made some good progress this year, but have work to do before we reach a predictable cadence."

Errrr.... after 14 years they are still - "incorporating late changes" into the design!!!!!!!

Ouch.

The EA500's development has been very speedy indeed by comparison. They still have 4 or 5 years to go before their program becomes slower than the Dark Horizon.

Go Eclipse Go - Teach the Dinosaurs how it is done.

baron95 said...

But all is well folks - really - continuing notes from the earnings call ...

Aside from the production challenges, the largest customer for the new model, fractional provider NetJets, has cancelled 12 aircraft this year and deferred all deliveries for the remainder of the year as well as for next year. Boisture says the orders remain in the backlog, which stands at $6.8 billion,

See - no problemo - largest customers defers/cancels most of the orders, but they remain in the backlog!!!!

Looks like Eclipse's orders reporting was very conservative. Vern should have been as loose as HBC and counted a few more birds - he'd have an easier time raising money.

Rats - this time he should have done like the dinosaurs and counted canceled orders in full ;)

baron95 said...

But seriously guys - GA is doing great. The O-360 is a wonderful piston engine - it only fouls a valve, ices a carb, throws a rod every now and then. No biggie.

baron95 said...

And to Recap the Eclipse Situation Today (Thursday Aug 20th). Article from Aviation Week has the most succinct summary:
-------------------------
The US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has accepted a motion by Jeoffrey Burtch, trustee for insolvent Eclipse Aviation, to set Thursday, Aug. 20 as the date for a sales hearing for the assets of the insolvent VLJ start-up, according to court documents. The bankruptcy court's decision follows Burtch's acceptance last week of the $40-million lead or "stalking horse" bid for Eclipse Aviation's assets offered by Mason Holland's Eclipse Aerospace.

The asset sale process now is accelerating because time is of the essence. Eclipse Aviation rapidly is burning through its last $300,000 in cash reserves. Friday, Aug. 14, 2009, Burtch will start accepting competitive bids for the assets. Eclipse Aerospace's stalking horse bid requires that potential competitors offer at least $42-million and $5-million cash down as earnest money, plus equal or better terms, to qualify for the auction sale. Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, Burtch will decide on the auction sale winner. If no other qualified bids are received, Eclipse Aerospace will win the auction by default. Barring objections, Burtch will ask the bankruptcy court to approve the results of the auction sale on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. A week or so later, the sale should close, leaving Eclipse Aerospace or a more qualified bidder as the new owner of the $1-billion-plus VLJ program.
------------------------

New info to me is that Eclipse is down to $300K in cash.

I guess Trustee has decided this Tuesday that EA is the winning bid. Will recommend the sale today. Assuming EA comes up with the cash it should close within one week.

Ken's plane should experience an immediate 10% market value increase, which should pay for 4-6 months of fuel to ATM's consternation driving DOCs to ZERO for a while.

Assuming Ken gets an offer for FIKI + NG 1.5 upgrade for $200K or so and gets it done, his plane should increase another 25% in value give or take. Subtract the upgrade costs and it is another 4-6 months of ZERO DOCs ;)

Not saying that is how it will happen, but it COULD happen if things line up.

Will be fun to watch.

gadfly said...

baron

Most of my life I have fought the establishment to make “new” things happen, including innovations in aerospace and medical applications . . . so you may know that I applaud the “new”, but not for “new” sake. And as Ken has implied, I’ve taken many hits for my stands. However, I’ve become used to being in those tight positions. Being popular may be a good thing . . . but that’s a position of which I know little.

There was a call for opinions on the “787" . . . and our opinions are being given. It is to our advantage for a multitude of reasons for Boeing to be successful in a new aircraft . . . and this version will no doubt “fly” in some form. But my own concerns did not suddenly begin in the last few days or weeks. And this is not the first time that serious problems have appeared with carbon fiber composites after an aircraft has been in service for some time . . . ask “Airbus”! Unlike aluminum and other metal construction, carbon failures do not reveal themselves over time . . . they appear suddenly and are often catastrophic. And by its very nature, a “band-aid” fix often guarantees a future failure . . . and spreads out the possible points of failure into new territory.

You said “. . . the parts for the fix are en route to Boeing”. Some of these problems should have been obvious to the designers, and shouldn’t require a “fix” at this late date. Such an example indicates to me that this is only the beginning of an unhappy story.

Ken

My comments to you were contained in a single paragraph . . . and I can see that the next two paragraphs may have appeared to be aimed at you, which was not my intent. My sincere apologies!

Unfortunately, the discussion of technical matters so often turns into a battle of personalities, rather than staying focused on the “mechanics” of the concerns.

gadfly

(Well, time will tell! And our opinions of each other have little bearing on the long-term airworthiness of Boeing’s new baby.)

fred said...

wow ...

the pink-glasses are still on !

his plane should increase another 25% in value give or take ...

i would say: NO !! It will ONLY have the value it was more or less supposed to have in the first place !!!

Still : how do you call something you have to pay TWICE ?

Ken's plane should experience an immediate 10% market value increase ...

real funny ...!

but we are back to good old basics :

you cannot make a race-horse out of a dead cat !

ok , so what basics say ?

for something to be sold , it NEEDS 2 elements :

1° Something FOR SALE
2° Someone for BUYING

so we are still on the Vern's BS ...
FPJ has a value of :

AS MUCH AS ANY OWNER WANTS !

is that a clear indication the plane can sell at this price ?

so it is not a 10% hike , more a 100% occasion to have a new set of illusions !

julius said...

Baron95,

Ken's plane should experience an immediate 10% market value increase ...


you read to often newspapers (Sun, Bild,...)!
Do you really believe Bill Gates loses 10%
of his fortune (in shares) if the "value" of theses shares decreases by 10%! And when the "value" of the share increases, has he more money in his pockets?

There is a potenial that might... not more, not less! Some consultants mix up reality and potential!

BTW: Where is our General ... sorry ...our Mr. M. Press? Only M. Holland and investors...?


Julius

Ken Meyer said...

Julius writes, "Do you really believe Bill Gates loses 10% of his fortune (in shares) if the "value" of theses shares decreases by 10%!"

Actually, Julius, Baron was making fun of the critics who were quick to include an assumed loss of value when they calculated the hourly operating cost of the Eclipse.

You're quite right that neither Bill Gates nor an Eclipse owner actually has more or less in their pocket when the valuation of their asset changes in the marketplace.

And that is why the $3000/hour operating cost that Shane and AirTaximan suggested is obviously bogus.

The day-to-day fluctuation in valuation of an asset is only of interest if you wish to sell that asset. However, like many Eclipse owners, I have no interest in selling the plane. I'm more inclined to *buy* one! It would simply not be possible today to replace the Eclipse with anything approaching the same qualities of fun, fast, reliable, safe, and affordable jet transportation.

Ken

airtaximan said...

to be clear, "And that is why the $3000/hour operating cost that Shane and AirTaximan suggested is obviously bogus."

Its "total cost to own and operate" not just operate - it's your fascination with OC or DOC as someone hre mistakenly wrote.

And, by the way, Baron's last post on this is a Gem.

Early day on the flight line... some check rides coming, so need to be extra worried around here... stress level is high for those check rides.... enjoy being alive and keep your eyes wide open!

fred said...

Julius ...

Verlassen Sie mit Trugbildern , bitte ... ;-)

i am always very amused when i can read this kind of stuff ...

let's say Real-estate price are on the up ...

Mr Joe has a house , so he start to believe " my house has a higher value = so i am richer !"

some even go to see their bankers to ask for a bigger loan on the "Future Value" ...

some mad bankers agree to give the loan ...

what everybody miss : WHERE are you going to live if your house is retaken , Stupid ?
(don't laugh too much , actually this one of the biggest problem in London)

something MAY have a value ...
it doesn't mean the very same thing has a PRICE !

still , we are with the classical example of the family house :

you bought a house many years ago ; you raised your kids in it ; you may have the best souvenirs in it ...

if you want to sell it : WHY a potential buyer would give any bollocks about it ?

your house has a lot of VALUE , but a very different PRICE !

airtaximan said...

Just finished mopping...

In aviation a lot of folks made a few basic errors:

They put their planes on 135 certificates under management, and accepted a 15% gross charge for all charters arranged by the management company. They did not realize that the charter rates did not cover all the real costs - including the resale value depreciation of increased utilization, and the cycle/time based service items.

These two mistakes costs A LOT. They really do.

I can almost hear the discussion:
- yeah, lets do the charter, see, the fuel and pilots are covered and we'll even make some money... $2,000 on the trip!

- you need fork over $xx,xxx for HSI

- what do you mean i can only get $4M for my plane... there's one listed for $5.5M...

