Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2010 !!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day wishes to all our fellow bloggers!

Especially Shane and our other friends in Ireland. (Of course, today, "Everyone is Irish"!).

I contemplated a "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow picture, and smiled when I considered how the optics and color contained therein would have fascinated the early scientists from our previous headlines, as they spent much of their time considering such subjects.

Speaking of pot's of gold- I a headline post is coming up on economists- and also one on aerodynamics and engines, so don't fret that our blog is turning into The Economist (although it is one of my favorite magazines. Also one of the few "news" sources that is a) a news source, and b) not owned by Rupert Murdoch- I do not consider those two facts a mere coincidence).

But hey, what the heck- it's Saint Patrick's Day! No heavy reading allowed on Wednesday- technology and socioeconomics will wait for another day (Sunday night).

So in the mean time- I hope everyone has a smashing Saint Patrick's Day (although I admonish revelers to be responsible, and NOT have a smashing ending, as an interesting video Baron kindly put up might illustrate. (-I hope we can all celebrate many MORE St. Patrick Day's to come!)

Cheers to all, and best wishes for a jovial and safe Saint Patrick's Day!


Phil Bell said...

Many great discussions on the last thread. I confess- I really DO enjoy the economic debates. And speaking of that- welcome back to our sea faring friend Fred!! I hope your journey is going well, and you have a safe port to, well, enjoy some port in.

(Hmmm, "port" = Portuguese wine- who would'a drunk it- I mean thunk it! :)

Beedriver inquired about small turbine efficiency- and got many helpful responses- thanks to all.

Also Beedriver's question about Epic- thanks to Barry for keeping us updated on developments in Bend.

Happy St Pats!

fred said...

Thanks Phill

i do prefer ti-punch and pina-colada (i don't have a ~ on keyboard allowing letters N with , hope Mr Gadfly won't be upset ;-) ) on the beach ...

i usually use port-wine for cooking , even if i agree some are too precious to end up this way !

i had to come back to the Old-World for some family matters , but life in Caribbean is quite OK ! ;-)

this is what i was looking for : Life without schedule , meeting , or anything ...

no intellectual-contortion-Gymnastics to convince myself to be right (pun intended for Baron)

So i take the Occasion to wish a Good St Patrick to Mr Shane , our previous host ...
and by extension , i have good emotions for his predecessor our Monsieur Stan ...
without him things would have surfaced only much later (Too late ?) and perhaps only in a flexible-hidden matter (re-pun)

i wish all a good day , a good party and may Mr Stan make bubbles snorkeling for many St Patrick to come !

fred said...

sorry to bore to death most of readers ...

Baron :

yes , US Eco has always been very adaptive and fast to shift from A to B ...

still you are making two major mistakes :

1° we are not in an ideal world ! so following this statement IF things would have followed your thoughts Vern's toys would have been a great success , Peoples would have been queuing to buy one ...

that's is theoretic , reality sounds much more like Mr Shane wrote :

Vern had no interests in planes , ONLY in making heaps of cash as fast as possible !

2° the world around you !
even if USA can adapt fast , what about others ?

all empires have known the same ending ... provoked by some causalities learned FROM the inside ...

British Empire collapsed because Gandhi was trained INSIDE the british empire ...

Indochine was lost to French colonial empire when Ho Chi Minh started his studies in Paris ...

USA started the process when Chinese students were welcomed into US universities ...

New situation = New Era !

on top of it , yes about competitiveness ...

only a MAJOR shortfall in it :
at WHAT PRICE will it come ?

that is the reason why Capitalism is more efficient under a less democratic regime ...

under a real democracy , VOTERS always tend to choose the easy way ...
(i know only one exception : Germans of now , they push their leaders to austerity , but it came at a very high price : History !)

a bit like if i would tell you :

Give-up all your toys and luxurious way of life ... and may be , in a future i cannot determine when , your situation will be better = you will have twice the amount of toys !

Normal reaction = ?

there , it is like the Keynes story = all peoples who kept their stock-shares in 1929 are now extremely rich !
problem= they are ALL dead and long forgotten !

my lack of trust for politicians is probably my main shortfall ...

your confidence in them , seems to be yours !

airtaximan said...

from Baron...

"Adam? Cirrus? Diamond? Grob? Epic? Safire? Piper?

They EAC) delivered 250+ Part 135 capable IFR certified jets, with SBs to add FIKI and RNAV.

No more, no less.

It is still infinetely more than any other startup, and infinitely more than all established OEMs except two (Embraer and Cessna).

So the question is, is:
- Diamond (late, but getting it right, and will be supported, if delivered)

- Adam (burnt only $200M or so before shutting down)

- Sapphire )burnt $50M before ceasing operations)

- Grob (burnt 200M before stopping Certification due to an investor backing out) ... BTW this was NOT a VLJ

Worse than Eclipse?
- EAC built and delivered a bunch of sub standard planes at 2X the projected price, lost money on all of them, left their clients holding the bag regarding upgrades required to make the planes really useful beyond a prop... and burnt $3 Billion in the process...

Is someone really trying to make THIS case?

Yes your honor... we spent $3 billion in development and we DID deliver the vaccine, it cost $400 a shot, 10% of the clients who paid in advance got the vaccine before we stopped making it, it was not really ready, required significant treatments at the clients expense after they got the shot, and we're sorry a lot of people suffered and are in the hospital now, but YES, we did deliver "something"... while the other guys either did not deliver anything and stopped trying to mitigate the dammage/loss, or they are still in the process of getting it right before it i delivered.

I am not sure I'd call EAC better than any failed attempt. IN fact, I'd say the others lost less money and stopped before they became a "fraud", IMO.

Beedriver said...

Eclipse was set up from the start designed to steal customers money if necessary.

In my mind the problem with the way Vern ran Eclipse was when eclipse took deposits and did not put them in escrow and especially when they flew the airplane with engines that were nothing like the production engines and told people to give them money that was not put in escrow. that was FRAUD.

investors and even suppliers that put money in a startup or sell parts etc on time know or should know the risk they are taking. When I invest in a startup I sign all kinds of papers that make sure I know the real risk. Telling customers to send money without a product and not putting it in escrow, is lying if you do not make the customer sign a contract that this money is at major risk.

The lesson to take away is that you never should give money to a company that does not have the product ready to ship or the money is put in escrow. This is what legitimate companies do. Adam etc were far better companies than the fraudulent operation Vern ran.

Honorable companies make sure everyone knows the risk and does not hide the fact it has nothing to ship. anything else is fraud.

airtaximan said...


worse still, the money WAS in escrow... Vern broke escrow based on the BS engine first flight stunt. Then after he got the $$$ fired WI and moved along.

This was definately fraud.

I remember all the chatter about how VErn did not know the engine was going in the trash. his is his cover, but its complete BS.

One would have to believe EAC was integratng an engine with no visibility in the development program, and no idea of schedule. I think EAC was funding its dev alss... how unimaginable is this?


Beedriver said...

thanks, I did not know that. It sounds like another clause needs to be put in the escrow agreement a customer signs requiring that the aircraft etc is in conforming configuration or some such language.

The VLJ twin jet project I know about( which is not very public and should fly by this summer) will have the first flight in conforming configuration and in addition they are not taking deposits until the airplane actually flys and can show that it should meet spec.

Refreshing to see that they actually want to show something before they take anyone's money.

airtaximan said...

b... is this the non-US VLJ program?

Normally, escrow cannot be broken until first flight - first flight used to mean first flight of THE aircraft, not "another" aircraft - see how this works... normally, one does not need speciific language, until Vern.

Also, somoene here said it best - if they need your deposit money for development, you are probably NOT going to get a plane.

Black Tulip said...

Just completed the Phenom 100 type rating at CAE Simuflite in Dallas. The first week was occupied by classroom lecture, avionics panels and the instrument procedures trainer. The second included 28 hours in the simulator - half flying and half as observer.

Positve - the level of cockpit integration in the Garmin 1000 is fantastic. Negative - single engine performance under high and hot conditions is marginal (as expected). Factory support appears to be good.

How is the Eclipse fleet doing with upgrades and parts?

fred said...


Normally, escrow cannot be broken until first flight - first flight used to mean first flight of THE aircraft, not "another" aircraft

i fully agree with the dubious way of doing ...

was just stupidity from depositors , Greed or what ?

the only circumstance for depositors :
they were "swallowed" into Vern's BS like in a wild-dance ...

i wonder how some "DieHard prayer" feel now about playing then the drums to cover the noise made by the ones who kept some basic common-sens ?

as well if they duck to cover in an eventual search of responsibilities ...

Baron95 said...

OMG - we are still arguing escrow funds release and risk in making deposit for planes from a start up company to be delivered 5 years down the road?


