Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shooting Fish in a Barrel



It was interesting to read the Eclipse Aerospace Customer Communique" last week (I guess they figure the previous owners gave the term "press releases" a bad name).

Over the past months, there has been much speculation on when (or if) production of new aircraft will resume. The new owners are cautious about that, saying it is months to years away. I don't have any idea, other than regrettably endorsing their cautious note, as it appears the market will be slow for months to come.

So, a quesion might arise, did the new owners get a good deal when they purchased the assets?

Well, that depends, on what they paid, and what they got.

The figure of $40M is used as lot, but the not so fine print is $20M in cash, plus $20M in notes.

The notes are "promises", so the real skin is $20M. (Earlier buzz had it that Al Mann put up $10M, M&M put up $5M, and somehow another $5M showed up in an unmarked bag- or something like that).

So, what came with the deal?
How about 400K square feet of floorspace?
350,000 sq ft at the main airport, and another 41,000 sq ft at a nearby satellite airport. (At $10M, that's 25 $/sq ft).

And, then there's the airplanes on the assembly line, some nearly finished, some less nearly- maybe 25-30 total. Maybe enough parts on hand to finish some of them? Or a good prelude to low-rate spares/completion delivery from suppliers. (At $10M, and say 25 planes in semi-completion, that's $400K each)

Plus another 28 or so Dayjet airplanes- earlier configurations in some cases, but still, flying assets. (At $10M, that's $357K per airplane).

And how about the flight test airplanes? I don't know if these were refurbished and delivered, or used for customer training, or demonstrators- I think there were around half a dozen of them. (Let's say five flight test airplanes- for $10M that comes out to $2M each- early models yes, but also configured for testing, a blg plus for future development exercises.

Speaking of flying airplanes, and future development exercises- how about the EA400 (aka "Conjet"). How many people did it take, and how long? Beats me. But figuring the engineering, wind tunnel, and construction time; plus avionics, engines, structure, etc, I'd say 50 people x 2 years x $100K/man-year = $10M for the design, construction, and preliminary testing. (At Least- probably double that cost in real life).

How about a captive market for service, since most of parts are not PMA'd, and will have to go through the TC holder? The best-case upgrade (already equipped with new boots and AvioNG) is 150-ish $K, probably on the long side of double that for older configurations- say they can clear $50K per mod, with 200 airplanes (260 less Dayjet, test fleet, reluctant participants), that's $10M. (Or more, with other maintenance).

Any one of these seems to be a good case for buying the assets, especially if a mutually beneficial deal was pre-arranged with Mr. Mann, for later action.

And, I've left out the TC for the EA-500. In 2002, Eclipse said it "will need a total of 'somewhere north of $300 million' to certify the Eclipse 500 and establish production...". So, figure real world, and 2010 numbers, will combine to double that to $600M, and a third of it goes to design, test and certification; that's $200M. Buying this for $10M is an outrageous bargain, IMHO. (How realistic of "stab" is that? Seems like Cirrus was looking at an additional $120M past the flying prototype stage for the Vision certification program).

Now throw in office furniture, computers, copiers.

And, FSW technology; semi-adaptable to other uses, if the layup molds are changed, such as subassmbly work for Detroit, or other airframer OEM's.

I have to admit, I think the Eclipse Aerospace owners got a heck of a bargain.

So what's the key to success? Cash flow. And what generates cash flow? Service work. Which is exactly what I expect them to concentrate on.

Restart manufacturing? I think that is a ways off- if it ever happens. Personally, I think it will. But I'm not sure when (12-30 months, I'd guess).

Or by whom. Or where.

My bet would be a different owner, but still in Albuquerque. We no doubt remember talk of the Russians or Chinese having an interest. I'm still betting on it staying in NM, regardless of where the owner is from. I think the current owners are capable, but they are probably adverse to the hefty investment -and high risk- involved with restarting production. (I suspect Al Mann is in it this time for the sort term, until the economy recovers enough for him to cash out of the airplane manufacturing game. Just a couple of years ago, Cessna paid $26M for Columbia- I like that airplane, but think the Eclipse "package" -factory floorspace, tooling, TC, aircraft and equipment inventory- is enormously more valuable).

I think there is a very good arguement to be made for buying Eclipse assets (in fact, I just recited it above). Once the GA/Bizjet market recovers, I should think a number of OEM's and investment companies would be interested in all or part of their physical assets and/or "Intellectual Property". (For example, I expected Alan Klapmeier to have an interest in acquiring the EA-400 program, after he left Cirrus, and they kept the jet program). The background of the current ownership seems more atuned to merchandising, than manufacturing. And the old adage "How do you make a small fortune in aviation? Start out with a large fortune", would seem to substantiate their priorities.

The good news, for those longing for a restart of the production line: I think the airplane really is very good, especially with the new AvioNG 1.5 configuration. Good enough, that I can't imagine it not going back into production. But that will probably take hundreads of millions of dollars- a long way from the investiment the current owners ponied up. In the mean time, I expect Eclipse Aerospace to have good cash flow with service (it sounds like they are treating the aircraft owners right)- and will probably experience an even better ROI if they can sell the company once the market is strong enough to justify a restart of production.

Still, it will be intriguing to watch. Low rate production might not be that expensive to restart. I believe there was a number going around of 7,000 hours to build an Eclipse. With a shop rate of maybe $60 per hour with overhead and benefits, that would seem doable, and falls right in line with the blog's earlier guestimates of labor cost being about 1/4 of the cost of production. (Engines being another 1/4 also seems about right, airframe components being about 1/4, and avionics and systems being the remaining 1/4; all more or less. Since the suppliers are already tooled up, resuming delivery, even at a low rate, might not be too difficult). I expect the Eclipse show to be interesting for some time to come.

And it is great news that the aircraft owners have factory support once again!

88 comments:

Phil Bell said...

Floating Cloud,
I relish your fresh insights- you have exquisitely captured a common observation I believe most of us have experienced:
"On the other hand, it is actually more fun to be unruly!"

I think there are many readers, who do not post, out of concern that they would be insulted and irriatated.

Which is, alas, sometimes true.

I won't say it takes a thick skin to participate. More, a certain resignation- which is flavored with modest disappointment at times. But with some persistence, and adjustment of expectations from that of polite discourse to "jousting", it quickly becomes a bit of a spicy treat.

I still prefer the polite discourse, but will resort to jousting, rather than adandon a point on which I feel is important for others to at least consider, even if I know they will not (immediately anyway) adopt.

I ask our non-posting friends to consider joining in- it really is fun, once you get past the discomfort of being insulted.

(Or something like that:) In reality, "positions are being assailed" is more precise than "persons being insulted"- it's just that with such anonymity, sometimes responses come across unintentionally as the later).

Batter up!! is better than battered down!

Everyone's opinions are important- regardless of the response they recieve in writing here. And in fact, I find the responses often prompt me to re-evaluate my position, and either admit I am wrong, or (more typically, I confess) devise more effective ways to present my position.

And besides- it's good practice- both for developing logic skills- and patience!
:)

Phil Bell said...

"Despite earlier this week announcing a delay to first flight of the 747-8 into early 2010...".

Starting to make the old Eclipse look better as the months go by- if they would only hire some lunatic to concoct more "entertaining" press releases, instead of merely inaccurate ones...

Aviationweek, Oct 9, 2009

eclipse_deep_throat said...

FYI:

I have already sent Phil a copy of last weeks email sent out to former EAC grunts, myself included. The fine print of that email also said that "if" manufacturing were to restart ...X, Y, and Z would have to happen first. Sure, that is a no-brainer. Perhaphs they will be able to beg Hampson to repoen its Texas plant, ha! But everyone should see the new EA as being ***EXTREMELY*** non-committal when it comes to resuming production. Anyone who is even remotely considiering returning to EA should see that a major red flag. Perhaps M&M have realized they bit off more than they can chew....

My trusted source is working to flesh out their plans regarding local real estate. The rumor is that they are only seeking a 2-yr lease on SP10, the FSW building, but NOT leasing the SP11 or SP9 buildings. Not sure what happens to SP2, SP3 or SP4 ...but the theory is that they retain only a footprint with the city-owned buildings (I think that would only remove SP4). To me, if this turns out to be true, this would be a shocking revelation that they plan to do no real manufacturing anytime soon, regardless of the reason. Maybe M&M think they can 'flip' this company to a bigger fish within 2yrs and cash out what they have put into it.