Fuel cost is a mirage...

fred said...

with anything approaching the same qualities of fun, fast, reliable, safe, and affordable jet transportation. ...

read above previous post !

FUN = only a matter of taste !
FAST = actually Most airliners are faster !
RELIABLE and SAFE = with only 260 units and probably only a fraction of it really flying , don't you think your statement is a bit overstretched ?
How about tires ? about FIKI ? about NAVIO ? about shield ? about maintenance ? etc ...
AFFORDABLE = I never call this way something i have to pay twice , in totality or partial ...
HOW about what you are going to have pay IF you want to keep it Flying ?

Deep Blue said...

Whytech/B95:

I'm assessing the 787 program from what I understand as an industry professional and otherwise as informed speculation (that was the exercise here). It may or may not be realized of course. As for probabilities I would currently assign P=70% that the 787 is effectively scrapped (at some point in its development)and P=55% that BA follows the corporate reorg (or some version) that I suggest.

As for not embracing "new" that is not accurate. I merely find the 787 as a mild advancement; perhaps only an experimentation; perhaps a distraction. In reality, it does little to advance the economics of airline travel, with a very modest cost pro forma, while flight performance is the same old same old: chug along at FL41 at M .80.

New? How about really new. How about a hypersonic (+Mach 5) suborbital that goes LA-Paris in under two hours. Now that's new. And the technology is here: we just don't have the will to bring it to market (and the airline sector is so unstable financially it is actually regressing).

I think we've lost much of our guts and ambition in aerospace, sitting happily with 1950s technology. And forget the "Sonic Cruiser." That was another little toe in the water project.

Deep Blue said...

And post script: I think GAD has this one right:

"Unlike aluminum and other metal construction, carbon failures do not reveal themselves over time . . . they appear suddenly and are often catastrophic. And by its very nature, a “band-aid” fix often guarantees a future failure . . . and spreads out the possible points of failure into new territory. You said “. . . the parts for the fix are en route to Boeing”. Some of these problems should have been obvious to the designers, and shouldn’t require a “fix” at this late date. Such an example indicates to me that this is only the beginning of an unhappy story."

I suspect that is the epitaph. Otherwise the 787 is a great learning program (including managerial and organizational).

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

Freddie said... FUN = only a matter of taste !
FAST = actually Most airliners are faster !
RELIABLE and SAFE = with only 260 units and probably only a fraction of it really flying , don't you think your statement is a bit overstretched ?
How about tires ? about FIKI ? about NAVIO ? about shield ? about maintenance ? etc ...
AFFORDABLE = I never call this way something i have to pay twice , in totality or partial ...
HOW about what you are going to have pay IF you want to keep it Flying ?


Freddie, I know logic and truth are second languages for you so I'll take it slow...

Fun - yes, that's an individual taste. Let it go.

Fast - compared to other light jets such as the Mustang, it is fast. Compared to all but a few turboprops, it's much faster. Who cares about comparing it to an airliner. But, in fact door to door in this country it is faster than an airliner. It is not faster than the space shuttle, unless you consider door to door service.

Reliable and safe - it has been reliable and safe, and over 80% have flow in the last 60 days in spite of no parts availability during the BK.

Tires - new tires were approved but held up due to paperwork just before the BK.

FIKI - done, mods being performed.

Avio 1.5 - SB done, mods waiting for BK to be completed due to IP issues.

Windshield - No problems, requires visual inspection.

Maintenance - industry standard pricing available in a variety of locations. Some parts difficult to obtain.

Affordable - planes can be purchased now for $850 if you act quickly. Add about $200K for all upgrades, and you have an affordable twin jet. You don't even have the extra carrying cost thrown in by ATM.

Now, go back to moving your money from one country to another to avoid taxes.

Shadow said...

Anyone remember when the church of flyantology insisted that Eclipse was worth a minimum of $200 million if it would go into bankruptcy? Today it will sell for $40 million--$20 million in cash and the rest in notes.

I think the lesson here is to believe only one-fifth of what the Eclipse faithful say.

airsafetyman said...

"As for probabilities I would currently assign P=70% that the 787is effectively scrapped (at some point in its development)"

Boeing will do what McDonnell-Douglas did with the F-18. The original Hornet had a very short range and could not carry very much payload, so they built a scaled-up version that had very little in common with the original and called it the "Super Hornet". Billions of taxpayer money down the drain to develop an airplane that is still markedly inferior to the F-15 that the Navy could have bought virtually off the shelf. Boeing will design another airplane and call it the 787X (or something).

airtaximan said...

planes can be purchased now for $850 if you act quickly

airtaximan said...

Just out of curiousity... how much did the Mustang cost the first 100-200 buyers? Was it $2.3M?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Actually, I predicted the $40M amount back in the Spring before Shane turned over the reins, I am surprised it is going for that though - even if it is only half cash and half more promises.

~$2B in raised and incinerated capital

~$1B in unpaid trade receivables and claims to depositors

1 FAA TC and the ability to regain an EASA TC, 259 incomplete planes, many flying though.

Assuming everything passes today as expected, the hard work begins tomorrow. Just sifting through all the data, determining what is and is not there, will take weeks (maybe months).

So let's hope for Ken's sake, as well as the other owners, that the check doesn't bounce, isn't funded by foreigners, and is actually accepted by the creditors.

Also, let us hope that M&M are sitting on another $50-80M, cash-in-hand, or else we will back in the same spot in a short time.

Waiting with baited breath, not really but looking forward to the next phase, should be fun if nothing else.

airtaximan said...

I think they will do what they can to begin generating revenue, ASAP... there are a lot of implication to this statement, and I would not be surprised if the first pportunity to hand them money comes days after a closing, regardless of how much sifting they have done or what they know or don't know etc...

Just a hunch.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

As a point of comparison, Raytheon sold Raytheon Aircraft, Beech Hawker to Onex and Goldman in December of 2006, for $3.3B.

Cessna bought the defunct Columbia (2 TC's, PC's, and ~600 in the field) for about $27M, back when the world economic situation was still rosy.

HBC has only laid off 25% of its workforce, compared to about 50% for Cessna during these extraordinarily challenging economic times.

Yes, they are stuggling right now as is everyone, but thought it made for an interesting data point or two.

WhyTech said...

"Assuming everything passes today as expected, the hard work begins tomorrow. Just sifting through all the data, determining what is and is not there, will take weeks (maybe months)."

Just hiring the properly qualified "sifters" could take months. Getting a qualified team of appropriate size can be time consumimg in itself.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

WT, if M&M have been working with MM at EAC OG (and if I were doing this I would have at least tried to get some of this going early on) they may have some idea what they are getting into, but I doubt the full magnitude of the challenge is understood - EAC OG (V1 and V2) never seemed to fully grasp it after a decade and a couple billion dollars.

I suspect as the skeletons in the closets are uncovered there will be a sickening realization that many of the assumptions used in laying out the business plan are at risk or are simply unrealistic.

I have not seen the latest incarnation of the business plan and do not know what, if any, suggested priving has been disclosed, nor do I know what if any 'access charge' or 'subscription' model is being used to help offset TC/AD/Continued Airworthiness support.

IF any of these things have been discussed, and IF any prices have been suggested, I bet they all go up, probably in about 8-10 weeks as reality sets in .

This of course all assumes the check does not bounce, the offer is accepted, and the sale closes. We should remember how this went the last time, also with a $20M payment and a 'sure thing' bid.

Real planes for real life said...

AT Man,

Approximately 220 Citation Mustangs were ordered at a unit price of $2,295,000 (plus the change in CPI-W from Aug 2002 until November in the year before delivery). To that the buyer might add $40,000 to $80,000 in typical options.

A great majority of these $2,295,000 plus CPI units were delivered in the period from 2007 to mid 2009.

airtaximan said...

What are the chances that:
1- the deal closes
2- within weeks there's any sort of new service arranged by these guys for owners
3- the mods and upgrade work begin within 2 months
4- the mods/upgrades cost less than $300,000
5- the dayjet planes are upgraded last
6- the current shop keeping the birds flying are somehow reigned in with some sort of fee
7- there's a sale/license of the 400 design to China/Russia
8- there's a sale/license of the ea50 design to Chna/Russia
9- there's some fee for being offered priority on service/upgrades
10-there's a tip-tail plan in place for a less than $400/hour plus the engine plan
11- there's a deposit program created for the ea50 at $2.1 Million in year 2000 dollars
12- the fleet is grounded within 3 months due to some unkown problem, that's been know for 6 months...

back to the scheduling... busy day...
any others...

WhyTech said...

"but I doubt the full magnitude of the challenge is understood "

Agree strongly! It has been said here before that documentation was not an Eclipse strong point even when they had 1200+ employees. With the plant idle for months, who know what has "walked away" in the form of drawings, procedues doc, tools, etc as a result of negligence, theft, or sabotage? My bet: there are more worms than can be counted that have to be dealt with before properly documented/certified mods, parts, and service can be performed.