The agreement IS the agreement. There were MULTIPLE got out of jail free events at Eclipse. As late as 2008, people like Gunner, took their deposit money back.

We don't need nannies for corporations and high-net-worth individuals entering into contracts.

The reason that people like Ken kept their deposits through the refundable events, is because they were RISKING their deposit money to get what they KNEW was a $2M jet for $850K.

No harm, no foul.

Some people like that thrill. Be the first, pay less than the others, etc. And they are willing to risk time and money. No more, no less.

Me? I have NEVER, EVER even ordered a car or a sofa. If it is not on the lot to be picked up today, I have not interest.

I see this over and over again. New car/plane/iPad whatever about to be launched, all this rush and pressure to pre-order, etc...

My last car, the dealer told me was special order only in the summer, that they'd never be available on the lot. I said "Nice. Thank you". A few months later, I had my pick of four on the lot and drove a hard bargain.

Even on A380 and 787 airliners - there are slots trading all the time based on order cancellations.

Every company from Adam to Cirrus to Boeing uses deposit money for development of the planes. ALL OF THEM.

If Boeing went bankrupt tomorrow, LH's deposit for the 748i would go into the same liquidation pool, and if Boeing had no assets, they'd lose the money.

You guys make up a world that doesn't exist in your heads, and then try to show how Eclipse/Vern were so different/bad.

They did nothing different than Adam et all. Run out of money. Except that they had more funding and delivered more planes before running out, and pushed the limits of their contracts. All very normal, expected, happens ALL THE TIME.

There is absolutely NOTHING unusual about Eclipse as far as a start-up or small GA OEM. Nothing at all.

None of them are squeaky clean. None of them are models of efficiency. None of them lasts for long without distress, bankruptcy, fire sales, etc.

Oh - I take it back. There is one difference. The Eclipse saga happened in the "Blog Internet Era" and we (collective) were very efficient at dissecting the situation.


WhyTech said...

"If it is not on the lot to be picked up today, I have not interest."

Now thats being risk averse! Difficult to buy a relatively sophisticated aircraft this way and get it completed your way. I am willing to take a reasonable deposit risk with a well established manufacturer on an acft certified, in series production, and with enough flying to have the major bugs exterminated (CJ3, Bell 407, yes; Columbus, Bell 429, no). Anything else is venture capital.

WhyTech said...

"Just completed the Phenom 100 type rating at CAE Simuflite in Dallas."

BT, congratulations!

fred said...

Me? I have NEVER, EVER even ordered a car or a sofa. If it is not on the lot to be picked up today, I have not interest.

i wonder how you got a Mercedes AMG ?
Usually ,they are tailored to suit wishes ...

i think you are loosing a balanced approach here ...

i must say you have lost me here !!
you say that it is wonderful that peoples take risks and try to build new business ...
but yourself you don't even want to order an item ???

are you sure you shouldn't join the "French Socialists Party"

they are extremely good for giving lots of advices ... especially if it is not their own money in the line of fire ... ! ;-)

entering into agreement for deposit to get a delivery in X months is no problem , but it need some precautions ...

it always amaze me that most think about legal advices when it is already too late ...!

so , i am sorry , i disagree (is that coming as surprise ?)

the very fact of putting " a pot of gold" (St Patrick's day) without too many strings and being contented by some "spell"
( bla bla bla , disruptive bla bla bla making a fortune bla bla bla selling positions)

is in my view , either Greedy or Stupid or both !

fred said...

Congratulations BT ...

i envy you ...

and Jet goes slightly faster than Boat , but navigation is about the same ...! ;-)

Black Tulip said...


Given your adventures in your boat I'll trade places, even if the speed in knots is moved to the left one or two decimals.

Baron95 said...

Black Tulip said...

Just completed the Phenom 100 type rating at CAE Simuflite in Dallas.



Yep it is a heavy bird for those engines. Clean, thus fast, but not much you can do in climb performance with the dustbuster in the tails. Glad you likes the G1000 integration.

Perhaps, with your writing skills, you can help explain to others ( I gave up) why not all G1000 installations are the same, and how this is on a completely different level than the G1000 on say the TBM.

Baron95 said...

Fred said...
i wonder how you got a Mercedes AMG ?
Usually ,they are tailored to suit wishes ...


Typical European thinking.

It is different in the US.

Most high end cars, including the S63AMR, Jaguar XFR, have NO-OPTIONS, other than external/interior colors. All else is standard bundled in.

And I got both - OFF THE LOT.

gadfly said...

Baron . . . Some time back you said that you play the “devil’s advocate” . . . so we understand that nothing you say is truly serious. So, I accept your honesty about every comment you make.

Concerning the ordering of things not in the “show-room” (Baron, you can listen in on these comments, although they are not directed at you) . . . my major purchases have been “without seeing the merchandise” ahead of time. They included some little things like various milling machines, lathes, tool-grinders, countless tools (big stuff . . . not hand tools), a “Wirecut-EDM” from Mitsubishi . . . “$152,000" (when “Jimmy” the “Peanut Farmer” was president, and interest was 20.5 percent, and our new business was earning a negative $2.50 per hour, with me working about 80 hours per week), . . . a milling machine from Mazak (Yamazaki Corp.), “$168,000" . . . another Mazak for “ $260,000", plus tooling . . . other wirecut-EDM’s, exceeding the earlier ones, etc., etc., etc., . . . because the companies that produced the product did exactly what they promised to do. And, for that matter, I’ve purchased a few Toyota products, including a couple of “Lexus” . . . sight-unseen . . . and haven’t yet been disappointed. The first “Camry” . . . purchased over the phone from a dealer far away from Albuquerque (the “locals” have proven they cannot be trusted, make a note) . . . a driver delivered it to our shop . . . I gave him a check, took him to the airport . . . and was a most happy customer.

Funny thing, here . . . the first machinery was purchased on a “hand shake”, because I had already established the fact that my word meant exactly what I said . . . and folks had learned to trust me. This is not meant to be a boast, but to illustrate that a man’s word is worth far more than something written on a piece of paper. All that machinery, in those early days, was delivered without “down payment” . . . and everything was paid in full, as per agreement.

Another anecdote: In December 1975, I shook hands with the “landlord” . . . to rent this building . . . we’ve been here for . . . what? . . . thirty four years, three months . . . and a few years ago, we “bought the building” (We moved in on January 1, 1976 . . . in the third bay).

A man must stand up to his promises. My concern for folks like “Vern” and “Bill Richardson” . . . where are they? . . . when push comes to shove? No one says it’s “easy” to be honest . . . but “buyer beware”!

And in all this discussion about the little jet . . . Don’t forget for a moment the hundreds of families that were offered a future, yet “hung out to dry” when things began to unfold.

Will Bill Richardson and the others be brought to account for their part in all this? . . . Time will tell! At the moment they are not hurting . . . but based on their support for the little bird, many others continue to suffer from the event.


BMW? . . . that was, in time, a loser . . . it took me a second “Beemer” to learn the lesson. And Volvo . . . Now I know why the Swedes export that thing. And VW? . . . don’t even get me started.

Honesty . . . keeping a person’s word, means everything in business. If a person lies to you, once . . . continue to be his friend, but never, ever trust him again. Never!

WhyTech said...

"Most high end cars, including the S63AMR, Jaguar XFR, have NO-OPTIONS"

Fortunately, not ALL do this. Porsche offers a near endless list of options, including paint matched to a color chip, to those of us to whom such things matter.

Black Tulip said...

Dear Baron,

I cannot speak to the Garmin 1000 (Prodigy) in the TBM but I believe the level of systems integration in the Phenom 100 is impressive. The Garmin 1000 is far more than an avionics/flight control package and serves as the brain of the airplane. I was just looking through the Quick Reference Handbook and counted the Crew Advisory Messages that can appear on the Pilot Flight Displays:

Red (Warning): 11 Yellow (Caution): 99 White (Advisory): 49 Think about how few lights might be in the annunciator panel of a steam gauge airplane.

This is in addition to dozens and dozens of red/yellow/green/white numerical and graphical indications that appear for powerplant, weight/balance, air conditioning, autopilot, brakes, communication, navigation, electrical, fire, hydraulics, ice, landing gear, flaps, pressurization, environmental, and doors and system status.

The Phenom takes action automatically where pilot input was previously required – such as isolating the electrical emergency bus with vital items in case of power failure. If the cabin dump switch is pressed, it takes the cabin altitude to 12,000 feet, not to aircraft altitude… say the ceiling of 41,000 feet. The autopilot will automatically raise the nose at Mmo/Vmo if the pilot commands an excessive pitch down attitude. In case of engine loss on takeoff, the FADEC of operating engine automatically increases thrust. The list goes on… Then add in SafeTaxi (the aircraft is geo-located on an expanded airport diagram)… Jeppesen approach plates…XM weather and entertainment…with synthetic vision around the corner (airport runways, airport signage, hills and towers).