If M&M plan to own EA indefintely, then what is the meat of their biz plan???
1. If nothing is done, the EA500 has a 10,000hr lifetime. Do they shut the doors to EA after year 2018-2019?

2. If they DO start a passive-agressive attempt at low volume production, how much will it cost them to do more static-fatigue testing to get a 20,000hr certification from the FAA for only the NEW jets EA builds? Or could the 259 jets be upgraded in some fashion to 20K hours? Perhaps that is another element of the service they hope to offer...

3. Or could they just get the engineering and certifications done on a 20K hour EA500 and EA400 and then sell the company to one with deeper pockets, able and willing to put them back into production?

4. Now that Marty has been removed as our mayor, will the City be stuck with this arrangement once they get wind of EAs non-production use of City-owned buildings? I vaguely remember SP3 being something like a $15 million investment. Isn't it silly to have a paint shop that isn't used to paint planes? (There is no way they would need to completely repaint all 259 planes). IF EA has to renege on its non-existent production plans, won't the City/State have to change the Industrial Revenue Bonds that were initially set up to finance things for the original EAC?

I see this as more egg on Marty's face, especially since he was so quick to say that he was "98% certain" EAC was saved. Christ, they had a $60 million annual payroll in 2007-2008. This version of EA may not have more than 200-300 people on its payroll; and you can bet your P&L Statement they won't allow any overtime! Further complicating the mix will be 'orphaned' planes that have been repo-ed from the bank/finance company. One can figure that any banked-owned assets won't be in the shop for any real service mods ...thus depressing EA's cash flow/service revenue even more. Therefore, I predict EA will be *extremely* conservative in doing any work on the DayJet birds, maybe just one or two, only to show potential owners a 'demo' model with everything done.

I think only the lawyers will be making any money on the EA500 over the next 2 years...

e.d.t.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Nice fluffy headline post. Lots of gushing. The Kool-aid is again flowing freely.

I like how you make the Conjet looks like it is a $40Million investment bought for $10M, given that that it was a non-conforming prototype, built by an external vendor to a artist impression of what the wedge wanted, the engineering value of that thing is likely closer to 0! Kind of like the mosdt expensive homebuilt made in the last decade.

What is the value of a Dayjet plane, whose build quality is crap, which has been standing around for about a year, which needs most systems replaced to higher spec parts which there are no vendors for. I would think it is worth the value of the parts you can flogg off within the first year. 100K + the engines?

The revenue stream from maintenance and upgrades won't be much because the plane is perfect, and there is no need to upgrade it. See Kens posts. He thrilled with it as it is.

If you think the (leased) facilities and the tooling are worth something, go to a local machinery auction.

If you had $10 million burning a hole in your pocket, and you wanted to get into the MRO business, you could make a nice little MRO with A/C storage facility somewhere in a desert near Europe to cater to the leasing companies who are looking for places to look after their repossessed assets till the airlines pick up again. If you do a good job, you will have a solid basis to profit off the sub contracted maintenance once the industry is booming again.

EA have bought into a dieing market. It's like starting a new business in VCR repairs.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FJT - holy cow is this the answer to the $64,000 question...

"EA have bought into a dieing market. It's like starting a new business in VCR repairs."

Phil, very well written post (again) although like FJT I am am not sure about the values assigned, the ConJet was a stunt, and an outsourced stunt at that - would/could Klappmeier make something of it - probably, but not without half a billion dollars and a cozy working relationship with an EA that was producing EA-500's of some stripe IMO.

When the math makes sense like this it is a bad sign to me, not a good one.

Beedriver said...

It sounds like the Epic story is getting more interesting as the news comes out. apparently we have another vern Rayburn type of person with the golden tongue.

From Ipilot

Epic Air's 'shell game': company owes buyers $15M worth of parts, planes
Court documents in kitplane maker Epic Air's bankruptcy case indicate that the company owes buyers of its planes, many of them under construction, as much as $15 million worth of parts. Eleven builders have submitted claims of more than $1 million, the amount each estimates it would cost to complete their planes; at least four other builders and owners have also submitted claims for smaller amounts. According to court records, former Epic General Manager Dave Hice, who was fired in July, said Rick Schrameck, Epic's founder, created a series of companies so that one of them would pay rent to another for the hangar and manufacturing facility. The setup, Hice said, made Schrameck the biggest creditor in Epic's assets, presumably so that he could maintain control of the company when it went into bankruptcy. A court filing by one Epic LT builder called the bankruptcy 'one more aspect of the ongoing shell game' aimed at bilking customers out of millions of dollars. The next court date in the case is scheduled for November 12 in Las Vegas.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

At least the Epic position holders had the balls to sue, rather than taking another firm grip on the ankles.

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Speaking of balls ....looks like M&M have brass cojones in asking the city to let 'em have 4 and 1/2 years of RENT-free use of the city-owned buildings. LOL, in exchange for the flight sim building and land valued at "$8 million." Where do they come up with this crap? If no one will pay $8 million for it, then it ain't worth $8 million, regardless of what cost you have to keep on your books. But for the new EA, it sure as hell didn't cost them $8 mil to get just that one facility... but why not try to sucker the City Govt out of more money on vague promises of hiring more people?!

If EA can't afford $100K a month in rent, and they are only 2 months old, the have some REAL capitalization problems!!

http://www.krqe.com/

e.d.t.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Only going for free buildings?

Since the city of ABQ and the State of New Mexico have proven to have a "die Hard" (tm Wedge) apptitude for taking it hard and coming back for more, I would have thought EA would be hitting them for tax breaks, wage assistance for new workers etc.

airsafetyman said...

"..in asking the city to let 'em have 4 and 1/2 years of RENT-free use of the city-owned buildings."

'Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..'

Next comes a little (OK a lot) of help with meeting the payroll, New Mexico being such a rich state and all.

airsafetyman said...

I just asked my mortgage holder if he would pay the next 4 and 1/2 years of house payments for me, since I may or may not hire someone to mow the lawn if I break a leg. He said he would get back to me. Is this a great country or what?

baron95 said...

The EA-400 is no more a stunt than the Honda Jet prototype.

Both are non-conforming airframes with non-conforming engines.

The EA400 is a concept demonstrator. It was built for test marketing, publicity, gathering orders. For some reason, prospective buyers seem to be impressed by something flying vs something on paper or mock-up. They don't seem to understand the difference between non-conforming prototypes and conforming certification articles.

Engineering wise the EA400 can provide very little, although it probably provided info on the configuration aerodynamics, and that it is possible to mate the EA500 nose/cockpit, the EA500 wings sans-tip tanks to a EA400 cabin/tail, andthe thing flew.

All in all, had to company gotten the Russian funding of $400M, it would have been a good use of funds.

Shadow said...

Baron,

Surely you can't be serious comparing the HondaJet with the Eclipse 400? One had tons of engineering work behind it and was built so precisely that it's production quality, so much so that it puts some in-production bizjets to shame. The other was an expensive, glorified one-off homebuilt that borrowed wings, avionics and some other parts from an existing twinjet and had a God-awful build quality (they had a problem getting the door opened and closed, which was the least of its fit and finish problems).

I'll leave you to your own devices to figure out which one is which.

gadfly said...

Shadow

“It is what it is!” . . . and people will believe what they choose to believe, regardless of facts. Some of us continue to marvel at what Honda has done over the years . . . decades (if you will) . . . evidence of things done right. (Even a quick glance at the “Hondajet” spells quality and care in every detail.)

Yet, on the other hand, we are amazed at what has passed for a flying machine . . . a collection of “good intentions” flying in close formation, over the New Mexico terrain, on a clear day . . . but rarely.

My earlier prediction stands . . . the little bird will never be complete, and hopefully, no-one will be hurt. The tax money taken from the people of New Mexico is gone forever . . . and we’ll see history played out, again, as the politicians make excuses . . . the dust will settle, and the sun will set on another story of something that might happen, “manana”!

gadfly

(Contrary to common belief, "Manana" in New Mexico does not mean "tomorrow", it means "some other time, but not today".)

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Whether the EA-400 was a stunt or not in not the topic of this discussion. Rather it's current value.