PlaneTruth said...

RealPlanes said... A great majority of these $2,295,000 plus CPI units were delivered in the period from 2007 to mid 2009

Based on $2.295M and adjusted for CPI, a delivery of August 2008 would calculate to $2.927M plus options.

fred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real planes for real life said...

PT,

The CPI escalator for 2009 deliveries was $398,000 so the delivered price would have been $2,295,000 plus $398,000 for a total of $2,693,000 plus options.

These are the real numbers.

Kevin

fred said...

Plain Truth :

you are wrong , i am not moving money from a place to an other ...

it is sitting in Luxembourg but yes to avoid most tax ...

if you want to actually have money = you have to work or work more to pay more tax or work more independently with less tax !

(actually this is not true , i was paying a total of about 0.80 to 1% per year when working ...)

Fast : ok , it is a bit faster than a mustang ...

on a trip of 500 Miles what is the gain of time in minutes ?

i suppose it is pretty much nothing ...

Reliable and overstretch :

to me (something personal) it sounds very much like those shops where you can buy usually very expensive item for near nothing ,as advertised in display ...

the trick is when you ask for that item , this specific model is gone , sold-out ... but they always have something "almost the same" for much higher price ...!

the very fact there is only 260 should be taken for what stats calls " Non meaning end of curve" (not sure about translation )

let's explain an other way :
you are a student , medical student ...
you are taking your final exam =

what is the "best" case for a potential failure :

to be asked ONE question on any subject you are supposed to have learned in last 8 years ?
or
to be asked ONE question on the only subject you had last week ?

i would think the first case would be fair ...

the second meaning just about nothing as it is only question on one subject :

results being inconclusive for lack of "background "

NO ?

Affordable :

for you , a EA500 can be bought for about a million $ ...
(this for a used one)

while on controller a Mustang is on Offer for a total $2.245.000 ...

since there is no maintenance problem on Cessna in this part of world (such do not even exist for Fpj)

since the Mustang is FULLY EASA (which happen to be important here and while i would say that it wouldn't make any economic sens to get it back for Ea500 ...)

since there is no too much worries on Cessna to be around the block next year ...

since this implies that if it has to be re-sold , it shouldn't poker-bluff ...

on a very personal point of view , i would play safer ... (kind of insurance)

paying the Mustang and have no worries as to keep it ...

or pay the Fpj and not sure of what tomorrow will be made off ...

i think i would be some kind of glad to pay a million $ more ...

owning a jet is an extreme luxury ; extreme luxury is like top-model for women ...

try to go for the cheap ones and find out 1 minute too late that everything was surgery-made !

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Just a reminder, it was 8 months ago today (Jan 20 - fittingly a Tuesday) that the triumphant proclamation was made that RiP's EclipseJet Aviation had purchased the assets in the pre-arranged Chapter 11 363 sale, $20M changed hands, and all was rosy.

Pricing was announced, corks were popped, and there was much rejoicing.

One month later (Feb 18) the sale was dead, furloughs became terminations for a thousand employees, and several months after that Al Mann sued RiP for the $10M he had advanced to RiP for the initial DIP related to the 363.

While I hope for the sake of the majority of EA-500 operators that this thing actually goes through, is actually accepted, and actually succeeds, as I always say, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

WhyTech said...

One of the large tasks ahead for EA should they actually close the transaction, raise any additional initial funding needed, get a staff of suitable caliber hired, etc, is generating some level of credibility and trust with owners specifically and the GA community more broadly. This is going to require a leader who probably has hands on experience in turning around troubled companies AND hands on acft manufacturing experience AND a record of honest, candid dealing with stakeholders AND a communication/interpersonal sytle that inspires confidence. This would seem to rule out Col M, Mason, Ken, and previous Eclipse execs. Probably need a bit of a rock star in terms of prior employment results. If so, then who with these credentials would want the job?

fred said...

ATM

on the 400 sold in Russia ...

Today on Russian TV , a guy was speaking about future for Russkyi aero-firms is in making money today ...

their best bet being "Building under License " ...

but the name that stroke me
"EMBRAER" ...

on the "Money Making ASAP" :

i wouldn't be surprised for a Kopeck that the day after court (if ok) there will be a "Golden Opportunity" to save a slot for upgrade against a "preferential Payment" of only $200.000 within the next hours ...

PlaneTruth said...

Real planes for real life said... PT,
The CPI escalator for 2009 deliveries was $398,000 so the delivered price would have been $2,295,000 plus $398,000 for a total of $2,693,000 plus options. These are the real numbers.

Your numbers are correct, but so are mine. If a plane was delivered August 2008 the CPI increase from August 2002 by 22.2%. Those that were fortunate to accept delivery later in 2009 had a CPI increase of 15%. That's a loss in value of about $250K. Isn't that what ATM claims Ken lost in deposits. Those Mustang owners lost $250K in value without even having an Eclipse.

Deep Blue said...

AP: "Bombardier Inc. said Thursday it has terminated a $1.5 billion deal with private-jet charter company Jet Republic for 110 Learjet 60 XR aircraft."

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Great question WT, and I have no answer for you - I for one am not on the short list, for obvious reasons. ;^)

Maybe Jim Schuster formerly of Beech, or perhaps Brian Barents? Jim Bass formerly of Piper?

My guess is either a former EAC exec claiming special inside knowledge, or someone with little C level experience, maybe from outside aviation.

fred said...

ColdWet :

I always say, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. ...

JUST PERFECT !

Real planes for real life said...

PT,

Thank you for your kind response. I am talking about the price Cessna Aircraft charges for delivered Mustangs under purchase orders executed with a base price of $2,295,000.

F.A.F (Fly Away Factory) was $2,675,000 for 2008 deliveries (plus options)

F.A.F. was $2,693,000 for 2009 deliveries (plus options)

Sure, your math might be correct in the abstract but I don't believe it has anything to do with delivered prices of Mustangs based upon a $2,295,000 base price contract.

If we are discussing real prices, I stand by my numbers. Yours, relative to delivered Mustangs under contracts as referenced above, are wrong.

WhyTech said...

So, in the interest of moving away a bit from our usual pixxing contests on this blog, I'd like to tap the expertise of the assembled multitude on a somethat different but hopefully relevant topic: ADS-B.

Any one have first hand experience with this technology? Lacking that, anyone have well informed opinions? Lacking that, any wild ass speculation about when this technology will be useful in GA acft? Is the Garmin GDL-90 the only currently available ADS-B transceiver at a GA price point? My impression is that this is an "old" design created for the Capstone trials, and could soon be obsoleted by newer designs.

fred said...

Real Plane :

Cessna-France (by one of the seller) told me that Mustang paid in Euros and IF enrolling their maintenance-program for a certain period ...

prices could be easily discussed !

so yes , i think it can be "a bit" better to talk about REAL price for Real plane (no joke about your nick ...)

who would be mad enough NOT to talk the price ?

fred said...

i forgot to add :

i put BY SELLER in brackets ...

just because sellers are all the same , which one wouldn't propose his sister to get a deal ??

so as i didn't push the matter afterwards , i am actually not sure of what would be THEN when signing the check !

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

Plain Truth ...

i forgot :


Freddie, I know logic and truth are second languages for you so I'll take it slow...
...

from someone who believed Vern The Great and his fuzzy logic :

should i take this as compliment ?

but please be slow enough that i can count all what you already lost !

baron95 said...

Deep BLue said...I merely find the 787 as a mild advancement; perhaps only an experimentation; perhaps a distraction. In reality, it does little to advance the economics of airline travel, with a very modest cost pro forma, while flight performance is the same old same old: chug along at FL41 at M .80.
------------------------

WOW!!!! I have heard this before. Airline travel has not advanced. We still travel as fast as the 707 (actually a bit slower now) - therefor no progress.

That is SOOOO WRONG.

We could use the advances (e.g. in engines) to go faster at the same fuel burn or to go at the same speed at much lower fuel burns. The industry AND THE CUSTOMERS have chosen the latter - lower costs.

The 787 if realized will be a quantum leap in lowering costs.

Did you see the price tag? a 789 is substantially less expensive to acquire (40% less) than a comparable 77E - because it is so much cheaper to build - no US union guys driving rivets. It has 20-25% lower trip costs and CASM. It is much more comfortable from a pressure/environment point of view. Etc, etc, etc.

Yes. Boeing screwed up the execution due to poor management. But don't make the mistake of talking down the plane's design.

Similarly, Eclipse screwed up the execution of Eclipse. But the plane, once mostly completed with FIKI and NG1.5, can still be good.