Needless to say learning the Garmin 1000 is important before arriving for training. Garmin sells a very nice emulator for twenty five bucks; I suggest you buy it. It emulates the pilot flight displays, multifunction display, aircraft flight control system, console keyboard – you can fly all around the U.S. with a gaming joystick making WAAS approaches to your heart’s delight – hand flown or coupled. I also found that flying a Cessna 172 with the Garmin 1000 including integrated autopilot for six hours to be an excellent primer.

julius said...


news about NA Jet:

NAJet 'Go' for single-pilot Eclipse 500 charter(flightglobal 17.03.2010)

Just $149,000 for "FIKI" and Garmin GNS - after 40 "upgrades" (more 20 already made plus some in work). Spain's JET READY plans - after ful EASA cert - to buy some fpjs for theior "airtaxi" operations!

Oh, that's not worth an EAI customer comminiqué.

Congrats for your Phn 100 rating!


BTW: Dries, Klapmeier, Raburn:
Three different ways of realizing the dream of a jet...
Who are winners or loser?

gadfly said...

. . . Maybe of interest:



Baron95 said...

Thanks BT - hopefully that will help illustrate how Embraer Prodigy and Cirrus Perspective implementations of the G1000 are more than a bolt on. It seems that most on this blog revolted when I mentioned that a few months back. Nothing like a type-rated first hand account ;)

WT - Dully noted. There are "some" high end and others (e.g. muscle cars), where there is a cult to spec items such as rear end ratio, etc.

Still I can walk into a Porsche dealership and pullout a Cayman S with PDK or Manual and Panamera Turbo or Cayenne Turbo off the lot, most days. And if not available on the lot, usually, an acceptable combination of color and features can be located by cross-dealer inventory and be on the lot the following day or so.


Gad - Agreed. I too have ordered items sight unseen, on eBay, Amazon, etc.

My point was buying an item that was already in existence, available to ship to me or take home, vs an item to be built in the future, or worse, yet to be engineered, etc.

I didn't mean to imply I had to see/touch the item. I meant it as an illustration of buying something that is already a known quantity, in existence.

As a matter of fact, I look forward to the US Federal Gvmt to finally pass laws removing the automobile franchising laws, so I can buy all my new cars directly off the internet, without all the dealer delivery BS.

Or I should say, lease, since I don't like to own depreciating assets that can be confiscated by the government for minor infractions, like driving without insurance, driving down a street with female street "action", and the like.

If it were not for the tax advantages, I'd not own a home either. I like my chips to be mobile at all time.

eclipse_deep_throat said...

How sad ......and um .....a bit funny at the same time: Beach jogger killed by plane. The murder weapon was a Lancair IV-P.



airtaximan said...

hey, Baron... I mean flip-flopper..

did we not have a discussion baout ownership models versus charter, and charter being the new "reality" in GA... and now this?

I'd rather not own... c'mon

Baron95 said...

Charleston-based North American Jet has received US Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly its fleet of 10 Eclipse 500 very light jets in single-pilot mode for charter flights - a first for the nascent fleet of five-seat, twin-engined jets.

The approval follows NAJet's upgrade of its fleet to the latest specifications by Eclipse Aerospace, the company that bought the assets of the bankrupt Eclipse Aviation in August and launched operations in September, focusing first on upgrades, service and parts for the fleet of more than 200 aircraft.

Included in the upgrades are flight into known icing capability and AvioNG version 1.5. The avionics include an S-Tec autopilot coupled to a Garmin 400 GPS navigation system for reduced pilot workload on departures, en route and approach phases of flight.

Eclipse Aerospace co-founder and executive vice-president Mike Press says the company has completed 20 of the $149,000 upgrades to date, with 20 more "in the works". Press says there is likely to be a price increase after the first 40 aircraft are completed because of increased parts prices from suppliers.



The Intelligentsia predicted that the FAA would pull and never re-instate the TC, let alone Part 135 Certificates, let alone single-pilot passenger charter certificates, on such a flawed jet.


The Intelligentsia predicted that the entire fleet would be grounded long ago, and no planes would ever achieve latest configuration, FIKI, Aviog NG 1.5, etc. Can't be true - 10% of the fleet already upgraded in a few short months. FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD, THEY PAID OFF THE FAA.


The Intelligentsia predicted that the upgrades would cost more than the value of the airframe and that no supplier would sell them the parts. Only $149K!!! 20+20 on hand? FRAUD!!!! FRAUD!!!! FRAUD!!!

Clearly NOT what Shane wanted to read on St Patty's day - even his green beer can't save his credibility now;) ;) ;)

Baron95 said...

Hi ATM - I think a meaningful percentage of Airliners and Biz Jets being operated by businesses is in fact leased. That is why GE and AIG (ILFC) are Boeing's largest customers.

But you are correct - I used the term "owned" incorrectly, to mean planes under direct control, weather owned outright, leased or financed.

Either way, the views I expressed are geared to my personal private ownership preferences.

Given all that is happening around us, I prefer to keep all my assets, liquid and mobile. In an environment of ZERO interest rate, there is little incentive to own depreciating assets.

Appreciating assets (home in the right location, vintage car, rare/vintage/appreciating plane) are good exceptions.

If interest rates go back to 20%, you bet I'd be buying cars outright again.

Black Tulip said...


Kindly let us know where and when the Eclipse 500 will be flown single-pilot charter...especially in weather. I'd like to stay indoors on those days, perhaps in the basement.

fred said...

Bt :

the best speed i have achieved to date is 17 Knots (without stress)

i took notice on your advice to stay inside concrete-bunkers on the day for Single-pilot-charter with our favorite joke ...

i would like to know if St Barth is within reach ?
in case of , i would leave area much before Hurricane season ! ;-)

just for a reminder :

boat are slower than jets ... we agree...
but that is not the sole difference ...

the third axis of movement on a boat is called :

to be sinking ! ;-)

fred said...

Baron :

with your car buying you remind me of a guy i met many times on the Paris-Dakkar race ...

he didn't like the race at all , but was following competitors every years ...

one day i asked him "Why ?"

answer : one day , one competitor will give-up , if we are on the side of the road nowhere in Africa ...
i would have a chance to buy a race4X4 for a symbolic euro ! ;-)

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

baron :

That is why GE and AIG (ILFC) are Boeing's largest customers.

yes ...

but they are themselves client of WHO ?

just for a hint :

it's a "Banking" (between brackets because it has nothing to do with banking activities ! a more correct term would be "High Level Robbery by taking Hostage everybody") firm you state admiring ... and they are preparing RIGHT NOW the next banking crisis (12 to 18 months , IMO) ...

you did not guess yet ?

ok , their derivatives risk exposure is over 30.000 [correction] %their assets (yes , it is written THOUSANDS ...)
or 300 times (i got a bit generous and confused between times and % before correction ! no one to say i do not need this !)
to be honest , this board should get a Nobel Prize !

they demonstrated that Democracy and capitalism are different issues (ok , we knew ! Pinochet wasn't exactly a freedom lover , still he has revived his country's economy to a level that wouldn't be achieved with voter's wishes ...)

on top of it : they invented a new meaning for "Free Market Eco" ...

where free has to belong to them , and what doesn't belong to them has to be carpet-bombed !

wonderful ! this is so progressive ! ;-)

Shane Price said...


Clearly NOT what Shane wanted to read on St Patty's day - even his green beer can't save his credibility now;) ;) ;)

That would be 'St. Paddy's Day', at best. Not even one historical references to our Patron Saint has come close to suggesting 'he' was a 'she'.

But then believing press releases from the Eclipse camp has been known to cause serious mental difficulties, for many people.

Symptoms include severe monetary loss, followed by low self esteem and then an outburst of anger.

That's just before the lawyers get hired....

And another thing.

I have never, ever lowered myself to drinking green beer. As most people here fully understand, my favorite tipple is actually black.

As an aside, I've never said EA was a fraud. I'm remain dubious about their financial health, especially as their principle source of funding (upgrades for the remaining 200 odd aircraft) is now declared to be a maximum of $30 million. They claim they have 60 staff, so the annual wage bill has to be north of $5 million. Allow them a 50% margin on these sales (I'm feeling generous today) and they burn their entire potential income in less than 3 years.

And they're already more than one year in...


Enjoy the Phenom, which would appear to be one of the few entry level twin jets that will succeed, from a company (like Cessna) with a strong market position.