The current value of a non-conforming prototype is basically nil once either:
1. you decide not to put the design into production, or
2. you have a conforming prototype in the air.

Generally non-conforming "proof of concept" prototypes have served their engineering purpose within a very short flight test program, and have fulfilled their marketing purpose as soon as conforming prototype flies.

This goes for the EA500, the D-Jet, the PiperJet , the Honda Jet and anyone else.

baron95 said...

Exactly FJ. That is why most new designs now go straight to comforming flight articles - e.g. C510 Mustang and Phenoms.

As for it being expensive, I doubt it - those proof of concept projects with parts bin on a new fuselage are reasonanbly low cost.

Deep Blue said...

FJT has it pretty right as far as sensing that the newco is wobbling already. The buy from BK was clearly speculative; some call it "venture bankruptcy purchase."

Now the cracks are going to start to show. Why? Because the market is the other half of the bet (the first is whether the newco team can execute and operate, including funding) and the market is horrible. On the MRO side, I think we're also going to see that there just isn't much of an EAC owner market out there either; there was an enormous amount of options, position buy/sell activities, spec orders; really, the EAC order book was more of a financial exchange market or "options" or futures house, than one for hard jet asset purchases; a bit like oil futures.

The owners definitely got their hands on some nice equipment and real estate; it could quite nicely serve as an integrated production/ops center, esp. if they could host a consolidation or two (or three).

airsafetyman said...

So, the work is being done in Chicago, the enterprise is being managed from Charleston by the heavy-bread pharma dude, and ABQ is sort of a giant parts bin of unfinished, unauthorized parts? Maybe a teenie problem or two there?

julius said...

Phil,


"(like) shooting fish in a barrel"


nice picture!

I think - speaking in tennis terms - not "advantage EA"!
If NAJ (or now EAN) has time to refurbish ex Day jets then there aren't too many fpj customers who need EA's support!

The ABQ facilities are a burden!
There is too much space for a MRO shop plus warehouse!
But if M&M (plus A. M.) intend to sell their "investment" to someone who wants to produce fpjs in ABQ(?) then a lot of space must be kept (or they just have to be the bad boys who must persuade the politicians that ABQ isn't the right place for this business!).

In six weeks we will learn more about the fpj saga!

BTW: The value of Boeings shares is 10% higher than in October 2008 - despite 787, 747-8, .... Bad performance, too much cash??? Simply crazy!

Julius

Shane Price said...

Baron,

All in all, had to(the?) company gotten the Russian funding of $400M, it would have been a good use of funds.

And if I'd picked the right numbers in the Euro lotto last Friday week, I'd be €100 million better off.

But I didn't....

The Russian 'deal' was a fantasy from the very start. Vern was suckered into it by Roel, who had a vested interest in keeping it going as he flailed around looking for a sucker with real money to bail him out.

Hell, they couldn't even get the dates right on the 'approval' letters Roel procured from his Russian contacts.

Face facts Baron.

- There never was a realistic 'Russian' rescue plan.

- EAI are NOT selling aircraft, even those that they currently own.

- Shipping parts to existing owners will only last as long as these mugs (sorry, customers) keep their FPJ's flying.

The E500 was (with a lot of stress on was) an interesting sidebar in GA. The party ended with the predicted bankruptcy. All we're witnessing now is the emergency room condolences by the remaining 'friends and family'. Shortly we'll have the funeral services and maybe some expensive grief counselling.

Nothing will change the fact that this 'program' is dead.

I've just spent a few days in Vienna at a specialist newspaper event. Professionals from all over the world were there, without exception saying the same thing.

Business is stagnant, and credit is simply not available from banks, anywhere.

The party is over, and there won't be another one for two or three years.

Shane

Floating Cloud said...

Could the below allegations have anything to do with recent developments for the deal made with out-going Mayor Marty Chavez and the rent free Eclipse building at Double Eagle?

And probably unknowingly city councils ARE buying into the proposal, for the sake of creating jobs. But what other choice do they have now? Its a catch 22. If they don't accept the proposal can EAI survive? Then there's no rent, no jobs, another empty building. If they do, quite possibly there will be no rent, no jobs, another empty building.

Something smells very fishy in ABQ again. In-coming Mayor RJ Berry needs to take a much closer look...

"By Trip Jennings 9/23/09 8:08 AM
As NMI has reported, a city contractor, John Bode, has alleged in a deposition that he and his firm were victims of retaliation for not providing free or reduce air flights to Mayor Martin Chavez. Now one of Chavez’s opponents, Richard Romero, has released a 15-minute video compilation of highlights taken from surveillance tapes at Double Eagle II airport. Peter St. Cyr, a reporter for 770 KKOB, has posted the video on his blog.
Bode’s firm, Bode Aero Services, provides services at the city’s Double Eagle II airport on the West side. Bode is alleging that the city is holding his firm’s lease hostage because he said no to free or reduced air flights.

The mayor and city officials say Bode’s allegations are false.

But now Bode’s allegations are making waves in the mayor’s race with less than two weeks to go, and in a very public way.

In his 391-page deposition, Bode told an attorney deposing him earlier this year that he had videotaped two city representatives who told him that the city staff was OK with the company’s leases but that “it was the mayor who held up these leases.”

That exchange appears on the video up on St. Cyr’s blog.

Bode secretly videotaped the two men when they visited him at Double Eagle II in 2007. Bode said he has offered the videotapes to the city before the start of a state court hearing last year.

Bode says in the deposition that there is a sign in the room where the men were videotaped that a surveillance camera is in use."

PS And thanks Phil for the vote of confidence -- you guys are some tough ole' birds.

Floating Cloud

baron95 said...

Shane said...Business is stagnant, and credit is simply not available from banks, anywhere.
------------------

That must me the Shane alternate reality world.

I'm in Sao Paulo this week - the place is booming - Ferraris and Jags everywhere, jets being bought and sold.

Reading the news back home, the Dow is above 10,000, the S&P 500 has been on a stright up trajectory, since I called the overreaction bottom on your blog.

JP MOrgan just blew by their earnings exectations.

Tata (who owns Jaguar) who makes my car just raised a ton of money and paid off all their loans from the Jaguar acquisition from Ford at 4% interest rate for 5 year notes.

Stop the doom and gloom Shane. Other than an elevated US unemployment and housing overhang, the world economy is on the up and up or getting there fast.

Give it up man - you didn't have to take it over from Fred on the doomsday end of the world economy scenario.

Tell your publisher friends to get on with the program, publish electronically and inovate.

In due time the EA500 will be supported, the DiamondJet will be certified and the VLJ market will be established.

SEJ, out of production very light twin (EA500), established light jets (C510, Phenom 100), and on and on.

baron95 said...

Sorry for all the typos and errors above - tough to type on iPhone while being distracted by the local scenery (the ambulant variety) ;)

Phil Bell said...

Hi Floating_Cloud,
"you guys are some tough ole' birds."

I think Eclipse used to refer to us in almost the same terms...
:)

Phil Bell said...

Hi EDT,
Thanks for the info about the leases in ABQ.
"SP10, the FSW building, but NOT leasing the SP11 or SP9 buildings. Not sure what happens to SP2, SP3 or SP4..."

Is there a map somewhere of where adn what all these buildings are (were)?

Thanks!

Phil Bell said...

Speaking of expressing gratitude (or lack thereof):

I'd also like to thank the ex-Mayor of Albuquerque for converting the most scenic vantage point in Albuquerque into a parking lot for an abandoned paint hangar.

And for destroying the historic value of the TWA hangar.

(This has been toned down- TWICE).

Phil Bell said...

Hi Julius,
"In six weeks we will learn more about the fpj saga!"

Well...In the US, Thanksgiving is about six weeks away: you're not suggeting anything, are you?
:)

StuckInNM said...

Amen, Phil! The ABQ viewing area off the approach ends to 8 and 12 was one of the best vantage points in the entire city... not just for planewatchers even, but also to watch the sunset against the escarpment, and volcanoes. The farce that replaced it is, in its way, the perfect embodiment of Albuquerque's often misguided efforts to "grow" out of itself.

BassMaster said...

EDT why not just post the email? Do you plan to work for them again?

airsafetyman said...