As for P70% that the 787 is scrapped - well - that is fantasy.

I think that P is a small fraction of 1%.

P.S. Have you seen ZA002 taxi tests? Does that look like a dud plane to you?

baron95 said...

Shadow said...

Anyone remember when the church of flyantology insisted that Eclipse was worth a minimum of $200 million if it would go into bankruptcy? Today it will sell for $40 million--$20 million in cash and the rest in notes.

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

Yep. And I was one of the ones that valued it as such. As a going concern in a pre-financial-collapse environment it was worth that much. As a non-going concern in Ch7 and in a post market collapse, it is selling at a discount.

Just like Wachovia had a market cap of $30B in 2007 and was sold for $2B in 2008. So what? All assets got discounted and GA assets got discounted the most.

I see no inconsistencies between the valuation then and the sale now.

GM, Chrysler, Wachovia, etc all got a hair cut. So did the Eclipse assets.

Valuations are not static - haven't you understood that? Check the current market value of your home or 401K ;) ;)

baron95 said...

And Eclipse EA500 WILL appreciate if they are effectively supported from where they are now.

AND they will put pressure on new and used Mustangs.

C U Next Tuesday said...

From the 'Oh no, not again,' file.

Anonymous Bloggers Outed?
A judge’s ruling could make it easier for targets of Internet invective to identify hecklers and sue them.

New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden ordered Google to identify an anonymous blogger who published photos of former fashion model Liskula Cohen alongside captions such as “ho,” “psychotic” and other unprintable things.

“The protection of the right to communicate anonymously must be balanced against the need to assure that those persons who choose to abuse the opportunities presented by this medium can be made to answer for such transgressions,” Judge Madden said.

Cohen’s lawyer said that he plans to sue the blogger as soon as Google provides the identifying information. He said that he and his client are “happy that the court recognizes that the Internet is not a place where people can freely defame people.”

Not surprisingly, the blogger’s lawyer had a different reaction. She asserted that her client’s statements were typical of chatter “in comments sections, on Twitter, on blogs” and that the ruling could have “potentially damaging implications for free speech on the Internet.”

What does this mean? Companies tormented by anonymous bloggers (including employees) may now find it easier to obtain IP and e-mail addresses for those behind the comments. Those who try to hide behind the web’s supposed cloak of anonymity may soon find themselves exposed.

This case certainly won’t be the last word on this issue. Stay tuned to see how this plays out.

baron95 said...

CW said... HBC has only laid off 25% of its workforce, compared to about 50% for Cessna

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

Yes. HBC got BEHIND the curve big time. Their CEO told all employees this week that they messed up and that they will have significant job action soon - i.e. fire another 25%+.

I can't believe you are holding them up as being better managed than Cessna.

This is not the way to do it - slow bleed of your workforce while always being behind the curve.

Cessna's decisive and apparently right sized action was the right response.

HBC is in real trouble. See my post above. Dark Horizon is in trouble, pistons are in trouble, Preemies are in trouble, King Airs are selling due to refreshed line with new engines and flight decks.

Incidentally, Cessna was able to move faster/bigger because a good chunk of their workforce was liberated (i.e. not unionized).

baron95 said...

C U Next Tuesday said...What does this mean?
-----------------------

Nothing really. Simply that anonymity is no substitute for civility or responsibility.

If you commit a crime or civil damages while anonymous, the injured party has the right to try to identify you and bring you to justice.

As it should be.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Did not intend to suggest better run than Cessna Baron, I have made it clear that I think Cessna is the best run GA business on the planet and I still think that.

I only was out to point out that HBC was purchased for about the same amount of money spent and owed on the Eclipse program, and to compare the relative position of HBC in the market.

Yes, HBC will have to layoff more due to the continuing slowdown in orders and delayed deliveries.

If you review my previous comments over the past few months, I originally felt that the layoffs were too much too soon, turns out Cessna was right and I was wrong.

The post above though was nothing more than a comment on the economics, not about management.

HBC bought for $3.3B in '06

Columbia bought for $27M in '07

Piper bought for about $100M in '09

Eclipse potentially bought for $40M in '09

If anything, it speaks comparatively well for the valuation of Eclipse (I am surprised even though I called the amount months ago), but it is nothing like the amounts being thrown around during the CH-11 or even earluy CH-7 days.

Beedriver said...

Friction stir welding at Eclipse is not worth a cent unless it is to be used to build the EA500 or they want to go into contract welding. they do own a sophisticated machine so they could do some contract work, however I understand the system is designed primarily for one product: aircraft fuselages and thus there is a very small market

If you want to do Friction stir welding it is very available elsewhere. There are three excellent consulting houses selling friction stir welding technology as well as a number of majors like ESAB and TWI the technology is well known and understood in the material joining world and even worse it is a very niche technology that is useful only on a very small universe of parts.

airtaximan said...

"...the need to assure that those persons who choose to abuse the opportunities presented by this medium can be made to answer for such transgressions"

would be tough for Vern to prove anyone's transgressions here were more abusive than his own, really

WhyTech said...

"P.S. Have you seen ZA002 taxi tests? Does that look like a dud plane to you?"

Havent seen the tests. Can you see those composite structural flaws as it taxis by?

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

Court update:

Al Mann has invested in Eclipse Aerospace and "will likely serve as a director" of the new company.

Ken

WhyTech said...

"Al Mann has invested in Eclipse Aerospace and "will likely serve as a director" of the new company."

OMG! Here we go again! One has to wonder if Al has ever heard the expression "cut your losses."

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Al is a true believer, a good guy in my opinion, and would probably like to eventually get at least some of his previous investment back in the form of profit from the new investment.

Good for M&M in attracting that money, hopefully Al keeps a much closer eye from the BoD this time.

WhyTech said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C U Next Tuesday said...

"Al Mann has invested in Eclipse Aerospace and "will likely serve as a director" of the new company."

Hopefully that quiets the chatter, for a moment, regarding RiP & Russia money.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

CU Next Tuesday, I was going to abbreviate your handle but I don't think the cussbot would let me get away with it - and I am afraid we don't know you well enough to know whether or not it would be an accurate moniker. ;^)

Al's investment begs the question as to whether or not it is a recent decision (as in past 72 hours or so) or part of the plan for weeks/months - not a really important piece of the overall puzzle (the why or when), but a curiosity.

Anyone care to share any insight?

WhyTech said...

"Al is a true believer, a good guy in my opinion, and would probably like to eventually get at least some of his previous investment back "

All true. Based on his Wiki bio, Al is 84 years old. It would seem that he is a bit of an optimist if "eventually" is soon enough. He is also clearly a very accomplished individual and active philanthropist. Maybe this time.

julius said...

"Al Man is a true believer..."

What about RiP - did he smell something?

If RiP isn't in the boat he will have learnt that there is a big difference between him and Al!

Are the products (fpj, frankenstein jet) now better?
Is someone replacing the stupid (low cost) Garmin 400 solution in AVIO NG 1.5?

That's a piece of info similar to that of Boeing that Z...2 is also able taxi and giving the impression that everything is ok right now!


Julius

julius said...

Ken,

thanks for your court update!
You are going to follow up the outcome of the court?

Good night (please that is not ironical - I am in the z+2 zone)!

Julius

airtaximan said...

MAN!

Cool twist.

Maybe they'll bring back Vern.

Kudos and congrats to M&M for finding the money... this deserves real applause.

Ken Meyer said...

The judge has just approved the sale of the Eclipse assets to EA.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Offer made - Check

Offer approved and accepted - Check

Al Mann is back in.

All in all, shaping up to be a pretty good day for the Faithful. Congrats!

When are funds due to the court?

What kind of promises are being made re: parts and service?

WhyTech said...

"All in all, shaping up to be a pretty good day for the Faithful. Congrats!"

I guess. But, when one zooms out to see the whole story, bizzaro at best! Sure is a lot of unwelcome "baggage" that comes with ownership of this acft.

baron95 said...

Al Mann - Geez.

Is this a desperate attempt to improve his "legacy" by showing another successful venture in his waning years?

I love it that he invested. GA needs more suckers to fund the losses.

But what the heck - aren't his heirs going to try to declare him incompetent?

How much is he burning - err investing this time?

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet writes, "All in all, shaping up to be a pretty good day for the Faithful. Congrats!"

Thanks. I think you're exactly right.

"When are funds due to the court?"

The sale must close within 10 days. The Trustee indicated he wants to close by 8/28.

Whytech says, "Sure is a lot of unwelcome "baggage" that comes with ownership of this acft."

Actually, I see it the opposite way. I think what we had before was a good aircraft hampered by inept and not always forthright management. The company was itself hampered by its enormous debt load.