Thanks for your kind thoughts. You've chosen a very civilized way to explore the world so I hope you continue to enjoy many more happy days cruising at 17 knots.


julius said...


seems that Mike Press was so excited about this new plan, that he didn't want to put it into the customer communiqué!

BTW: In times of repo 105 - (or repurchase agreements which must not be commented in the balance sheet according to E&Y) Ken Ross didn't speak of buying just "add"ing! A positive message!
But flight global/ Mike Press didn't mention that this was an intra company business...

What do you do, if there are too many own a/cs parking on the ramp: you (try to) recycle, sell, or use them (in alphabetic order!).


fred said...

Herr Julius ...

the "Repo 105" inspire me few thoughts ...

* it is nothing new !
in "normal" banking activities , it is called "cross-linked payment"

the principle is dead easy to get understood :

you have a first credit-card which stipulate you start paying back 45 days after and that you have to in + every X months ...

when you are badly overdraft for too long = just get an other credit-card and use it to get from - to + on the first card , you will do the reverse operation on the second with the first a bit later ...

many do this for ages ... no need to applause any "W.S.genius" for that ...
ok , you may say that Britts do it for a long time , but their actual financial health might not be such a good example !! ;-)

* i don't know about you , but i feel what is at stake here is nothing less than one angular stone of capitalism ...

if one get big enough or seems to be big enough to dictate his own view to the market ...

we are then in a monopolistic position !

Vern could have thought about it , if G&S tomorrow when to launch IPO on a firm doing "Dung-O-Bag" their size very well helped in this by the typical "very short term thinking" will make it an absolute buy in W.S. !

the only problem , the "End-Buyer" (the one who pays the final bill) i wonder who it can be ... any guess ??? ;-)

* The crisis known in the last few months has bear a wonderful fruit =

if you are a crook ... sorry error , a banker and are afraid of your exposure to the market , but want to keep making your own fat benefit ..

what should you do ?

simple , become big enough that no political power can have any other choice than bailing you out each time it is needed !

wonderful lesson !

fred said...

little addendum to previous ...

as Baron said :

NO problem , Feds can print as much as they want !
(just a reminder "Feds" is a private consortium supposed to be controlled by Senate)

for the sake of world , let's hope they don't run out of ink ...! ;-)

fred said...

Honesty . . . keeping a person’s word, means everything in business. If a person lies to you, once . . . continue to be his friend, but never, ever trust him again. Never! ...

to some extents , YES , absolutely !
(extent = like in front of casinos , if there is the mention "Play ONLY the money you can afford to loose" is well displayed , then Honesty can be an artifice ...!)

this made me wonder from depositors :

when BK was filled to screw some furnishers ...

WHY depositors didn't think :

"Today their turn , WHEN is going to be mine ? "

Baron95 said...

Hi Shane - Apologies - No offense meant in the mistyping of your patron saint. I was just too excited to provoke you ;) hope you indeed had a great celebration. No reason for it not to continue into the weekend ;)


Hi Julius - indeed. Lots of incestuous dealing there at EAI - I dully noted the location. Next they'll be flying insurance forms and prescriptions on the planes ;)

The only notable was - 20 planes upgraded, and 10 on Part 135 Single Pilot Charter Certificate, and first mention of $149K.

Again - no more, no less.


Guys - get your facts straight. Repo 105 is an European problem - it was run out of Lehman's UK branch, because they couldn't run it out of the US as no lawyers/accountant would sign off on it. Anyway Lehman is gone, dealt with, no taxpayer money to it.

What is the big deal?

Is this your version of "Eclipse too deposits out of escrow to fund development"?

Duh!!! Their balance sheet looked like s$#@ and they tried to make it look like perfumed s$#@. Didn't work - they bought 15 days!!!! LOL

Talk about a non event.

julius said...


naturally a repurchase agreement is the normal tough way of loaning money.
It's like going to the pawn house.
Bankers always trust each other.

It only becomes "interesting" if it is normal business at some days of the year and the registered auditor accepts this.

I also heard that the US (gov. & companies) will have to refinance $1.7T until 2012. They should start right now....before the intrest rates increase or there is no Chinese ink any more.

EAI offers about 14 fpj on controller...and there is hardly any reaction...
EAI is skipping Ed's first steps of DayJet - no Dayports, every flight is welcomed: no two pilots crew!

Who wants to fly a jet without FIKI or GNS: This upgrade is just standard.
Like in cars: how much money do one get more for a better radio if one sells the car?.


fred said...

get your facts straight. Repo 105 is an European problem -

you see :

Honesty as an artifice ! ;-)

may be i could give you the phone number of J.C. Trichet ...

i am sure he owes some apologies to US Tax-payers ...! ;-)

julius said...


Duh!!! Their balance sheet looked like s$#@ and they tried to make it look like perfumed s$#@. Didn't work - they bought 15 days!!!! LOL

I'm not sure - some of the emplyees might have known that they were working on a sinking ship,
but these repo 105 secured them the next quarter and the task to sell or not to sell some new Lehman certs - AAAA rated!

I do not know like - the wedge in Abq and staff with EAC?


Shane Price said...


I hope you understand I'm also 'bantering' with you, with no malice aforethought.

Or even afterthought....

As it happens, I was a good boy yesterday, and didn't have any Guinness.

Until after dark.


There's another theory doing the rounds, which is that EA are scared of getting dragged into EAC's 'discovery' mess and that's why they've stopped updating their web site.

As an aside there was an interesting event here this morning. The person who regarded themselves as the principle 'architect' of the property bubble here in Ireland was arrested, and has spent the day in police custody. He was the Chairman and CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, which had to be nationalized in January to prevent a systemic failure in our banking system.

This from RTE, our national broadcaster:-

Former Chairman and Chief Executive of Anglo Irish Bank Sean FitzPatrick has been arrested by members of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

Mr FitzPatrick was arrested at his home in Greystones at 6.30am.

Gardaí also searched Mr FitzPatrick's home.

He is being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

I would add the following comment. It's highly unusual for our Gardaí (the Irish word for police) to act in such a public manner unless they are confident of a conviction. In a fraud matter, it's practically unheard of.

'Repro 105' may or may not be a strictly European issue, but fraud is fraud. Those who commit the crime have to be prepared to do the time.

Vern (et al) when at EAC may have sailed close to the line, or even crossed it. That, for me, is not relevant. I did was I did in 2008/9 because I 'smelled a rat'. The lack of business ethics offended me then, and continues to annoy me now.

That's where Baron and I differ. He thinks mature adults should be allowed risk money in dodgy ventures. I draw the line when the risk element is removed, by those who are deliberate in their deception.

My opinion is that EAC changed from a 'risky' enterprise to a scam, at some point. And that's simply not right. It's like playing poker with a stacked deck. The 'other' side know the outcome, whereas you are certain to lose.

No risk for the crooks, in other words. Which is fraud, a criminal offence in most modern legal systems.

Simple, really, when you look at it like that.


Baron95 said...

Hi Shane,

I don't think I disagree with you on prosecuting fraud. If EAC or Vern made statements that were factual false in order to take someone's money, I have no problem with them being prosecuted or sued.

On the other hand, if they have a contract that said - money will be released from escrow when a PROTOTYPE flies - then so be it. It is up to the purchaser to insist on "conforming prototype" or any other definition they want - or like me, not make deposits for things that haven't been engineered yet.

Anyway - that is rehashing the past. Just be careful that you don't discourage innovation by criminalizing or enforcing "fraud" statutes too narrowly.

There has to be some elasticity and common sense there. An enthusiastic entrepreneur will often make the wildest claims and truly believe it.

fred said...

some of the employees might have known that they were working on a sinking ship,
but these "repo 105" secured them the next quarter

yes , Julius ...
and it reminds me of the time i have spent in JPMorgan N-Y ...

the Head of section was telling us every morning :
"REMEMBER , NOTHING absolutely NOTHING is forbidden ... except may be to get caught ! "

There has to be some elasticity and common sense there.

this is exactly where the line called "Ethics" lies ...

for some the line is so elastic that meaning end as :
"Do as I say , but please ... please NEVER do as I do myself !"

'Repro 105' may or may not be a strictly European issue, but fraud is fraud. Those who commit the crime have to be prepared to do the time.

well , expect UK , i cannot think of an European Country where "105" or "Cross Linked Payment" is not driving to jail or in real troubles ...!

You've chosen a very civilized way to explore the world

thanks , but civilized ... civilized ???

be careful with words ...

i have a reputation to protect !!

fred said...
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fred said...

naturally a repurchase agreement is the normal tough way of loaning money.
It's like going to the pawn house.
Bankers always trust each other.

oh , yes ...

in scholastic Eco. it is called "Lindsay ....(no souvenir of second name) paradox"

basically it says :

that things have to be equally concurrence or Nothing works ...

so Lehmann was trusted and was trusting ...

the funny bit : who are the others ? is it the same ?
draw your own conclusion !

but don't forget that when one wants to kill his dog , he says :

"the damn bitch got rabbis"

airtaximan said...