Very poor call by the NTSB on the University of Michigan Cessna 550 Citation that crashed into Lake Michigan on June 4, 2007, with the loss of all six on board. It was a medical organ transplant flight with several doctors on board that crashed immediately after take-off. They found a short in a wire bundle leading to the rudder trim actuator. The board said the crew "should" have been able to handle it. (????!!!) They take pains to note that the pilot had been convicted of hauling drugs (qualuddes) NINETEEN years before, as if that had anything to do with anything! (The copilot is reported to have grabbed the pigtails of the girl in front of him when he was in grade school, so I guess he was incompetent also) They also recommended that the autopilot switch be relocated to a different position on the panel to avoid confusion. And recommended that the wiring harness to the trim actuator be changed. Still, let's hang the dead pilots! Can you say, "The fix is in?". Your tax dollars at work. God speed to the widows' attorneys.

Plastic_Planes said...

Phil:

SP1 - Main HQ on Clark Car Loop - Admin, Customer Deliver Ctr
SP2 - Old TWA Hangar - Final Assy
SP3 - Paint Hangar (You old viewing area)
SP4 - ??
SP9 - Across from Rental Car Center - IT, Tooling, Facilities
SP10 - FSW Building (Off Broadway) - FSW, and warehousing
SP11 - Next to SP 10 - Primary assembly

All these buildings are leasehold agreements, SP1, 2, 3 with the City of Albuquerque, SP9/10 were with a third party lessor, I dn't remember if SP9 was third party (I believe) or the city of Abby QQ.

For the initial "business" SP1, 2, and 3 are really all that is needed.

Primary Assembly: Cabin build, Aft Fuse, Systems, Horiz Mate.

Final Assembly: Wing Mate, Engine Install, FT, Interiors.

*Note - This is as of late 2006. "Improvements" may have been completed after I left.

(grin)

P_P

BassMaster said...

SP4 was the service center. Just a smallish hgr located behind the flight services bldg and accross from Four Seasons aviation. 5 eclipses could be stuffed in very tightly.

Phil Bell said...

Hi Shane,
"The Russian 'deal' was a fantasy from the very start. Vern was suckered into it by Roel, who had a vested interest in keeping it going as he flailed around looking for a sucker with real money to bail him out...- There never was a realistic 'Russian' rescue plan."

? I think ETIRC forked out $100M+ for the unrealistic one.

OUCH!! Guess RiP was a senior ambassador of OPM (Other People's Money) !!

Probably all that money was spent in the USA/ABQ. But, it would be interesting to know how much, if any, was spent in Russia.

AvWeek ran an article in Jan, 2008, somewhat after the blog broke the story- their's is mostly just a press release rehash.

(We eagerly await hearing more about that nutty part of the Eclipse saga in your book!)

Phil Bell said...

Baron,
I hope your visit to Brazil is going well- (hope the eye strain is not too severe!)

1) Your comments about "the Dow is above 10,000"

2) Julius's about "The value of Boeings shares is 10% higher than in October 2008 - despite 787, 747-8"

3) And what I've heard referred to as "a jobless recovery" (so far, anyway- especially in light of unfortunate forcasts of slightly worsening unemployment ahead, if hopefully only briefly)...

All got me curious enough to check some stats,

* Oct 3, 2008 dropped through 10K

* March 6, 2009, bottomed out around 6600

* Oct 14 2009 rose through 10K (picked up half a percent today too).

What's the significance of this? Well, as Shane notes, things seem pretty stagnant where I'm at (glad So. America is peppier).

The most common refrain I heard on the radio yesterday was along the lines of "job growth lags stock market expansion by nine months". If so, we're already seven months into the lag, and hopefully this means 2010 will be a better year for everyone.

Phil Bell said...

And Julius's comments about Boeing prompted me to check:

Oct 1, 2007, $106
Oct 3, 2008, $53
Mar 3, 2009, $29
Oct 1, 2009, $52

Like "is the glass half full, or half empty", has Boeing stock halved, or doubled ?

Phil Bell said...

Thanks to EDT and Plastic_Planes for the Sunport building ID's

(Another handy appendix in Shane's book!)

Phil Bell said...

StuckInNM,
I'm glad someone else shares my sentiments about the viewing area. For decades, it was a favorite stopping point in cross-country driving...

A true shame such a wonderful treasure has been lost...

And replaced by the most absolutely garish industrial billboard I have ever seen.

Sad.

It took 30 years for the Berlin Wall to come down- hopefully this crime will be reduced to rubble even sooner (the offending paint hangar, not Eclipse). If anyone in NM is looking for a "cause", this would be a good one.

For those wondering what this is about- there used to be an unassuming gravel parking lot, that could hold maybe 15 cars, in a quiet corner of the airport property, where one could watch airplanes takeoff and land, see the Rio Grande and the Bosque forest, the Sandia mountains, and downtown Albuquerque, and the open areas stretching for dozens of miles to the west- all from one location.

This was confiscated this from the public, and turned it into a fenced in parking lot, for the now-abandoned paint hangar, which towers 50 feet, and blocks the view of everything, and replaces it with a giant Eclipse logo that can be seen, unavoidably, for miles.

Thanks Mayor Marty, for "beautifying" Albuquerque, in your own, special way.

(What makes this ever more egregious, was Eclipse was going to be moved to an industrial park within a few years- they had already built one building at Double Eagle airport).

Like I said, the Berlin Wall came down, so maybe this obscene monstrosity can be removed as well.

It is truly a disgrace.

baron95 said...

Phil,

Things are hardly stagnant. Even if you take your one year perspective with the V movement of the Dow from 10K to 6.6K to 10K, things are hardly the same.

Is (new) GM in better shape now or last October? How about Citibank?

The productivity of these companies ($$$ in sales divided by $$$ in salaries) skyrocketed. THe balance sheets are much cleaner. They have found that they can do more with less and are more compeitive in the process. All that, courtesy of the recession.

The recession basically cleansed *A LOT* of waste, marginal players, underutilized capital, superfulous or uncompetitive jobs, unneeded inventory.

So the "markets" and "profits" may be of the same size as last October, but they are much, much more efficient. So there is a lot of headroom in the economy to grow.

Yes, it is tough if you lost your job or your business. But recessions have a purpose and should not be feared. If you try to engineer recessions out of the economy, you just promote unwise use of capital, and the recession that eventually comes (like now) is much more severe.

Now in Brazil, Australia and many other places growth is here and accelerating. The US is only roughly 20% of the world economy. So things move on.

I would have preferred a slightly more severe recession. There are still more waste we need to take out of the system Federal/State/Local spending, taxation and regulation in the US is still growing out of control.

A deeper recession (like the one that California experinced with double digit unemployment) would force some change. 15% unemployment would probably make governments think twice about 20 year delays for permits to build a new refinary for example.

But oh well - we take what we can.

As for eye strain....after 4 days here - even my neck is hurting from the constant head turning.

That can't be good.

I take it back....that is good ;)

eclipse_deep_throat said...

BassMaster said:
EDT why not just post the email? Do you plan to work for them again?

No, I won't go back to that train wreck! I have learned that the fantasy is better than the reality. Its like what I assume how great 3sum would be. Ha! But since I now work for the State, nothing would surprise me in terms of others getting their feathers ruffled when someone at the bottom of the Civil Service food chain is critical of Govt spending/tax breaks. But, it looks like my rant to City Counselor Ken Sanchez was ignored.

So, the reality is simple: they will do whatever they want to "help" Eclipse no matter who is or isn't paying attention. Its not because they love M&M, and not because of any real or imaginary political connections. No, its just to advance their own vulgar political self-interests. If it pays off, they get to say, "I helped the new EA, and it created X number of new jobs, blah, blah, blah..."

I think the entire 3 page PDF file is redundant, if not 99% identical to the customer communication. But the manufacturing blurb is below.

e.d.t.

Manufacturing

At the present time, Eclipse Aerospace has not determined when or if it will restart manufacturing operations in Albuquerque. Before that decision can be made there are substantial activities, analysis and modeling that must occur in addition to a wide array of suppliers and partners that need to be enlisted to participate in the process with us.

As of the date of this communiqué, we do not have an exact timeframe in which a decision will be made about restarting manufacturing and we believe the decision could easily be 6-8 months (or more) from now. If a decision is made to restart we would need to hire a manufacturing management team to assist in the manufacturing start-up process.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

With everything (and body) looking so fabulous through those rose tinted specs you've been wearing, how come Bank of America (I could pick others, but the 'America' part of the name caught my eye...) have just posted a trifling $2.2 billion loss in the last quarter?