Well, now we've gotten rid of much of that baggage. Maintenance options have already increased. The company's debt load has dramatically decreased. And there is new management in place that understands intimately the concerns of owners. It remains to be seen how well they make out, but I say give 'em a chance.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet--Gray's sale objection was handled by the parties agreeing to work in good faith on an agreement regarding access to the intellectual property but only as regards Gray's two aircraft.

Ken

WhyTech said...

"It remains to be seen how well they make out, but I say give 'em a chance."

Ken, no one here is standing in your way. Here is the key to success:

"One of the large tasks ahead for EA ... is generating some level of credibility and trust with owners specifically and the GA community more broadly. "

baron95 said...

Yes - I agree with Ken. What baggage?

No debt other than the $20M note (any info on the structure of that?).

No contractual obligations to vendors, customers, tax authorities, etc.

One guy obviously interested in continue to fund the venture.

All the assets (DJ planes, WIP planes, parts on hand, TC, IP, SW, tooling).

SBs ready for NG 1.5, ETT, FIKI, and almost done for tires.

Owners have already had several months to go through denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance of their loss and now see this as a welcome rescue - so good will should be there.

There is no negative baggage. If this closes and they get going it is 100% positive development for owners from where they were last month.

With Mann behind it, it is unlikely that they will not do upgrades for lack of funding. If he paid $20M he prob is putting another $20M in the pot.

I say Ken's plane just went up by double the amount I suggested earlier - 20% now, another 20-30% after it gets upgraded fully.

Looks like Ken will be flying his EA500 for quite some time after all.

I wonder why it will take over a week to close. I'd imagine that all paperwork would be ready to go, to close withing 24-48 hours.

I want to see this thing up and running.

baron95 said...

I predict that Shane Price will not be posting much on this thread.

He is probably busy deleting all the "reliable information" from his inbox.

If only we knew what he knows!!! ;)

WhyTech said...

"Looks like Ken will be flying his EA500 for quite some time after all."

Flaming optimist! Makes Al look downright conservative.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron is there a particular reason you are being such an ass towards Shane?

There has been a great deal of negativity here lately, some of which you have complained about, but some of which you have also instigated totally, completely and without provocation on your own.

Can we let it go and just see what develops over the next days and weeks? Maybe you could even let Shane oh I don't know, maybe speak for himself?

I am surprised that this effort went smoothly, as I bet are more than a few - although admittedly there are any number of things which could happen in the next ten or so days, just like actually happened the last time this looked to be a done deal only 7 months ago.

I was apparently quite wrong when I opined that M&M had the least chance of 'winning' based on the chatter I was getting which was largely independent of Shane but which did appear to corroborate what he was hearing.

Well a few months later and here we are.

Could be that interference from regulatory agencies got in the way of foreign investments, could be cold feet. It is likely we may never really know - and if M&M close in a week or 10 days it will frankly be moot. At that point, the hard part begins for this next stage and we will again, I predict, have much to talk about.

This constat nittering about Shane is truly distracting and frankly beginning to piss me off.

WhyTech said...

"And there is new management in place"

Will be interesting to see who it is that is charged with making something out of this can of worms. Management selection is most important decision EA owners will make - this will swamp most other decisions in terms of impact on success. Hopefully will be some fresh, competent, relevant folks and not the same old same old.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

WT - I too am interested in the 'new management' structure, very interested.

This choice will determine in probably more ways than any other, whether this is the beginning stage of developing a viable business or just another act in a long drawn out passion play (think Herman's Hermits Henry the VIIIth, 'second verse same as the first').

Ken Meyer said...

Baron: "I wonder why it will take over a week to close."

We don't know that it will. We only know that the APA calls for the closing to occur *within* 10 days of the court's ruling.

Ken

WhyTech said...

"This constat nittering about Shane is truly distracting and frankly beginning to piss me off."

Second that motion.

baron95 said...

CW - regarding Shane - sorry, but I had to dish out some "consequences" for his latest behavior ;) ;)

I think it is important that we no longer allow Shane to come in here and peddle his "in-box" as fact and to hide behind that to spill hatred towards the EA500 and the owners.

So, with your indulgence, you shoot a couple of barbs every now and them to make sure the casual readers know he has no credibility (in my book anyway).

Just like every now and them I'll remind readers that Fred likes to talk about Hitler and how the 9/11 attacks were sponsored by the US Govmt.

Yes - I know this is distracting and annoying, so other than the two exceptions, I'll try to be on topic.

Luckily, there will be actual developments in the near future to talk about.

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet asks, "Baron is there a particular reason you are being such an ass towards Shane?"

Amusing double standard here. Shane has been dishing out one nasty attack after another, and not a single critic calls him on it. But Baron points that the Irishman's fountain of knowledge has run dry, and he's committed an unforgivable sin.

The truth is that Shane has missed on practically every recent prediction he's made, and his so-called sources have been nearly universally wrong in recent weeks.

It's a fact, not a cut.

Ken

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Shane has been kind of awful as of late. He claims facts with no proof, his post are laced with hatred for the Eclipse Owners, mostly Ken. His biggest factual claim recently was that Ken lost a lot of money. Great. So did a lot of people this year. I just seem to think that once he stopped moderating the blog, he stopped caring about how truthful/factual his posts were. But it is not uncommon to see his stuff driven by hate. Heck an entire post was dedicated to hating on Vern. But I mean this is a blog, so you cant expect everyone to know what they are talking about.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No double standard Ken, you have a cadre of folks who take up your cause when others are picking on you - a cocophany of remarkably similar voices in fact, why should the same not be afforded to Shane?

Has he been wrong? Yes, so have I, so have you, so has Baron.

Has Shane spoken confidently from a position of what he believes to be accurate inside knowledge and pissed people off? Yes, so have I, so have you, so has Baron.

The difference here IMO is a near constant thing over the past week or two, from multiple posters and even more monikers.

I asked if we could move on, the answer obviously is no, too much ego remains invested on one side, so be it.

PlaneTruth said...

ColdWet / WhyTech said... This constat nittering about Shane is truly distracting and frankly beginning to piss me off.

Oh, please... You guys spout all kinds of negativity towards the faithful and it's no problem. Shane comes in here and tells us all about his crystal ball and spiritual communion, and we call him on his lack of knowledge and understanding. He deserved every bit.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Echo, echo, echo, echo...

Like clock work.

Next?

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Yes Ron, several did, but not enough to launch it.

As you may recall, we figured that in order to make it a reasonable effort we needed about a dozen adopters, although there were many discussions it did not rise to the level required.

I did make a few friends and business connections though as a result. It also gave me a much clearer insight into the predicament many owners found themselves in, which has resulted in me taking a far more sympathetic tack towards most.

airtaximan said...

wow, back to the "hate" thing....

its boring
it says nothing really

...except perhaps someone's desire to characterize a difference of opinion as "emotional"... which is a pretty sad commentary on the person dismissing as hatred.

airtaximan said...

CW...
"It also gave me a much clearer insight into the predicament many owners found themselves in.."

Really?
What surprised you?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It is not so much that anything surprised me ATM, it was more how it was expressed, the genuine anguish and concern over the uncertainty at the time.

I mean hell, I was talking to guys thinking about effectively cannibalizing their orphaned ~$1M jet, to build a $1M experimental - THAT is pretty heavy.

I will not name names but I have had some very constructive discussions with many Eclipse owners about the SportJet concept, as well as STC's and some business proposals as well.

They are, in large part, a successful bunch, aviation enthusiasts mostly, and therein lies the problem, blinded by lust so to speak and several were painfully honest about that - but they also, by and large, really do like the plane, warts and all and mostly took a pragmatic attitude towards the whole thing.

In hindsight, and if today's purchase is consummated next week and M&M attract a good crew and execute reasonably well, the wait-and-see approach will pay off. Not as well as Baron is suggesting IMO, but it will pay off.

The 800 lb gorilla in the room is the freshness date limitation, I am very interested in seeing how M&M plan to address that.

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet says, "The 800 lb gorilla in the room is the freshness date limitation, I am very interested in seeing how M&M plan to address that."

They have said the fatigue test article is in good shape, the rig is ready to resume testing, and the new company is committed to restarting the testing forthwith.

Since the company's "raw materials" for some months will be delivered aircraft and almost-delivered aircraft, it is very much in their own interest to have the life limitation raised.

Ken

WhyTech said...

"CWMOR and WhyTech Irritant."

Far more amusing than irritating! Great entertainment if you dont have a dog in the fight.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

My interest is, not surprisingly, a bit more technical and programmatic than that Ken but it is good news the article survived and can resume testing.

Any word on how far along, whether FAA will allow credit for testing under previous TC holder, and costs?

If it can be treated as an extension to the TC limitation it is far better than if NewCo has to effectively seek incremental extensions via SB, they might not make it before the early planes expire.