"a prototype" of what?

In the limit, this could be anyhing.


Reasonable expectation that "the deposit" was for "a specific" jet, according to a spec.

There's no way THAT plane could even come close to meeting the spec.

One step further - they took off the WI engines, and replaced them with turbojets from Teledyne... would "this" qualify for release of deposits?

I believe there was complete knowledge that the tiny engines could NEVER be used on the jet, except maybe for A flight, to obtain the deposit money.

It was a hoax on the depositors, and the plane did not fly again, ever with these engines. Soon after the deposit oney was recieved, EAC "officially" dumped WI.

A WI emplyee became head of propulsion at EAC, namely Ken Harness - hard to think EAC did not know that engine was going in the garbage right after the plane took flight.

airtaximan said...

single pilot is a real barrier for most charter clients. It will save around $100 an EA50 flight though.

Tough trade.

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WhyTech said...

"At the moment, our “president” is attempting to change our nation into a banana republic . . . "

Far too generous an assessment IMHO. See


Enough to make one cry!

gadfly said...

Yes . . . you are most correct. The "president" has to put off a vacation to his native land, to take care of things in another nation, where he now resides, most of the time.


Floating Cloud said...


You are probably right about Vern (et al). Makes me want to cry, but it is probably true.

Plus please excuse those of us (including me) who are silly Americans who don't know the difference between a female and male Saint as we should. OH, I forgot that's why we ARE Americans!

Floating Cloud

Shane Price said...

Floating Cloud,

St. Patrick, while forever seen as 'Irish' was most likely born a Roman citizen, originally resident in what is now Wales during the 4th century AD. While the historical record of his early life is practically non existent, surviving letters from him to third parties say he was captured as a boy by a raiding party that took him back across the Irish Sea as a slave. He spent a number of years working as a farm hand, retuning (somehow) to Roman territory and studied to be a priest.

In his middle age, he had a 'calling' to return to the land where he'd been enslaved to convert us pagans from our Celtic religion(s). In this he largely succeeded, and Ireland became a repository of Christian learning. In particular, monasteries flourished here during the early stages of the Dark Ages. Many of the early Latin bibles now used as references were produced by monks in Ireland in the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries, Rome itself having fallen into ruin after repeated sackings by Germanic tribes.

I should also take issue with Phil. The logo he's used for this headline is of a four leafed clover. A shamrock has THREE leaves, and is thought of here as a symbol of the Holy Trinity....

That's enough Irish blarney for one post, I think you'll agree.


fred said...

Mr gadfly ...

i apologize for the bad treatment i inflict to the proper English language , often ...

more out of too much passion than for real bad faith .

i think (sorry in advance) that your country has been turned into the qualitative you mentioned for already some (too many !) years ...

both for the sole enrichment of an Ultra-elite and by a burning desire (in good faith) to do the best .

May be i could invite you to read a book written in 1615 by Antoine de Montchrestien "Traité d'économie politique" but i fear it has never been translated ...

it relates mostly what kind of peoples should be in charge of state destiny ...

as well as it point out that "Economy" is coming from 2 greek words (once again , they are in the middle of the play ;-) )

"Oikos" = Household
"Nomos" = government

it would be a good idea for all leaders to meditate those !

fred said...

It will save around $100 an EA50 flight though.

Tough trade.

that was the second Curiosity of Vern's Business plan ...

Private Jet is supposed to be for Elite ...
Elite who recognize itself by the number of attention they deserve ...

so , there is "Normal Service" for most of us , poor sinner ...

and "Exclusive Service" for those

But NEVER a "Cheap and Exclusive Service"

it doesn't really make sens !

would you offer the most wonderful diamond in a paper-bag ?

julius said...

China's first domestically developed civilian helicopter has completed a successful maiden flight in Jingdezhen, in the eastern province of Jiangxi.(2010-03-19).
At last month's Singapore Air Show, Beijing unveiled the Comac C919 aircraft - China's answer to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, which should be available commercially by 2016.

But it will take some time...

Perhaps Airbus and Boeing are waiting to get some realistic figures before they start the new projects - officially.


julius said...


some years ago, one could hear (not me) Porsches with VW engines:
less expensive and good enough at the beach...

So one orders a jet for the charter trip... one pilot, refreshment, little space, ... just an fpj... for a trip from Boston or New bedfort to Martha's V. - 20 from t powder room to powder room...


gadfly said...


Do not apologize for your English . . . you communicate quite well.


Shane Price said...


some years ago, one could hear (not me) Porsches with VW engines:
less expensive and good enough at the beach...

Not just VW engines, but engines used in the VW light panel vans.

Originally the 924 series was not a huge technical or sales success, but it grew up (and ditched the van engine) as the 944, a Turbo version of which taught me valuable lessons about power oversteer.

Not quite as bonkers as 911's of the same vintage, the 944 remains one of my 'iconic' Porches. While not ultimately as fast, it was much tougher than the equivalent 911, and has latterly become much more exclusive.

Enough already about over engineered German sports cars, let's get back to under developed toy jets.

I note that www.controller.com continues to offer 30 FPJ's for sale, with (it appears) the same 14 being offered by Eclipse Aerospace. The only real change is a new 'low' at $725,000 for s/n 114, cobbled together in late 2007. At the other end of the scale Eclipse Aerospace are clearly on a high, with the most expensive one on offer at $1.85 million.

As we say here in Ireland, 'good luck with that one, mate'.

Maybe they don't want to sell anything, and this is all some deep and cunning plan to corner the market.

Or it could be that they've decided to ignore the market (there are several FPJ's offered at around $1 million) and are hoping for an upturn.

As I've said before, Eclipse Aerospace defies rational analysis. Now that was we've found out the upgrades are 'only' $150k the whole enterprise gets very, very difficult to understand.


fred said...

As I've said before, Eclipse Aerospace defies rational analysis. Now that was we've found out the upgrades are 'only' $150k the whole enterprise gets very, very difficult to understand.

may I respectfully suggest that this "Thing" is in no need of rationality ?

it's rather "Business as usual" ;-)

fred said...
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fred said...

Herr Julius ...

by experience , i believe that there is 3 types of person :

1° the ones with Brain and not really anything else ...

2° the ones with money and not really anything else ...

3° the ones with brain and money (at the same time)

this explained , someone in need of a private-jet to go from Powder-room in Boston to powder-room in Martha-Vineyards fit very well in the Cat2

the problem occurring with the Toy : it is not lavish enough ...

would you do like to be known as "some kind of may be rich" ?

instead of "loaded" ; "stuffed with Grants" ; "King of the Heaps" ...

you see Fpj was designed (IMHO)for peoples with enough money to use it , but not enough for the REAL Thing ...

so try to build a whole business with the ones who are not even rich enough to own it directly was , in my view , a big marketing mistake ...as well as a dead end !
(often peoples in the trend want to be seen with EXPENSIVE items , not toys anyone can rent for a handful ... remember about the 2Cv Citroen ? some want the most expensive and known as, not always the best Price/Value/Use )

off-course , one can always find some nuttcase as me who prefer THINGS that they like regardless of what others think about ! ;-)

PS: difference between Cat1 and Cat2 ?
A : NONE , both do not stay in the same state very long ... ;-)

Baron95 said...

ATM said ... "a prototype" of what?

In the limit, this could be anyhing.

Hey ATM - the agreement was the agreement. If it said a prototype of such and such characteristics or this and that engine, or not, it was what it was. And there were numerous refund events after that, and numerous positions sold.

This is a non-issue.

Fact is that Eclipse fixed the plane and started delivering a more capable plane after a two year delay. Depositors, didn't object in droves.

The problem was Eclipse runing out of money in the PRODUCTION and continuing development phase, not the initial development phase.

I'd give you slight more points if you were complaining about the 60% progress payment call-out, which was based entirely on Eclipse's rosy production volume predictions.

But even there, the agreement is the agreement. - if it said "based solely on Eclipse's production volume forecast, blah, blah, blah..." it is what it is.

Sign bad agreements, get bad results.

It is 100% clear to me, that the original Eclipse depositors where star struck, where desperate to get in (like the Madoff investors - please let me in), that Eclipse dictated totally one-sided agreements - take it, or leave it.

Those who took it, then hang on, had predictable results on their hands.

MORE POINTS TO VERN, for driving a hard contract that protected his company's interest.

Anyway, can we move on - 10% of the fleet apparently has FIKI and AvioNG 1.5, another 10% is WIP and will have it soon, Part 135s are about to start, upgrade price of $149K is (not bad), lots to talk about in the present.