That would be a mere $3 billion negative swing from the same quarter in 2008.

If other financials report (as expected) comparable results, pretty soon global losses will add up to serious money....

My eye was also drawn today to a report from our own 'paper of record', the Irish Times, of a couple who, after the forced sale of their home for €2 million, still owe the bank €4 million.

I could go on, but I don't want to disturb your 'bird watching' with any more uncomfortable economic facts.

Phil,

E TRICK was Roel's chosen vehicle for his own 'takeover' of Eclipse. The 'Russian' deal was separate from this, although it remains my opinion that Roel was in a longer term play for the 'pot of gold at the end of the rainbow' that is Russian natural resources in oil, gas, minerals and the like.

There never was a realistic 'Russian' plan to a) finance EAC or b) add a factory to produce the aircraft there. In my humble opinion, it was all a cover for Roel's other ambitions.

But I could be wrong....

Shane

VLJ'er said...

But I could be wrong....

Really?

Shane Price said...

VLJ'er

But I could be wrong

That's just my way of challenging anyone to explain what Roel was up to.

Trouble is, I'm pretty sure Roel had no idea what he was doing, when taking majority control of EAC.

What I do know is that a blind man in a snowstorm would have seen through the 'paperwork' that came out of Russia during the Chapter 11 period.

I know, I've read it.

Have you?

Shane

StuckInNM said...

Phil -- I parked at the viewing area for years, even before I became truly involved in aviation. That old parking lot holds at least two fond memories for me... the most poignant one is of my parents watching from the viewing area as I took off from Runway 12 on one of my first dual flight lessons. (The second memory involves my high school girlfriend... and we'll leave it at that.)

Though I lamented the loss of one of Albuquerque's most scenic areas, I was initially supportive of Eclipse's efforts -- anything to spur growth in the aerospace sector, particularly for a city that in many ways is still stuck in a 1950s mindset when it comes to progress. Sadly, people with far more power than I were equally blinded by the Eclipse-glitz, and so here we are today.

Once the past is gone, it's not coming back. Thank you, El Patron Chavez... I took great pleasure in helping to vote you out of office two weeks ago.

baron95 said...

Shane Price said...
Baron,

With everything (and body) looking so fabulous through those rose tinted specs you've been wearing, how come Bank of America (I could pick others,
-----------------------

No you could not pick others. The other banks that reported this week - Glodman and JPM blew aways their numbers. Goldman has record profits.

The answer to BoA is that theis have a sub-par CEO that is being fired, bought bad companies, and are paying the piper.

It's like any other industry, there are loosers and there are winners.

Hyundai is killing Chrysler and JPM/Goldman/Wells may kill BofA and perhaps Citi.

JPM and Goldman are the gems - the true America thought leaders in financial markets - the others are interesting but are small planets orbiting the market movers.

So, don't be disingenuos Shane - you had to search hard to find a bad earnings report from financials this quarter. BofA and Citi are just plain and simple proorly managed - and they have fired and are firing their CEOs because of that. Plain and Simple.

airsafetyman said...

"JPM and Goldman are the gems - the true America thought leaders in financial markets"

And their "leaders" would be living in dumpsters and under underpasses if their bets with AIG had not been covered by the US taxpayer under the various bail-outs. Get real.

baron95 said...

LOL - ASM, you really don't get it, do you?

Part of being a leader is to make sure that former Goldman guys are running say THE US TREASURY DEPT and being able to pick up the phone and tellign the US govmg - "Bail out AIG".

Do you know how many times a week the US Treasury Dept "consults" with Goldman and JPM CEOs?

Hint: Sometimes it is several times A DAY.

Get a clue what leadership means.

baron95 said...

Another hint --- leaders play by different rules.

That is why the US can run huge trade and fiscal deficits - it is all in our own currency.

You don't think that GOldman and JPM as primary US Securities dealers at the Fed play by the same rules as say US Bank, do you?

airsafetyman said...

Yes Baron, these assholes that you want to emulate ran the US economy in the ditch and now are getting bonuses for doing so, while our nation slips to a third world status and the middle class is wiped out. Millions of layoffs, millions of repossesed houses, deferred college and deferred retirements for millions more, shattered plans, and you think it is quite OK! I hope to God to see these cretins swinging from lampposts along Pennsylvania Avenue.

julius said...

baron95,

you call Kenneth Lewis "sub-par",
although he will get a "bonus" - you will call it "malus" - of 69m to 120m USD but no income for this year?

Then there is only one question: which members of a BoD enabled Kenneth L. to get this maulus for his work! There's honour among thieves or?

You remember Paulsen, Henry and Goldman Sachs ...

As long as Geithner is allowed to print, we will see...

Julius

baron95 said...

Get a grip ASM you are on full tilt.

1 - Goldman is 140 years old. Perhaps you know some of the companies that Goldman financed and underwrote their IPOs. Little companies like Ford, Sears, Microsoft.

2 - The US economy, last I checked is 3 times larger than the closest competitor (hardly into the ground as you say).

3 - Perhaps you don't know that Goldman is typically the largest primary buyer/bidder on the Obama bond/debt, being one of only 18 entities allowed to transact with the US Fed directly to buy bonds.

You would NOT LIKE the US economy if Goldman wasn't around.

But hey - it is much simpler to be envious and demonize innovation. I get that.

baron95 said...

Julius said...As long as Geithner is allowed to print, we will see...
-----------------

Hey Julius, you appeared to be better informed. Geithner can't print anything.

The Fed on the other hand can, with local FED boards appointed in part by the private member banks, like Goldman in the US.

So, in a sense, Goldman has a much bigger say in how much money gets "printed" than Geithner. Though he did one have a say when he was NY Fed President.

Now he is a bumbling politico, that cause the Dow to crater in march with his half baked inarticulate "plan" announcement.

uglytruth said...

Phil Bell said: I think there are many readers, who do not post, out of concern that they would be insulted and irriatated.

This has become the "Baron95" forum, hasn't it? Lets face it he's delusional and I don't like even passing over his never ending postings.

Dave said...

Part of being a leader is to make sure that former Goldman guys are running say THE US TREASURY DEPT and being able to pick up the phone and tellign the US govmg - "Bail out AIG".

So leadership is knowing how to get corporate welfare to pay for your poor management decisions. We need more welfare queens - oh I mean leaders in corporate america as opposed to those who actually make money from good decisions instead of government handouts.

fred said...

Hi Guys ... (and Girls ;-) )


i stop over for a while ... so i decided to read on :

Monsieur Shane : I saw the Russian events as this , the frenchs have a wonderful word for such mentality
"aigrefin" (something around deceiving smart-ass)

so the meeting between Vern & Roel has been a meeting of "Aigrefins" who tried to cheat a "little bit" more the other one ...

Roel has probably been quite naive into believing Vern's mantra and not able to imagine that anyone on earth can find his master ...

naive into presenting EA500 in Euroland as a best-seller , but this into Americans eyes (i doubt he was really convinced of a potential success in E.U.)

the 2 biggest downfall for EA500 being the way "normal peoples" feel about private jet ...
AND (the real nasty one ,IMO) the fact that Private Pilots allowed to fly Full IFR in E.U. is stagnating at around 2(two)% of actual pilots ...
(compared to the 60(sixty)% in the USA ...)

so total population divided the number of Licensed Pilots divided by the number of pilots Flying IFR lawfully divided by the number of competitors presenting a ready-made solution = Probably not even worth the expenses of bringing EA500 to European agreement ... ! ;-)

fred said...

Baron :

few things never change ...

are you still trying to convince yourself ?

OK =

Size of US economy = 3 times bigger than the second ...
OK !

but don't forget too fast that 3/4 of this very size is made out by Consumers Spending ...

Consumers who are either going jobless , earnings reductions or already swimming into an ocean of debts !

few others are not suffering , but as usual they have organized a way to spend their dosh out of mainland ...

State of Wall-Street =

with All the Trillions of liquidities injected , IF economy would recover ...

Inflation would calculated in 2 digits ...this year alone and in 3 digits in the coming years !

IT IS NOT , so Wall-Street is an illusion ...