Deep Blue said...

B95 said:

"Did you see the price tag? a 789 is substantially less expensive to acquire (40% less) than a comparable 77E - because it is so much cheaper to build - no US union guys driving rivets. It has 20-25% lower trip costs and CASM. It is much more comfortable from a pressure/environment point of view. Etc, etc, etc."

B95:

You are speculating as least as much as any of us; Gad still has you on the ropes.

Costs? How would any of us know? It's all pro forma.

At any rate, the 787 is nothing but a last-generation city bus with a few gizmos to impress/mislead.

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I hope that Bob and SportJet do well also Ron, the plane is really pretty nice and Bob does an awful lot with a very small dedicated team (which is my preference as well).

baron95 said...

Deep Blue said... At any rate, the 787 is nothing but a last-generation city bus with a few gizmos to impress/mislead.
---------------------

Why are you working so hard to me moved into the "Fred" column - i.e. those that spew so much incoherent non-sense that you don't read anymore.

Your posts used to be very high quality, with good insight, and based on sound technical critical thinking.

Why did you give that up to just incoherent zingers that are not even funny?

Come-on!!! We can have an intelligent discussion on the 787 and EA500. Neither is perfect and neither is all bad. Both were mismanaged.

Most likely the 787 will be a profitable airliner for its operators for decades to come.

baron95 said...

CW said..., the plane is really pretty nice and Bob does an awful lot with a very small dedicated team
--------------------

Come on CW. Bob seems to be a nice guy and all, but please be straight.

Do you believe for a second that that plane will be faster than a CJ2+ and burn 350 lbs/hr at FL280?!!!???

Is this for real?

Would you recommend your sister sends him a check for that plane?

baron95 said...

Gunner: Eclipse Sucks - Epic is da bomb - I'm sending them $2M

CW: Eclipse Sucks - SportJet is da bomb - I'm sending them $1.xM.

Others: Eclipse Sucks - Adam is da bomb - guy that gets things done - I'm sending them my $3M.

Only one problem....

They all SUCK MUCH MORE than Eclipse, which got 260 planes in the air with a TC.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron when you get back on your meds and are contributing again I'll reply - I'm tired of this pointlessly abrasive crap.

Perhaps you can check the recent exchanges between Ken and I for an example.

fred said...

Baron :

A brilliant(one of the best worldwide in my view) US Economist said once :

"The best way to be convinced that americans aren't stupid is to ask them any details on Sports ..."

guess you rarely went over the sport-page !

fred said...

ColdWet :

Yes , you are 200% right ...

the best option for most : Wait and See !

it is probably the way to have things paying off

still ; the MAIN question remain :

"Can $ of real profit turn out ?"

i guess that the niche is really small , the maintenance market of even smaller , the challenges to overcome are multiples ...

if you combine that with the end of "Consumers spending based Economy" we are living now ...

i would say the wake-up might be difficult !

never been such a golden time to be in a hurry to take ALL your time ...

fred said...

Deep-Blue :

i think you may be right ...!

i wouldn't be surprised if B-787 will become an other iteration of some kind of Concorde ...

at the same time : Too early and Too late ...

anyway , like with Fpj : Time will tell !

airtaximan said...

Hey all, no check rides today, so its going to be a great day!

Reflecting on some of the posts here... Baron stands out in a weird sort of way. Normally he applaudes capital being thrown around increasing transaction cycles and "improving" the economy.

In this case, he calls Al Mann a sucker.

As with a lot of things, it takes time and money - and that takes folks who believe...

Ken and Al Man both go in this category.

I think we should give them credit, and not call them "suckers".

Let's hope for a good outcome, and also hope we can continue the debate regarding the value of the plane, the chances of success, and the challenges... openly and honestly.

fred said...

ATM :

I think we should give them credit, and not call them "suckers". ...

you are 100% right !

at least they were true-to-themselves enough to put their own money into the thing ...!

Black Tulip said...

Glory be! The Red Sea has parted and the Eclipse Followers will be lead to the Promised Land. (Well maybe it was the Rio Grande that dried up.) Let's hope these long suffering folks get some support and relief.

airtaximan said...

Sign up for avweb, and listen to Mike Press talk about Eclipse Aerospace live online...

- profit first volume second
- the main goal is to get back into production (not first goal, main goal)
- they have bought some EA50's back from owners, themselves already
- I thought I heard him say there's a buy-back plan for the plane
- they do not know what the price of the plane will be, new, but they ay it will be the lowest cost
- claims TBM or Mustang production rates

Said some smart things about gaining trust and rebuilding the brand, and customers are not necissarily "on board" and are taking a wait and see.

Enjoy!

Ken Meyer said...

You can hear it here.

Ken

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

Arrange for some public speaking training for Mike Press. He averages six 'uh's per sentence. Your spokesman and leader should convey himself better.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Talk of returning to production, even at more 'realistic' volumes is troubling - the capital requirements are enormous, the skill set is limited and in short supply (no really, even in this economy the folks with the required knowledgebase are hard to come by), and it will be a distraction from supporting the fielded aircraft.

Holland has been quoted saying they will restart production in 'about a year' - I was hoping we would get some time under our belts before this kind of thing started flowing but this is not looking good.

In order to be remotely able to meet this schedule (plus a year), they need to start on that effort right now, and with a significant team (millions/yr in labor alone, plus software, plus testing, plus, plus, plus).

Are the Faithful concerned about this? Didn't Press say only a few weeks ago there was no real schedule for returning to production? Didn't he say they were going to focus on supporting the fleet? His statement cannot, in my mind, be reconciled with Mason's 'about a year'- they are 180 out, and this is a major subject.

As I previously said, any talk of returning to production in less than 2 years should be a warning flag, it will be a tremendous resource and financial drain (will take probably another quarter billion dollars).

Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet, as I understand the plan, the company will not restart production until they have had an opportunity to lock in favorable supply contracts, evaluate the marketplace, and validate the profitability of production at an appropriate price point.

The timeframe to do all that has been variously stated in news reports, but I suspect internally the company has a timeframe much more in line with what you're thinking.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks Ken, a very clear reply.

For the record, I totally understand the need to create buzz, I don't begrudge anyone channeling a little P.T. Barnum - but M&M need to ensure that the message remains in synch regardless of which one is speaking - this is an area, along with fundraising, that Eclipse had truly mastered - only Vern or the authorized spokesman spoke, with very limited exceptions - kept the message TOTALLY under control.

The problem with bulding a little buzz Barnum style like this, is these statements become part of the record, and will be seen, right or wrong, as a missed goal. This is why I always work up front to establish a realistic expectation with my clients.

Better to underpromise and overdeliver than the reverse, as we have seen a whole lot of examples of recently.

Ken Meyer said...

I agree. IMHO Eclipse Aerospace has reached the point where they would benefit from having a PR spokesperson to manage their message, keep it on track and avoid crossed-signals.

Ken

Shane Price said...

Hmmm, this one kinda makes sense, Snippet

Word reaches me that Alan Klapmeier, recently 'released' by Cirrus has been talking to his good pal, Mason Holland.

Seems there's a chance he might take on the challenge of running the M&M show....

Now that's what I call an interesting rumor.

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Funny you mention than Shane, I was wondering if that might not be a next step for Alan as I read about his departure from Cirrus.

If he has jets on the brain, and a desire to stick it to certain folks, this would be a step that makes sense. He would bring some much needed gravitas to the M&M show. If truly motivated to beat another program senseless (not to suggest he is/would be, just saying) and given the appropriate empowerment and resources (read that cubic dollars) Alan could do great things - but he could do that anywhere he decides to go.

I know there are other programs though that are also very interested in Alan's skillset and reputation.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

Why? You are doing a fine job!

Shane Price said...

Ken,

I'm a Christian, so I don't hate anyone.

What I tried hard to expose were the underlying falsehoods at the core of what was Eclipse Aviation Corporation. In the process I've annoyed people like you, who thought EAC could do no wrong. Well, you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.

On balance, I'm happy that I've done what I set out to do. I believe that 'we', the critics, offered a valid and useful early warning that all was not right at EAC.

Some potential victims even managed to escape in time.

Sadly I know also that you will promote Eclipse Aerospace, ad nauseam, regardless of their track record.

Which is what, exactly?

Mike Press is the one of the VERY few people who made money out of EAC. He did so by parroting Vern's propaganda in the form of his 'reports', the only purpose of which was to part the gullible from their cash. His brokerage dealt, fundamentally, in 'futures' and his customers suffered the consequences. Hopefully he learned lessons from this, but only time will tell.

Mason Holland is a businessman who's only visible connection with aviation is the fact that he lost a deposit on an FPJ. He's a victim, in other words.