Baron95 said...

Gad, This is such silliness, Obama's country of birth, nationality, birth certificate, etc....

This is like the Eclipse depositor agreement.

The nationality issues were raised, discussed, ppl voted overwhelming for the guy, he is the sworn and sitting president, he is trying to pass his agenda, move on. Next.

What do you want to do? Unseat him? or whine for another 3-7 years about his nationality?

better focus on the policies and alternatives.

Sometimes I think this blog has such a *huge* rear-view mirror, that we can't look/discuss the present and future.

Even Phil's post, as interesting as they were, are moving back into the middle-ages - literally.

Baron95 said...

I could dig into Shane for taking us into 4th Century AD - but I won't because I learned more in that one post about Ireland and St Pt. then in all my previous years combined - including my visit to Wales to tour some of he very early Roman settlements he speaks of.

So thanks for taking the time to educate us on St. Paddy's history, Shane. Sincerely.

I still have one freaking huge green bagel in the fridge - I shall consume it in your honor - though, I'm sure you'll tell me, the Irish have no concept of a bagel, let alone a green one ;)

airtaximan said...

"Depositors, didn't object in droves"

This my friend Baron is the crux of the issue.

What choice did they have... ask for their money back? Some quietly did and recived refunds, at one point when more than a few did, no money was paid... cannot really get blood from a stone, right?

The folks here say ponzi scheme, and this aspect, like any good ponzi, held true (althoug I do not think this was a real pniz scheme) - if enough folks request their money, the whole thing crumbles.

I know VErn et als let everyone know they had no money whenever the refund events occured... they were precisely timed around fund raising time.

But, of course I do not disagree with your comments regarding the contract - it was a silly agreement, especially if yu believed their production numbers (and why not? you believed EVERYTHING else).

They were "planning" production of 750 planes a year really quickly out of the box... so IF you believed this, WHY WOULD YOU EVER GIVE THEM A DEPOSIT? TO receive one a few months earlier?

Read this again... to recieve a jet a few months earlier?

Baron95 said...

Avinode bought Chartex.

Consolidation in On-line charter booking.

Could be a good thing - a liquid marketplace to book flights and discover prices can make charter flights more palatable to more companies/people.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

To counter some attempts at revisionist history, I went back througn the archives and saw the following:

In August I predicted that none of the DJ planes would be upgraded and sold before the end of year - I was right

I did predict that Newco would get the Avio 1.5 and FIKI SB's approved and would get started before the end of '09 - right again.

I predicted Newco would deliver about 20 before they started to run into configuration and fleet support issues - since M&M have recently stated the have completed about 20, so I expect to see some issues pop up in the near future - too early to tell.

I also suggested in September that likely pricing of the Avio/FIKI mods would be in the $200-300K range, they are currently going for $149,000 which I suspect has been a bit of a loss leader (both parts and labor), and Newco has announced a price increase will be coming, but looks like I was off, in the end I predict it will still be near $200,000.

This is not simply looking backward, it shows that many of these events and figures could be foreseen by those of us with experience in many cases many, many months ahead.

I am still not convinced the team has the resources available to make it, but they do seem to be following a rational path and they are delivering some value. The big issue remains the fatigue testing and removal of the 10 yr shelf-life/freshness date issue. Would be nice if one of the owners in the know would provide a status on that.

fred said...

ColdFish :

yep , i think that on prediction-game , you're our master ...

nonetheless , with an average price-tag of $ 1.850.000 on controller straight from E.A ...

challenges are quite numerous ...

the comparatively small amount of planes (need to new production ?) ;
the projection in time (10 Y or not 10 Y)

those are almost details ...

the main problem :

a Cessna Mustang of about the same age than a EA500 can be found (still on controller) at :

2009 = $2.400.000
2007 = $2.150.000

with such a lousy difference , would anyone with more than 3 working brain cell take the bet on all shortfalls from Fpj ?

julius said...


assumimg a staff size of 60 with $40k p. a. and a maintence hour of $60: then the everage fpj (of app. 260) needs 160 hours maintence p. a. or 4 weeks in the shop to keep EAI alive unless there are other sources for money. Isn't that too much for professional useage (of x hours p. a.)?
Are my assumptions wrong?
You know the figures for the MU-2?

The not state of the art FIKI and avionics suite will reduce the chance for any sales. The distance to the Mustang is increased and visible!
We had some discussions about the Garmin 1000 with it's many knobs to push/pull/turn and fpj's keyboard!

NAjet's fpj charter service and DayJjet's airtaxi operations have one common part: EAx is the owner of the fleet!
That must not be a problem!


P.S.: Single pilot ops: Where are the approach charts, the airport charts? Stored on the copilot's seat or the panel!

airtaximan said...


why would this consolidation make for a more liquid marketplace?

both provided good transparency into inventory and cost? Easier to look in one place? Maybe, but not really.

Virgin charter tried to do something aggressive and signed up many operators, and failed big time after blowing a lot of money. Their plan involved creating a marketplace for buying/selling charter.... so I am surious about your comment.

How would this consolidation help, rather than maintain healthy competition, for example?

Baron95 said...

Hi CW - is the 20-ship commend due to parts on hand or some other reason?

ATM - This is my thinking...

IT has to be as easy to book a charter flight and discover best pricing as to go to Expedia.com and book a flight.

As a matter of fact, the ultimate goal should be exactly that. Have charter tables loaded on everything from SABRE to Priceline to Expedia.

If I search for HPN to MEX and click on class of service to be First, Business, Charter, I should get the charter pricing and options and equipment on the same results page.

Similarly, I should be able to go to Priceline.com and say - I want to pay $1000.00 to got HPN to MVY, and get a response back if any charter wants to fly me.

So, there is *A LOT* of growth potential in charter *IF* price discovery, liquidity, and booking options improve.

There is also no reason that say AA can't issue charter tickets in the future, the same way they issue tickets for flights on AA-connection partner airlines.

Why is this important? Because business travelers need to show a ticket for re-imbursement, vs having a PO to a charter company.

It is currently very cumbersome for many people to find, book and pay for charter flights.

So - this is an intermediate step to the ultimate goal of booking charter flights like I book a rental car, hotel room or commercial flight.

Yes, we are a long ways off - but this is a good step towards it.

Just my 2c.

Baron95 said...

Hi CW - is the 20-ship commend due to parts on hand or some other reason?

ATM - This is my thinking...

IT has to be as easy to book a charter flight and discover best pricing as to go to Expedia.com and book a flight.

As a matter of fact, the ultimate goal should be exactly that. Have charter tables loaded on everything from SABRE to Priceline to Expedia.

If I search for HPN to MEX and click on class of service to be First, Business, Charter, I should get the charter pricing and options and equipment on the same results page.

Similarly, I should be able to go to Priceline.com and say - I want to pay $1000.00 to got HPN to MVY, and get a response back if any charter wants to fly me.

So, there is *A LOT* of growth potential in charter *IF* price discovery, liquidity, and booking options improve.

There is also no reason that say AA can't issue charter tickets in the future, the same way they issue tickets for flights on AA-connection partner airlines.

Why is this important? Because business travelers need to show a ticket for re-imbursement, vs having a PO to a charter company.

It is currently very cumbersome for many people to find, book and pay for charter flights.

So - this is an intermediate step to the ultimate goal of booking charter flights like I book a rental car, hotel room or commercial flight.

Yes, we are a long ways off - but this is a good step towards it.

Just my 2c.

airtaximan said...

"IT has to be as easy to book a charter flight and discover best pricing as to go to Expedia.com and book a flight."

There are no schedules, so what would be listed?

Aicraft type, and price per trip?
Who cares about this, when availability is not guaranteed?

OK, so I put in a request, and I get a list of operators, a menu of planes and an hourly price or estimate of trip cost...

This is exactly what you get now...

None of the aspects of "ease of use" are being enabled by this merger.

Virgin tried to allow you to input trip details and have operaotrs bid via email based on real availability and pricing, and it did not work. The client still would rather use a live broker.


Becasue THIS is the easiest way. One call, a bunch of equipment and pricing options...

The brokers use Avinode, CharterX and a bunch of other resources to find the best planes at the best prices. I do not think the sale of CX to Avinode will help one bit regarding the value you are seeking.

airtaximan said...

"Why is this important? Because business travelers need to show a ticket for re-imbursement, vs having a PO to a charter company."


Please explain.

airtaximan said...

" booking charter flights like I book a rental car, hotel room or commercial flight."

you better start a very well-funded lobby to change the DOT and FAA regs... a lot will have to change for your wish to come true.

airtaximan said...

"So, there is *A LOT* of growth potential in charter *IF* price discovery, liquidity, and booking options improve."