Illusion made by Private banks asking to print Money ...

Money which is going into intradays WS op ... and then is given to the Federal Gov. as loan with an interests MUCH higher than what it was supposed to be out of FED's ...

this way the banks have all the cash they want , and US Gov. have all the cash it needs ...

ONLY the Taxpayers(and many generations to come) will be left after to hold the bag ...

if the bag would be empty = it would be a blessing ...

but the bag is torn apart of all the debts (mostly unproductive ones ) accumulated into it

julius said...

baron95,

sorry, I mixed up Geithner and Bernanke. Thanks for your correction!

What's the difference between the Goldman Sachs kid Paulson and Geithner?

Anyhow Goldman Sachs is a good earning partner with govermental and state "institutions"...

Back to plastic (not money):
I expected that Boeing will do the first 787 flight this year. Now there are discussions that even this date is hard to meet.

Julius

baron95 said...

Hi Fred - give us a sailing update - did you get to South America yet?

Hi Julius - to answer your question, Paulson was less analytical than Geithner, but more assertive in the way he spoke. Geithner is probably a lot smarter and certainly very analytical - but he has a serious "talk too much, say very little problem". He also works for a boss that needs to demonize wall street at every speech to placate his electors. That certainly make his job tough.

If I were to guess, Geithner starts every call with Wall St CEOs saying, "My boss just need to say those things, but he is on board with the fact that Wall St is vital to Main St".

Thing is - I think he is being honest. I actually think that Obama, like the Chinese Communist and Lula in Brazil, talk tough against the rich/Markets but are very pragmatic, that there is no helping the poor without them leading the economy.

Lets see.

baron95 said...

Back to Plastic as Julius say...

DJet now made cover of Flying as well. Reading between the cheerleeding lines, I get the feeling that that Jet is quite a ways off.

Flying actually said that deliveries will start in 2010.

It is amazing how these journalists print these lines with a straight face. When in 2010? What are the challenges/risks? How many deliveries? Etc.

No wonder mainstream media has so little credibility.

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

baron95 said: "No wonder mainstream media has so little credibility."

Well, to be fair it would be quite a stretch to call any enthusiast publication -- like Flying -- an example of "mainstream" media. Such publications exist primarily to appeal to and to promote their respective industries, after all.

I doubt there will ever be such a thing as impartial or unbiased aviation reporting -- the nature of the business and our passion for it overwhelms such objectivity, even before factoring in advertising revenues. (At least Flying doesn't take the transparently gladhanding attitude of, say, a certain online "publication"... which shouldn't have its name mentioned in the same breath as Flying, and it won't be here.)

While Flying's story was definitely an "enthusiastic" feature (and the "Future of Flight" declaration on the cover should have been followed with a question mark, with no disrespect implied) I didn't find Flying's take on the D-Jet particularly distasteful. It's all about context: I realize Mac was invited by the manufacturer to fly its latest toy... a fairly rare honor. I don't expect him to then say, "Diamond says deliveries will begin next year... but I don't believe it."

I doubt anyone will rush out to buy a D-Jet based solely on one magazine article. Whether they do or not... caveat emptor.

fred said...

Baron :

no , the boat is still in Africa (Senegal) ...

i have spent some times in Morocco , then in Cabo-Verde (which is a bit out of beaten tracks , a good point for me , natives are unspoiled by too much pretentious wishes ...

it takes me a lot more times than i expected , but all in all = this is what i wanted = to take as much time as i feel like ... time and ability to use it to own wish is probably one of the last real luxury in this crazy world ...!

i had some personal matters to fix in Europe so i left the boat and have flown back ... i will go back to Senegal in a few days .

on your comments about Obama , i think he might be the good guy coming at the completely wrong time with ideas that may be not really adapted to the situation ...

nonetheless , a "social" President (Not a socialist ... believe me : you do not know what is a real socialist ! ;-) ) is probably the best that could happen in this Post-US leadership time we are living in now .

what is the alternative ? liberalism and market-dictatorship ?

already been proved totally unadapted , mainly due to human-nature !

julius said...

baron95,

you didn't look at Paulson's successful career with Bush!
He could see the signs - but perhaps he was only an investment banker...just a professional cherry picker. The guys of BoA, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan etc. and of the already 99 TU banks have/had to deal with the EA's, the very end of the food chain and do/could see the problems.

Geithner only has do deal with defict of 10% of the GDP...

Diamond are not known for an open communication. After all the lay offs are they still in business?

Julius

P.S.: Lula in Brasil is just the frontman of a big coalition and he has this "funny" Hugo just behind the bushes (he is going to burn or cut)! Look at the chaos with the airports, the infrastructure...

julius said...

Fred,

bonjour!

Did you notice that Obama isn't the first president who tries to improve the US social system?

Hopefully he will be successful!

Good luck!

Julius

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

Guten Tag , Herr Julius , Hoffnung alles gut für Sie ist ?

yes , Obama isn't the first one ...

but he is the first one who has to face so many challenges with so tiny maneuver margin ...

i am sure most readers will complain about what is following , but for too long time USA has been addicted with with cheap financing (mainly supported by foreigners in the last XX years) , lack of clear vision about potential future and sterile self-satisfaction ...

now the final bill is going to be presented , most won't like it !

this is the reason why i see the Wall-Street events as "Illusions" , since the most supportive foreigners are leaving , the system has no other way than to create money in an internal process

(instead of having Chineses , Germans ,Japaneses and Russians buying T-Bonds , it is US-banks who are lending money to Gov. = only one problem : those banks are the ones who have a word about monetary policies with their seat in FED's Board ...
so it sounds and seems as a quite incestuous relation ...!
a situation looking like :
Imagine your wife being your boss ... so in order for her to spend more of the couple's money = she just have to keep on giving you salary-raise ...
Off-course , in real life , the wife's firm would be bankrupt after giving you too many raises compared to your "added value"... but isn't it what our friends are experiencing ??? ;-) )

with the ultimate goal of destroying $-value to ease the masses of debts own towards foreigners ...

as for the cash-reserves of China , i would venture to say :
They are going to buy raw stuff and energy needs from Russia with those $ ... , Russia will use those $ to buy stuff in E.U. ...
E.U. will play like not seeing the worthless value of this paper because just way too happy to sell something (off-course , the difference will be paid by Tax-payers ... ;-) )

They both (Russia+China) get rid of the $-problem selling it to others who have not so many option out ...

it is an 50/50 situation ...

with a $ valuating nearly as nothing , americans won't travel anymore which is not a big deal as almost none of them did previously ...

debts will be repaid at a fraction of their real cost ...

US products will have a chance to be competitive against foreign-products ...

so from a BS-Finance economy , they are going to transform back to a more production-economy ...

with a good side on employment and a bad side on wages : i would see more americans earnings going to China-wages (kind of) than the opposite !

the big question remain what about research&dev. ...

up to now , USA was attractive the best brains with higher salaries and better conditions of work ...

what will be tomorrow ?

if an Indian brilliant guy find out that it's better to stay home ...

you see Obama has lots and lots of hard-work ahead , not sure it can be done in 4 years ... not sure either that voters will give him more years to accomplish a needed transformation ...

all in all , i see this as a chance for our friends of the other side to really achieve to live on their own standards ...

making the richness enabling them to be rich by themselves ...
instead of depending on some others abroad !

a kind of revenge of the doers on the sayers ...

julius said...

Fred,

China is already buying raw materials where ever they can do
(Australia Rio Tinto (trial), Africa, South America, even oil and areas suitable for agriculture)!
Beside all hype about China's economic development the Indian elephant is also walking and walking...

I am sure China will also expand it's USD investment in US - not in companies like EA but in Caterpillar, UT, GE or investment banks, infrastructure... and it will become more difficult to prevent China's engagement.

Julius

fred said...

Oh yes ... you're perfectly right !

in fact , china's policies of buying whatever they can IS already threatening food-safety and availability in some African Sub-Sahel countries ...

take what i wrote as a warning (for our friends) NOT to take the widespread nature of $ as a guarantee against losses of value ...

the biggest depositors are Chinese and they may have lots of way of getting rid of $ still to their advantage ...

like the 70 Billions cubic-meters of gas sold by Russia to China and paid in $ ...