Al Mann has an FPJ, but it's probably been the most expensive 6 place aircraft (non military) in the history of aviation. Other than that, all he demonstrated over the years of his involvement in EAC was an almost comical inability to control Vern Raburn.

Now, explain to me how an (ex) fighter jock, a Ponzi scam victim and a billionaire (non aviation) inventor will rescue the largest financial crater in General Aviation, in this or any other century?

If you can, I'll be happy to ship you my toy E500.

Keep it alongside your FPJ, as a reminder of what a complete aircraft looks like...

Shane
PS It's got fabulous fuel burn too.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Where is Reginald Denny when you need him?

RonRoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PlaneTruth said...

Shane Price said... Hmmm, this one kinda makes sense, Snippet

Word reaches me that Alan Klapmeier, recently 'released' by Cirrus has been talking to his good pal, Mason Holland.

Seems there's a chance he might take on the challenge of running the M&M show....


I had a long talk with Alan a few weeks ago, just before he went public on his fund raising trek. When the announcement was made that he was no longer pursuing the Cirrus Jet, I had a conversation with a friend that knows both Alan and Mason very well about just this idea. He brought it up to Mason, and posted it on the Cirrus Owners' website. I don't know that it's true, but I know where it started, and it makes perfect sense to me.

Shane Price said...

RonRoe,

I've tried everything to get past Ken's 'rose tinted' vision.

That fact that I'm 'reduced' to sarcasm shows you what hard work it's been.

Jesus used many tools to achieve his objectives, including bitterness. One of his last recorded utterances on the Cross was of being forsaken by his God.

I was simply pointing out that I don't hate anyone.

Truly.

When you have a little spare time, contemplate the emptiness of that emotion, which is dark, inward looking and ultimately futile.

So, rather than 'shooting the messenger' which seems to be a favorite pastime around here, can you point out a single factual inaccuracy in my last post? Even better, can you do so without engaging in sophistry, which is a favorite of 'our' Ken?

Also, be careful with the Alan K rumor. Remember my 'Snippet' rules. It's chatter from the inbox, usually only single sourced. Some of it is rubbish, some turns out to have a kernel of truth.

And a few have been pure gold...

Shane

Black Tulip said...

Now that Jesus has been brought into the discussion of Eclipse, let me add a note. Newly discovered Scriptures reveal Jesus' comment to His Disciples at The Last Supper, "All you boys better get on this side of the table or you're not going to be in the picture."

airtaximan said...

Klapmeier is going to run ECA...

OOOoooo....! Ken's plane just jumped another 10% in value......

baron95 said...

The Klapmeiers, have a nice strategy of steady and methodical improvement of their product line.

Many hold them up as a GA success story. I admire them for relentlessly pursuing their vision and achieving some measure of results.

However, in the end, we have to remember, that like all other independent GA airplane companies, they have not achieved profitability, and had to take an investor cram-down and be ousted by the new owners.

I don't think EA needs a Alan K. He is a "new program" visionary. Unless they want to make a go at the EA400, I think they need a new type of manager. They need the types that scrounge up to run/support Aerostar, Piper, Mooney, MU-2. It is a different animal they need at this time.

Now - a dual track, with Alan in charge of EA500 evolution and EA400 launch, and a sourcing/servicing monkey in charge of fleet upgrade and support would be nice.

But do they have the capital to attempt the former? I doubt it. So they just need the teamster/monkey boss-type.

baron95 said...

grease monkey that is.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

With their stated 'main goal' of resuming production, M&M need an experienced executive, someone like I suggested previously (Schuster of HBC, Bass of Piper, Brian Barents or yes, Alan Klapmeier).

Might be able to get by with an experienced engineering leader, Steve Hanvey (formerly Beech and Piaggio) comes to mind, maybe even Dr. Masefield (although he is no doubt very comfortable back in Switzerland), but the real need is an able C-level exec with significant and hopefully recent experience.

That person, whoever it ends up being, should be supported by a very strong service and support type with regards to dealing with support, and that should NOT be a marketing type, an experienced MRO or service and support engineering type (yes, someone like me, although I am not applying and am probably not under consideration for obvious and legitimate reasons).

That's what I would recommend.

fred said...

BT :

be real careful !

After the Hebrew 12 Tribes crossed the Red Sea , Moses (moshe , shlomo, moïse , mosheïle , moussa = all the same) Had to wander into the dessert for 40 years ...

anyone who had seen the Idol named "golden veal" was to never set a foot on the promised land !

any coincidence with a more recent history should be avoided !!

Ps: i am NOT a christian and i hate everyone ! ;-)

PlaneTruth said...

Shane said... Remember my 'Snippet' rules. It's chatter from the inbox, usually only single sourced. Some of it is rubbish, some turns out to have a kernel of truth.

Oh, now that is ripe coming from Shane. We've said that all along. That seems to have just surfaced from your subconscious.

fred said...

Atm :

Ken's plane just jumped another 10% in value...... ...

ONLY 10% ?

i thought everybody was supposed to dance "Cumbaya" ...

ps: 10% of what ? aaaah value ... soon it is going so much that i wonder if anyone will afford it ...!

baron95 said...

Shane said...Now, explain to me how an (ex) fighter jock, a Ponzi scam victim and a billionaire (non aviation) inventor will rescue the largest financial crater in General Aviation, in this or any other century?
--------------------

That is a fair question - and I think it is a proper counterpoint way of framing it.

The issue Shane is that I think you are stuck with this idea of rescue as in making Eclipse into Vern's original claims.

The discussion has moved. Success and "rescue" is to be measured as a "reasonably effective program" to upgrade and support the fleet, and, conditions permitting, resume production at some point in the future at very low volumes.

I really wish you'd join the PRESENT DISCUSSION - not keep repeating that Eclipse will never meet the original promises.

P.S. you are being too kind to Mann - he is no billionaire.

baron95 said...

ATM said...Baron ... Normally he applaudes capital being thrown around increasing transaction cycles and "improving" the economy....

In this case, he calls Al Mann a sucker.

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

Oh - don't take me wrong. I applaud people who have accumulated wealth throwing their money into GA in their waning years.

Al Mann's money has achieved a lot more velocity by circulating through GA than sitting in a financial trust waiting to be collected by the heirs and the estate tax reaper.

So long as he views it as a donation, he is not a sucker. If he thinks he will create a a new aviation empire and make money, he IS a sucker.

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Talk of returning to production, even at more 'realistic' volumes is troubling
------------------

Depends on what the definition of the word production is.

If they mean completing the DJ planes and the other planes they acquired to final spec and selling them as factory new/refurbished with warranty, I think it is a good goal.

That is what Aerostar calls "production" these days. That is what RAM calls "production" of their engines.

I think they should pursue that.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Trouble is that is not what they mean. Restarting production means producing new jets.

Given the admission by folks in the know that the plane is not really economically producible in its' current state, and that profitability is awfully important this go around, that means a lot of rework for producibility, as well as other improvements and needed fixes.

Restarting production represents a massive resource requirement (people, money and time) that I fear will take away from efforts to support the fielded aircraft which is why I find it troubling.

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet: "Given the admission by folks in the know that the plane is not really economically producible in its' current state"

Not so fast.

That's not what the "folks in the know" I talk to have concluded.

The cost of production is knowable--not to the last nickel for sure. But we know (some of us, anyway) what the Bill of Materials was under Eclipse and what the labor hours in each aircraft added up to. It's not a long stretch to make some reasonable assumptions about what those costs would be under a restart scenario.

Don't you think they've done that???

Ken

baron95 said...

Agreed CW.

That is why I was suggesting a dual track.

Unless they can effectively upgrade and support the existing planes, they won't have a price floor for the type. Therefore it will be impossible to sell "new" jets for anything close to what they'll cost to build.

Conversely, the prospects of new production will make present owners more confident in the type's future and make them more willing to upgrade.

I understand that there is a positive feedback loop between the two.

But I agree with you, that worst case scenario, is that they don't have the resources to restart production, and end up diverting the little they have to that. That is the surest way to end up with a big crater.

But I am sure they know that.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I didn't say they didn't know what it costs Ken, I said it is not economically producible as designed.

Vern (CEO) said it, Peter Reed (CFO) said it, Peg said it privately (COO), and RiP (CEO) said it in the lead up to his failed 363 bid. If those aren't folks in the know, I can't think really think of who might be.

A design that takes thousands more man hours to produce than the competition, when reportedly 'optimized' for high-rate production, will need to be substantially retooled if not redesigned in order to be profitable on a much lower volume (economics 101).

That is what I am talking about, that is the risk. Every plan that involved anyone with deep insight into the challenges at EAC V1.0 or V2.0 focused on costs to produce.

To rearrange the production line, tooling, and training to go from a 'high-rate' concept to a boutique or low-rate production concept is a not-insignifiucant effort. I believe it to be a very big challenge.