This is mostly FALSE.
Its the same sort of thinking that went into EAC and Dayjet, and Virgin Charter, for that matter.
There is NOT a lot of growth potential UNLESS there's a dramatic reduction in cost.

The "service" as it stands now, is pretty efficient - one call to a broker or two, and you'll have someone do all the work for you and hget back to you within minutes, if you need it.

If you cannot pay the small commission, chances are, you cannot afford to fly private, any way.

The market for those seeking a service as you envision it, is really small... reminds me of eclipse-think.

The real first issue is cost.

airtaximan said...

regarding "cost"

Nothing EAC did resulted in a real chance of reducing cost. This is the single biggest moment of truth everyone must face.

Dayjet was MORE expensive than the competition (props) for the same mission. Saving 10-20 minute (in a perfect world) was of no consequence, really.

The EA50 (low) pricing was dependent on huge volume (the same assumption Baron makes for charter, here, if only there was a liquid market for charter - heeheehheee, sound familiar, if only... (we conveniently forget charter preceded the airlines and has been around A LONG, LONG, LONG TIME) there was a "liquid" market for charter... whatever THAT means.

Virgin blew $25M chasing the same BS. Is THAT enough of an effort, Baron? It failed miserably, like EAC. Same rationale, same experience base (little), same
thinkning... refute experience, we know better....

IF you can come up with an idea to reduce the cost/price to charter by 30% or more... I'll give you that there IS a large market for THIS.

Charter service at half the current price IS a large market.

Real jets
Real jet missions
Real jet service levels
Half the cost
= huge market opportunity

None of this is addressed by CX/Avinode or EAC or any VLJ for that matter.

Baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
Really? Please explain.

Yes, Really.

Most business travelers, usually have to use an on-line travel reservation system (or by proxy via phone) to book their trips (air, hotel, car). e.g. American Expresses Travel Services and the like.

Available flights are pulled, travel policies checked, reservations made against your AMEX card. Receipts from your cc are electronically submitted for reimbursements.

Currently, there is NO WAY to book a charter flight in this way. NONE.

Charter flights are out of process events. You typically have to go to your corporate procurement organization to get a bid, select a vendor, send a PO, authorize payment, etc.


airtaximan said...
lobby to change the DOT and FAA regs... a lot will have to change for your wish to come true.

Nope. Not True. You can have on-demand charter show up together with scheduled airlines in the reservation systems without mixing the two.

The way it works is that Charter companies bid and upload their on-demand prices for city pairs or stage length, including max extra pax charges, discounts or penalties for advanced booking notice, time of day, day of week, etc. (note that this is still not "publishing a schedule", but simply publishing ability and willingness to fly segments ON DEMAND at a price, given parameters).

So if I go to AMEX Travel Services or Expedia etc and I search for HPT to MDW, 3 pax, 1 week advanced notice, rd trip, etc, etc, and I have the charter button pushed, I get commercial flights, and charter bids, click and book.

If I chose charter, the reservation systems issue pseudo ticket-receipt, charges my card, books on-demand charter flight and remit funds.

Cancellations/re-scheduling would be similarly handled.


Sure cost is a barrier for charter. And a liquid market ALWAYS brings prices down.

But scheduling and ease of booking ALSO is a barrier, and integration with reservation systems would solve that.


Anyway - it will take a very long time for this to happen, but that is where the industry needs to be to expand its customer base.

Of course, for now, Charter companies are relying on lack of price discovery to gauge customers. That is why you never see published prices.

But, someday, somewhere, someone will do it and run with the ball.

fred said...

Baron :

Of course, for now, Charter companies are relying on lack of price discovery to gauge customers. That is why you never see published prices.

I would say that this is your mistake ...

start by analyzing WHO is flying private ...

Business travelers = apart high rank Board officers , what Corp. flies its staff private ?

very small market !

the ones who want to fly from A to B directly without a commercial already doing the line :

even smaller market !

The ones who want to be recognized as "Top-notch"

very small market as well (the ones who have more money than brain do not remain in this state very long ...)

so what would be the point of having a more "Liquid Market" ?

at contrario :

if you adapt offer to demand for Business-travelers = you run the risk of reducing the number of Aircrafts available ..
so to reduce the attraction!
(to cost less in operating-costs = you need either less planes or better occupancy ratio = one is easy to achieve , the other quite tricky )

But if you make Private more "Liquid" by reducing its price = What about "Exclusivity" ?

a bit in the same manner :

Lots of peoples publish their personal Infos on "FaceCrooks" ...
later in the process they pay ridiculous amount to go to hidden spot where they will be unknown or/and unnoticed ...

go wonder !

so if this market would become more "Liquid" :
it would be (IMHO) by making the offer bigger , at the risk of a lower occupancy-rate , so even more losses or hikes in prices ...


by removing the price-tag , but then the market would be reduced because of the ones using such services for the "posh" way ...

if everybody would have a Mercedes AMG , would you like to have one ?

WhyTech said...

"travel policies checked,"

This will rule out booking a charter for all but the most sr. execs.

airtaximan said...

Baron, in the REAL world, there is so much wrong with your post, I don't even know where to begin... but lets start with charterx... go to their site, click on resources and quick aircraft search, and see availability with trips cost right there for everyone to see. The lack of transparency you refer to is BOGUS.

Also, you can search for charter broker online, and they will find you the right plane, positioned well for your mission, within an hour. One call does it all.

In your wide-eyed scenario where one could see charter pricing and real availability on any of the GDS or Resellers like Travelocity, you might as well just buy a banner ad on their site and put up a charter logo... unless your planes are on the ground waiting (always) for someone to show up, there is no way to provide accurate availability data. Also, chances are if your plane is available, its in the wrong place -this one is tougher to understand...

Regarding gauging the client... strange thing how all these charter companies are getting rich... the opposite is true. Most are simply covering their costs. Most are pilots with a plane or two just trying to make a living and remain flying because they love flying. Most often their wives book the charter and they fly. There are some larger charter companies, but they tend to be more expensive, competing with the mom and pops on price...fighting the family business. The industry has fuel cards, online booking transparency, brokers, etc.. users all know this.

They also know private jets are expensive to own, rent and operate.

Once again, how does the combination of cx and avinode create a more liquid market? I think it just reduces competition... but I may be wrong.

Finally, MOST business travel is NOT on a formal travel policy as you describe. If the transparency/ease of bookng issue was the reason for charter NOT being permitted on most corporate travel policies, though, I think someone could have cracked this code a long time ago.

Oh wait? It was cracked a long time ago... companies make deals with charter operators all the time, and permit those who can fly private to do so.

Its simply too expensive for most travelers, because it is expensive. Not because of some evil gauging program with a lack of visibility into pricing - thats rediculous. Its like blaming Cessna and HB and the other OEMs for high jet prices in defense of EAC... who failed miserably at delivering a low cost jet.

Its misguided Vern-speak all over again.

The charter market needs a business model that enables LOWER PRICES. None of what you cite does this, and ALL of the elements you deem to be important are in fact already there. Easy to book... online respources to find jets and see pricing. A thousand brokers... 4,000 jets, 10,000 props and a few thousand operators.

Perhaps you don't know the regs, and perhaps you don't care - but any real time published availability will for all practical purposes require some major changes.

fred said...

Yes , airtaxi ...

in western europe , private is less common ..
still i know at least 2 websites where you get an online range of price and availability straight away !

airtaximan said...

... if only there was no collusion on prices, transparency regarding availability, easy online booking, and a tiny jet with very limited payload range and no lav...

MAN, the market would be HUGE!

Baron95 said...

ATM said...The charter market needs a business model that enables LOWER PRICES.


ATM, while I recognize that most of what you said in your post is valid and give it a lot of weight (coming from an industry insider like you), I think you are missing my point.

I'm talking ONLY about what it would take to expand charter to more mainstream travelers, BEYOND the existing and very limited customer base.

Now, I can't tell you if making it more convenient to discover price and booking will increase the charter market by 5% or 50%.

And the issue with every charter operation is that their planes and crews don't get enough utilization.

Increase utilization and booking efficiency and you will enable lower prices per segment while likely also increasing revenues.

Here is a simple example. Lets say I get a booking for HPN to MDW on the 15th (morning) and a booking from MCI to BDL (afternoon) on the 16th.

That means that I could automatically update my on-line pricing table to substantially lower the bid prices of any segments from MDW on the 15th PM, but more importantly I can bid $100.00 or whatever fares from MDW to MCI on the 15th PM or 16th AM - good till first booking.

So what was an "expense" repositioning flight, becomes a slight revenue opportunity OR a teaser to expand market.

Anyway - I'll stop here.

These things only make sense with larger fleets, lots of volume and liquidity and convenience for booking. Industry is a long ways off from it.