$ which are going to be used to buy machinery , Mercedes and BMW ...

and i can almost hear the buyers whispering to sellers "better get paid with papers than loosing jobs home by not selling ..." ;-)

the case of India is totally different (IMO) :
it will be even more powerful than China when time will be ripe , but they prefer a rather slow development , which actually is way better ...

do not take what i wrote as "complete catastrophe in USA " more that it is going to be time for our friends to understand that one can live a perfect life with much less ...

in the last few decades USA was the biggest World consumer far ahead of all others ...

was it in their best interests ?

baron95 said...

StuckInNM said...
Well, to be fair it would be quite a stretch to call any enthusiast publication -- like Flying -- an example....

I doubt there will ever be such a thing as impartial or unbiased aviation reporting
-----------------

Flying is the MOST mainstream aviation publication.

Aviation Consumer manages to offer balanced and mostly impartial reporting, but they are not main stream.

What concerns me the most about the DiamondJet (and I do like the concept, believe me) is that they keep on mocking around with the configuration, but seem to make little progress towards certification.

My take is that they are finding that a Tweety bird inlet design does not work well with modern turbofans that need a lot more bypass and depend a lot more on breathing well and ram pressure.

I do not know, for the life in me, why anyone would choose to bury a small turbofan inside a fuselage and make the air feeding it go through so many turns. Modern turbofans need to hang out like a dog with its mouth open outside a car.

I also think they will have a lot of trouble with known icing certification with that design. That is a very long way for freezing moisture to travel before they enter the engine. It is already hard enough to keep an inlet lip ice-free, let alone a long S-duct, they need to keep two such ducts ice-free.

How are they going to do that, say on a power off descent from 25,000 ft in visible moisture? The pilot will be in a predicament. The plane simple won't come down with any residual power. With idle power where does the heat comes from. So I go from 25,000 ft to approach with idle power, now I need power and everything is frozen!!!

I'm not confident that Diamond can certify thins thing anytime soon (FIKI being just one of the challenges).

I hope they do, but...

julius said...

baron95,

the big birds also have a certain
energy demand when decending in freezing moisture: lights low, aircondition reduced... but they have spoiler or slats and need more thrust than normal.
I think some a/c without spoilers have this problem: idle power does not allow the deployment of the FIKI equipment.

What about the POH of the fpj or the Mustang?

Julius

gadfly said...

It don’t matter much what the old gadfly has to say, but concerning Boeing and the “fix” being attempted on what . . . stringers number 5 thru 8, or whatever, seems to reveal to me that things are terribly backward. Had the wing(s) been properly designed, for a carbon fiber composite, there would be no “stringers”, as such, but a solid center section (wing root), using technology as old as the use of the “live oak” “knees”, going back a thousand years or more (cf: Viking long boats, the “USS Constitution”, etc.) . . . and extended the solid un-flexing center section outward into both wings . . . and allowing the “flexture” to occur in the outer two thirds of each wing, rather than at the high-stress points that Boeing, in their infinite wisdom, chose to attach each wing. And not a sudden transition attachment, but an overlapping, interlocking attachment, as if you were interlocking your two hands, with your fingers.

Unlike the attachment of aluminum wings, fibers require the gradual transfer of load(s) between elements, totally different from the sudden transfer of loads between solid metal elements. Consider the genius of John and Washington Roebling, in the design of the Brooklyn Bridge, etc., and the other bridges built since, that are coming apart, while the old “Brooklyn Bridge” continues to perform. Who would have guessed that there is more connection between Manhattan and the “Bronx” and modern jet aircraft, than a few high-sheer “bolts”, and a bridge going on a century and a half in age.

‘Just thought I should get this down in writing so that when things go south in the months and years to come with the “Dreamliner”, no-one can claim surprise, and that the wing-root problems were not foreseen.

There it is, my friends . . . do with it what you will. But the technology was there already . . . hundreds of years old, but ignored by the wonderful products of modern education, computer algorithms and “technology”.

gadfly

(Doesn’t the word, “technology”, sound wonderful? . . . certainly more exciting than ancient history, and other words like, “understanding”, “wisdom”, and . . . admitting that not all knowledge is an invention of the present generation. Whatever happened to simple logic and common sense? Did it all disappear under the tutelage of “bearded, pipe smoking professors”, with multiple degrees listed after their names? . . . who couldn’t weld two pieces of mild steel together, or drill a clean hole through a piece of 7075-T651 aluminum sheet, without putting themselves in great jeapordy! Or, let alone, lay-up a fiberglas reenforced "canoe" or surfboard, using polyester resin, chopped strand or woven fiberglass cloth, over a simple mold, removing all "bubbles", etc.)

gadfly said...

A footnote to the gadfly’s earlier comments . . . which would seem to denigrate higher education. It’s true that I hated school, and considered graduation from “high-school” as being released from prison. From there, I went into the Navy, and Submarines, etc. And after that, training to be a “bush pilot”, and teaching the Gospel to those in foreign lands. (Jos, Nigeria, 'just before the Hausa tribe killed so many of the Biafra tribe, for those who are "up" on such things.) And having been accused, recently, by others outside this blog-site, I went back over my records of higher education . . . to discover (for myself as much as anything, since I had never before been much concerned about this), just how much “higher education” I had accumulated. Well, it turned out, I have enough actual higher education “class hours” to have achieved two and a half “Master’s” degrees . . . and achieved a couple “PhD’s”, had I gone on with the doctoral dissertations [theses], etc.

Too many folks place value on the “sheep skin”, but very few, unfortunately, place value on practical knowledge . . . and politically, we are presently suffering, nationally, the product of this attitude. Very few in “political power” have been through the crucible of running a business, building a product . . . doing the practical things that keep the national engine running. We are the poorer for allowing the “theorists” to regulate the “practical”.

gadfly

(And No!, I am neither a Democrat, nor a Republican, nor any other label you wish to provide. But I do vote, whether or not it makes a difference.)

Phil Bell said...

Wow!
In contemplating a new headline for this coming week, I've been challenged with a variety of interesting topics the blog has touched upon- sorry for the delay- new headline will be up on Tuesday AM.

Welcome back to Fred! I'm glad your travels are progressing well, and am very pleased you could drop in to chat with us between legs of your journey!

gadfly said...

Phil

“Aviation Critic & Enthusiast” is a great place to share serious problems in the design and manufacture of aircraft. It is true that the national economy cannot be ignored, as we who manufacture parts and tooling for the aircraft industry are bound by the silly stuff that comes out of Washington. But if you have some method to limit the discussion to things that fly, and those that make them fly, we would be most grateful.

Now, I realize that the problems of Eclipse, and the City of Albuquerque, and the State of New Mexico are intertwined . . . yet even ABQ would welcome an opportunity to forget that Eclipse ever existed.

In my “Super 8" to “Digital Video” file transfers, I, too, have great movies, taken from the west end of ABQ, with two little girls riding in a stroller, and two little boys, enjoying a “free air show” with Air Force “Angels”, coming in, low and hot, and screaming vertical . . . where Eclipse has since erected a bunch of sheet-metal buildings. The little boys and little girls are all “growed up”, and have a combined nineteen children of their own . . . with the oldest now following his “Grandpa”, in Submarine School, in Groton, Connecticut . . . time does fly. Unfortunately, Eclipse will not! And I agree that those buildings are an “eyesore” to the view at the west end of the main runway, and a “sore spot” in the history of Albuquerque.

So, how you should do it, I haven’t a clue. But as Eclipse quietly slips into the footnotes of history, there are other subjects that might excite our imagination . . . Boeing is presently on my mind. Boeing uses engines . . . GE supplies engines . . . our little company make “perishable tooling”, that is a key element in the manufacture of those engines . . . and to borrow a phrase from “Hopper”, in his famous speech to the ants in “A Bug’s Life” . . . “the circle of life”, etc.

Well, you get the drift! We await with breathless anticipation as you prepare your Tuesday headline. ‘Time to hit the hay . . . a few hours from now, the old gadfly has to get to work, to continue the “circle of life”, as it were.

gadfly

(You know what? . . . I’m beginning to consider the possibility of retiring in a few more years . . . maybe when I turn eighty! The other day, my sister-in-law insisted that I ask for a “senior discount” . . . I didn’t have the nerve.)

(Phil . . . we're counting on you for a great headline . . . don't disappoint us!)