The Eclipse was designed for certain tooling concepts, and certain assembly methods that may not translate well from 'high-rate' to 'low-rate'.

And that is ONE of what I see as about a dozen major risk areas.

baron95 said...

What makes the EA500 particularly "expensive to produce"?

Lets please ignore sunk costs on tooling and factory for now.

Once the rigs and FSW tools are set up for high volume production, running low volumes through them should not materially increase LABOR costs.

Is it the need for traveled work due to supplier quality of parts? Is it the need for out of process rework due to low tolerances? Is it small working spaces due to airframe size?

What makes an EA500 more expensive to build than a Baron, Meridian, TBM, Mustang? All these planes supposedly can be built profitably for $1.2, $2.2, $3.0, $2.8M respectively.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Put another way, let's use some admittedly gross numbers, we'll paint with a big brush for expediency's sake.

Eclipse took in about $2B in investments, deposits and payments, and left about $800B in trade receivables, for a total of $2.8B

They produced 260 planes.

The 'average' cost of a new aircraft program would normally be between $350-500M depending in which company it is, and I think it only honest to give EAC an additional $100M here because they were also building a new company.

So let's say the development program was about $600M. Then let's say the fiasco's with Williams and Avidyne added another $200M, that is $800B, or roughly twice what a normal development program would cost at an established OEM.

That still leaves $2B to divide across 260 aircraft.

Simple math here suggests each plane that left the factory represented approximately $7.7M AFTER crediting NRE - that is a very long way from profitable at $1.3M, or even $2.3M.

In fact, if I am off by $1B, $2.3M selling price STILL results in a loss of $1.5M a copy.

Now if that is based on labor and tooling costs when 'optimized' for high-rate production, it can only get worse if no changes are made, and rate goes down.

baron95 said...

Quest Lab Baron (they also have the highest time Eclipse, I think) wend down near TEB this morning - crew survived.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Sorry $800B above should be $800M, we are talking Eclipse, not Obama.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, my put on the likely villains for EA-500 costs are:

Parts cost (EAC parts, like formers, stringers, frames, skins, etc.) - this thing is exquisitely engineered, to the point of excess in some areas

FSW - I am not convinced that FSW added any cost savings to this (exclusive of the machine itself), the tooling, labor and operational expenses probably contributed to bloated costs

Overly integrated - probably results in significant troubleshooting effort during build, pre-acceptance, production flight test, etc. - no fault found and an inability to accurately troubleshoot is very spendy very fast

Needless re-engineering - I suspect that there was never, in reality, a single production spec, so there were drawings, and parts, and inspection, and tests, chasing the aircraft all the way through the process, in some cases to the runway itself

Vendor issues - While it is very easy, and I think mostly correct, to blame EAC for the problems it had with vendors, there were quality issues from vendors that no doubt created rework or travelled work, but thousands of hours per plane?

The fundamental question that needs to be answered is, exclusive of NRE, just how far off was predicted vs actual parts cost, vendor cost, labor cost, and certification (pink slip) costs?

My simplistic look suggest perhaps a factor of 3 - that is simply inexcusable and points to a major breakdown 'somewhere' in the system and while I suspect labor costs are a contributor, even using $100-120/hr for burdened labor costs on the floor, it takes A LOT of hours to add $1M.

Other thoughts?

baron95 said...

I'm sorry CW, but trying to tie in the cost to produce the last or next EA500 to the amount invested is a futile exercise.

Let me use an example to illustrate.

Lets say Eclipse spent $1B in Avio SW Development costs. And lets say they spend $1B in FSW development and tooling costs. That is your $2B.

Those are sunk costs.

Assume the SW (1.5 is done) and FSW is done. So those two just have normal and ordinary costs to maintain.

So regardless of what they cost to built, sunk, their unit cost contribution to the last/next plane built is negligible.

The items that count are:
1 - Parts/BOM
2 - Labor hours to build
3 - Factory/Ops overhead (energy, insurance, tooling maintenance, etc)

I can't see ANY way to tie any of these costs to what was "invested" or "received" or "owed" by Eclipse over the past 11 years.

I restate my question. On item 2 above. What makes the last/next Eclipse 500 so labor intensive to build compared to other similarly sized planes like Barons, Meridians, Mustangs?

PlaneTruth said...

ColdWet said... Eclipse took in about $2B in investments

Did I miss something? What are you including in this number?

baron95 said...

Oooops CW, our posts crossed, I see that you started to answer the questions on costs.

Again, I'm looking at the costs excluding sunk/NREs, and you did provide some insight on that.

But like you, I think if you add it all up, it's hard to come up with much more than 500-1,000 hrs labor deficit vs competition. That is hardly fatal if other costs are in line.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

PT - Investments, deposits, and payments, as I explained - but I am going from memory, and as I said, painting with a broad brush - I would say +/- 10%.

baron95 said...

Freddy Oh - Down above 9,500.

End of world is looking a bit iffy, huh?

If EA really bought some frames on the cheap, and they turn them around, that can be a money maker. I think asset prices in GA and EA500 in particularly prob hit a trough.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron I seem to recall labor numbers being revealed that were very much out of line compared to the competition, 10,000+ manhours or the like, but I simply cannot recall where/when I saw it.

I want to attribute it to the participation from Peter Reed a few months back, but cannot say with certainty. An extra 5,000 manhours would have an impact, as much as $500K.

Black Tulip said...

How many believe new Eclipse 500s will be produced? The Newco will sweep the factory floor in Albuquerque to crank out a few, and then there are refurbs of Dayjet and other ships. I don't think the Eclipse population will expand beyond that.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

What I included in my head Baron, but did not include in my point about parts cost, is I suspect a VERY high scrap rate during FSW and assembly.

EAC reportedly had unrealistically high tolerance parts requirements (dimensional and temperature requirements).

Scrapping a $30 hydroformed stringer every 30th or 40th doesn't hurt Beech or Cessna, but scrapping every third $800 6-axis machined rib could add to costs in a hurry.

The other intrinsic costs that straddles our mutually supported defintions is the overhead of having 800-1000 production staffers when only building 100-150 a/c per year. True it probably only represents $5M in 'extra' expense, and was only present for the last 3-4 years ($20M at best in my opinion), including energy and infrastructure costs to support unneeded staff was likely a contributor.

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet said, "I said it is not economically producible as designed. Vern (CEO) said it, Peter Reed (CFO) said it, Peg said it privately (COO), and RiP (CEO) said it in the lead up to his failed 363 bid."

I don't recall Vern or Peg ever saying the plane could not be profitably produced. Can you direct me to where you saw that?

As for Peter Reed, probably you know he was instrumental in the Friedman plan which included restarting production.

Roel Pieper committed millions to buy the assets because his interpretation was that the plane could be profitably produced. He signed onto the Eclipse Aerospace plan for similar reasons, though he was subsequently separated from the new company.

It's not really rocket science. We know what the parts were costing and how much labor was being used. The old company commissioned a study of what those numbers could be brought down to. While there are many unknowns (including what price the market might accept and at what volume), the approximate cost of production really isn't one of them.

Ken

PlaneTruth said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said... PT - Investments, deposits, and payments, as I explained - but I am going from memory, and as I said, painting with a broad brush - I would say +/- 10%.

I think you are double booking some of the numbers. I don't have the exact numbers at my fingertips, but if I recall total equity investments were on the order of $800M. That includes the $500M owed to the current debt holders today. The confusion comes from the many short term and bridge loans that were drafted. All of those loans were repaid when UBS arranged the last $500M. Add in the 260 delivered aircraft, plus lost deposits, plus what was owed vendors and perhaps you will be around $2B total. Still a big chunk.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, they all talked about labor as being a major contributor, Vern in a couple post separation interviews, RiP in his plans for the 363, Peter Reed here when pushing the Friedman plan, and Peg privately as I said.

The fact that studies were commisioned (more than once) indicates it is indeed a major contributor.

Again, I did not say it was unknown, I said it could not be economically produced as-designed (and then as-priced) - of course I meant profitably produced, as-designed, at a price point people will pay - which is the same thing you are saying.

Have you seen anything that suggests just where the projected vs. actual disconnects were?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

PT, the equity investments alone were reported to exceed $1.4B at one point (there were several early tranches alone that netted about $300M each as I recall).

Add $300-400M in payments in deposits for aircaft to that.

Again, I am going from memory here so could be off, but my point stands, even if I am off by ONE BILLLLLLLLION DOLLLLLLARS (in best Dr. Evil voice), it was still a losing proposition and points to some MAJOR problems somewhere.

Yes, that money is no longer owed, but the question is what happened and has the lesson been accurately identified and learned.

I truly am curious to figure this out.

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