Phil Bell said...

Hi Gadfly,
You continue to challenge, entertain, educate, and generally amaze us (especially me)!

You prompted me to do some reading on the Brooklyn Bridge, a story of medical history, women's liberation, and engineering triumph:

"The Brooklyn Bridge opened to great fanfare in May 1883. The names of John Roebling, Washington Roebling, and Emily Warren Roebling are inscribed on the structure as its builders...

"Early into construction, however, collapsing bridge timbers crushed John Roebling’s toes, causing those toes to be amputated, leaving him incapacitated; he later died of an infection related to this injury...

"and leaving his son, Washington Roebling, in charge of the bridge. The actual construction started under the younger Roebling. Not long after taking charge of the bridge, Washington Roebling suffered a paralyzing injury as well, the result of decompression sickness. This condition plagued many of the underwater workers, in different capacities, as the condition was relatively unknown at the time.

"With both men out of commission, Emily Warren Roebling provided critical assistance in providing the communications between her husband and the engineers on-site. Under her husband’s guidance, Emily had studied higher mathematics, the calculations of catenary curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction. She spent the next 11 years assisting Washington Roebling in the supervision of the bridge’s construction."

(That catenary business gives me some extra respect for the lady- I once had a vexing problem involving air loads on a stretched wire exposed to the airstream: "In physics and geometry, the catenary is the theoretical shape a hanging chain or cable will assume when supported at its ends and acted on only by its own weight. Its surface of revolution, the catenoid, is a minimal surface and will be the shape of a soap film bounded by two circles. The curve is the graph of the hyperbolic cosine function, which has a U-like shape, similar in appearance to a parabola.")

"One week after the opening, on May 30, 1883, a rumor that the Bridge was going to collapse caused a stampede, which crushed and killed at least twelve people. On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum helped to squelch doubts about the bridge's stability—while publicizing his famous circus—when one of his most famous attractions, Jumbo, led a parade of 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge."

(Hmm- I wonder how many Eclipsi Vern could have parked on it)

"At the time it opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world- 50% longer than any previously built- and it has become a treasured landmark. For several years the towers were the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere."

"Roebling designed a bridge and truss system that was six times as strong as he thought it needed to be. Because of this, the Brooklyn Bridge is still standing when many of the bridges built around the same time have vanished into history and been replaced".

It still holds a noble place in devices which have served mankind well, and is still as beautiful as it is functional.

(Nice picture, especially if you have broadband internet and a 30" wide-screen monitor or such- it's 14,175x3,936 pixels!)

Longest Suspension Bridge Spans

Phil Bell said...

Goodnight Gadfly,
I'm off to the hay too.
(Looks like we "swapped posts" at the same minute!)

gadfly said...

Phil . . . just a last comment. While in Electronic's School on Treasure Island in 1956, I once walked across the bridge across the "Golden Gate", which was opened the year I was born, 1937 (the bridge is older). The wire and technology was supplied by the "Roebling" company . . . all that which was learned between 1869 to 1883 was remembered and applied. I walked across . . . to the north end, and halfway back. A "CHP" (California Highway Patrolman") took pity on me, a sailor getting drenched in a rainstorm in the middle of that tremendous bridge . . . and gave me a ride back into San Francisco.

The massive size of that bridge cannot begin to be appreciated, until you look up into the literal clouds of those two towers, and then look down into the Pacific waters below . . . it's almost beyond description.

Good night!

gadfly

(So much excellent technology . . . so little is remembered!)

("The Great Bridge" [Brooklyn], David McCullough . . . an excellent book, very much worth reading.)

fred said...

thanks for your welcome Phil ...
only one hint : don't pay too much attention to my diatribes ...

i only believe we are at a double cross-road ...

the end of US leadership (in economy and very probably politically as well) and at the end of Hyper-consuming era ...

Black Tulip said...

A giant has passed. Richard Whitcomb, of the area rule, supercritical airfoil and winglets, has died. Like Vern Raburn, of the smoking crater, he won the Collier Trophy.

baron95 said...

Fred,

US leadership is not ending. It's simply becoming less dominant - and that is healthy.

As for consumption ending. You are out of your mind. 2 Billion human beings in China, Russia, Brazil for example, are just getting their first tastes of consumption. If you look at the movies, cars, computers, TVs they are buying and their carbon footprint, they are actually increasing consumption much, much faster than the US and Europe did at the same stage of personal income in our histories.

Even with the absurd taxation on imports in these countries (specially Brazil and China), consumption is soaring.

There is absolutely no indication in any economic models that consumption will decrease. Quite the contrary.

I'd like to see the US$ drop slowly to the $2/Euro level over a couple of years and $0.2/Yen, so we can fairly capitalize on that export market.

Bright days ahead for the global economy for sure.

Peace + Freer Trade + 2B more humans consuming. That combination has never seen before and it will be a boom louder than an F105 at M2 ;)

baron95 said...

Question is, will we have innovative GA planes for these people to consume? Will we make it easier and more convenient to train pilots to fly them?

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

Thanks for the info. Here's a good and brief article about the man:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-richard-whitcomb19-2009oct19,0,3160769.story

gadfly

(Notice his attitude about money, et. al.)

airsafetyman said...

"I'd like to see the US$ drop slowly to the $2/Euro level over a couple of years and $0.2/Yen, so we can fairly capitalize on that export market."

Hey, great! That $200,000 vacation hideaway near Barcelona will now cost you $400,000. And wait until you get the bill for a nice restaurant meal with the family in Euroland. But, hey, Cessna will get to sell their Chinese P.O.S. "Skycatcher" really cheap in Europe. More jobs for the Chinese worker-bees, more profits for the fat cats at Textron. Is this a great country or what? I feel better already.

BassMaster said...

The passing of Mr. Whitcomb is a time for his peers and students alike to remember his tireless work and forge ahead. NACA was proud to have him as an associate, very well respected in many circles.

Amazing that Raburn was awarded the same "trophy" that Mr. Whitcomb was awarded. Things have certainly changed....and on that note must continue to do so!

Raburn's original vision undoubtedly set the bar for a VLJ type.

A plump order book drove big spending for a season and we know what happened around 4 years ago when reality set in.

Planes would have to be basically rebuilt (sometimes 3X) to get them sold to the FAA...not to mention the customer inspections that were so profitable to certain companies. There was never an issue of conflict of interest or IP during the time of those inspections either, despite the inside connections.

Thank you Mr. Whitcomb for your tireless efforts. Thank you to your colleagues that helped with everything and thank you to the various US Government entities that funded the great research. Yeah I know we all paid for it but Mr. Whitcomb's stuff was well worth it!

Phil Bell said...

Fred,
"don't pay too much attention to my diatribes..."

I think you quite underestimate the appreciation with which they are recieved- they are not diatribes at all, and I enjoy them a lot!

From my observation, those who would contend otherwise, do so making a diatribe of their own in protest. I would not like to see the blog depriving of your unique and rich contributions. Some folks want the familiar "meat and potatoes", and will occasionally complain "I don't like the way that tastes" when presented with something unfamiliar. But I and many others find you "spice up" the blog deliciously- and always with the most noble of intentions!

Phil Bell said...

Thanks to Black Tulip, and Gadfly and Bassmaster, for the news and comments on Richard Whitcomb.

(His is a really inspiring story- one person can really make a difference!)

Phil Bell said...

New headline post up- NBAA time!

baron95 said...

More pain for L3/Avidyne...

PiperJet, HondaJet, will have Garmin 3000 flight decks. CirrusJet will have unspecified Garmin flightdeck.

It's looking like it will be Garmin all the way from the Husky/DA20 2 seaters to the Phenom 300/HondaJet light twin jets.

This is the closest we have even been to a de facto standard in GA flight decks.

And to think that 20 years ago no one even knew of Garmin.

This is nothing short of an "extinction of the dinosaurs" phenomenon.

Well done Garmin - keep on putting the screws on the legacy makers.

I think the GA engine/airframe legacies are just as exposed as the GA avionics legacies proved to be.

Arizona foreclosures said...

What is the value of a Dayjet plane, whose build quality is crap, which has been standing around for about a year, which needs most systems replaced to higher spec parts which there are no vendors for. I would think it is worth the value of the parts you can flogg off within the first year. 100K + the engines? Mold Certification