So it is just an academic discussion. But just like consolidation of the airline booking systems into SABRE et al changed the travel industry, so dos the consolitdation of the CHartex's of the world into an integrated system can change charter - so I was glad to hear about the CHartex acquisition.

Leave it a that.

Baron95 said...

fred said...
I know at least 2 websites where you get an online range of price and availability straight away

You and 5 other people know it. But everyone else wouldn't have a clue how to even try to book it. And I'll bet that when it comes down to it, you can't really get an actual price.

Anyhow - lets watch the baby steps towards consolidation of on-line charter price discovery and booking. Then the elimination of brokers (sorry if that is your job ATM - it will go the way of the travel agent, etc). Then integration with mainstream on-line booking tools, etc.

Baron95 said...

Back to Personal GA - BREAKING NEWS

Get this - Cirrus has filed suit against L3, trying to get an injunction or something, to prevent L3 from telling other suppliers that Cirrus is going into bankruptcy.

Personal/Light GA gets more comic by the minute. The sad state of these companies, should give everyone pause from buying their products.

How Bizarre.

Baron95 said...

Here is the Minneapolis Newspaper story....entitled...

Cirrus is Fighting for Its Reputation

airtaximan said...

"you can't really get an actual price."

Please explain how this can be done, you have my attention...

Please explain how one can obtain the actual price it will cost to charter an actual plane from here to there.

airtaximan said...

The cosoloidation of Avinode and CharterX limits choices, as oppose to enhances them.

None of this ends up where you say it is going.

It is like Orbitz and Travelocity merging... how does THIS help anyone obtain more visibility or better pricng? This is my point.

Lastly, both CharterX and Avinode boast 50,000 or so trip inquiries for charter trips per month...

I guess Fred has 99,995 friends, a few more than than the 5 you gave him credit for...

This number of course can be much highr or lower... it could be as many as 1.2 million if no one ever places more than a single request a year, or it could be the 5 you refer to, if they each request 220,000 trips a year.

My guess is, most anyone who can afford to charter a plane, and who has tried, finds it pretty convenient. Otherwise, Virgin Charter would have been more successful - they tried to do what you say would work, and it did not.

There ARE reasons, mostly because the industry works differently than you seem to think.

Remember Skyjet?
This is an earlier attempt at what you seem to think is the key to explanding the market through blahblahblah improvements to pricing and availability transparency - it became Bombardier's charter department after they bought it, flogged it, and it failed.

My sense is, there will be more, not less brokers as time goes by, as pricing becomes more affordable, etc.

Think of it this way - there's a vibrant concierge community linked to higher end hotels... this is not going away any time soon. Charter will always appeal to a small market of affluent folks and busy execs/professionals/business owners/urgent transport - many of these folks rely on brokers, for very good reason, and they are not stupid.

I am very interested in your ideas about pricing and availability transparency, though. I know some very smart people working in this arena for a while, and they seem to think regulatory changes are required to do anything practical.

I hope you can provide an operators view on how this will work, as well as the customer perspective.

julius said...


Here is a simple example. Lets say I get a booking for HPN to MDW on the 15th (morning) and a booking from MCI to BDL (afternoon) on the 16th.

That means that I could automatically update my on-line pricing table to substantially lower the bid prices of any segments from MDW on the 15th PM, but more importantly I can bid $100.00 or whatever fares from MDW to MCI on the 15th PM or 16th AM - good till first booking.

So the opterator makes a good offer and after a good charter flight the customer is pondering not to switch to charter flights...
This sounds great...
Unforunately the next time MDW to MCI is not sold. So the prize must be increased.
The customer will say: "60% why? Too expensive for me...."
What is the customer telling to his friends "Once one accepts an expensive prize, they think they have one on the hook and double the prize,.....never again."

Or: The operator offers the less expensive terms. The flight is accepted and - like a tramp vessel - by chance after a message in MDW the pilot gets his next "load" is 200nm west and finishes his day 3 flight hours away from home. Now the expenses for the first flight (and the following ones) are covered.


Price calculation isn't that easy...

Who will pay two or three $/mile for most of his fligths lasting less than 2.5 hours?


fred said...

Baron :

think twice before making bold statements !

you are a victim of the "free market myth" ...

seeing only one side of the coin can be good ...

the question remains fully unanswered :

who pays in the last resort ?

things have to be balanced no less and no more !

Baron95 said...

ATM - thanks for providing the industry insight. Your are correct, I am approaching this from the perspective of the currently non-charter customer, who could become a charter customer given some changes.

Many industries were one organized to favor suppliers, or around ways that made sense for the supplier.

So Telecommunications was 100% organized around the concept of local exchanges, and inter-exchanges and "natural monopolies" and charging per "pulse" (sometimes translated into minutes). Well, obviously that never made any sense to customers, and the second competition was introduced, the model was blown away, starting with the MCI Family and Friends plan, culminating with the all you can eat plans.

Similarly, commercial aviation was organized around city pair fixed pricing tables, which basically billed flying based on distance and operators fixed base costs. Once competition came about, it all got blown away, and we now have value and affinity pricing. E.g. It is more valuable to be able to book a flight at the last minute than a week prior, it is more valuable to be able to change without penalties, it is more valuable to book on AA because of AAdvantage mileage rewards than on WN, In the process travel agents vanished, just like telephone operators.

Clearly, some of that was enabled by technology - computers and the internet being a big part of it. Some was regulatory. Some was due to new competition.

But at the core of it it was consumers demand for changes, through their representatives r the wallets that pushed the changes.

Now, you are correct that charter flying is not a mass market, therefore there is less demand for change.

I think there is still *A LOT* of room to make it more convenient for consumers. And that is true about a lot in GA as well. From flight training to support for aircraft partnerships to renting a plane to booking a charter flight.

To answer your question, the advantage of the merger is one of scale. Users can go to one place to find more inventory and the merged company can invest more money in automation and booking convenience.

That is the same reason airline reservation systems coalesced into SABRE and Galileo instead of the original multitude of systems.

Same reason why eBay is more valuable than a bunch of fragmented auction sites.

Same reason why Google is valuable because it indexes ALL of the Internet inventory, not some of it.

Baron95 said...

Anyway - can we go back to discussing Cirrus - are they going to go Ch11? Or are their middle eastern funders continue to write checks? Is the Cirrus Jet still a credible contender, given the situation?

Baron95 said...

Or we can discuss this first flight today.

How many learjet noses, how many cockpits, how many jet engines, do you see in that one GA "ship"?

airtaximan said...

Google, Ebay, SABER... and Eclipse-Dayjet

Which does not belong?

Took a long time to get here, but I think we are seeing reality now, folks.

ANd don't get me wrong - there's a lot of room for improvement in GA, and charter... BUT, the rules are different here.

Look at the examples above and play Sesame Street and find the one(s) that does not belong.

When you find a way to transport millions more folks at a price they CAN AFFORD in charter, with the equipment, and fuel cost (penalized severely versus the airlines BTW) with no ability to publish schedules... then perhaps we should talk about new internet based bookng systems etc.

Nowadays, its more like a stock market/commodities market place where your broker CAN actually add value and find amazing opportunities. This is becasue it requires very specialized knowledge, and relationships to make it happen.

Just the way it really is - just ask Richard Branson - he blew $25M in Virgin Charter trying for the exact value Baron thinks is critical to a wider market. It is not. The affect on the cost of charter from this angle is insignificant.

We need a change resulting in real cost to the consumer of -50% or more for the market to really open up to a more average (larger) client base.

WhyTech said...

"Its simply too expensive for most travelers, because it is expensive. "

Well ... yes. Prices would have to come down hugely for most corporate or individual travelers to be able to gain approval or be willing to pay for a charter flight.

"The charter market needs a business model that enables LOWER PRICES."

Well ... sure. But its not going to happen anytime soon. The DOC's alone for most acft put charter at several times (or more) first class airline fares, which very few business travelers have approval to use.

WhyTech said...

Where charter *might* start to be cost competitive is for folks traveling in packs. But then in many cases, the pack is not genuinely necessary, and it makes more sense to pare back the number traveling (in most but not every case).

The alleged time savings by using charter is rarely meaningful in an overall business context. Mostly an ego trip.

fred said...

Mostly an ego trip.

yes , exactly !

IMO to the point that it would have an adverse effect if it would become more available (as with a lower price )

airtaximan said...

Whats the DOC on an airliner from NY-FL, for example?

Why can I fly the airlines for this trip for $300 return?

WhyTech said...

"Why can I fly the airlines for this trip for $300 return?"

The airlines business model is based on accepting larges losses in most cases.

RonRoe said...

Bill Gates and Toshiba discuss Nuclear Power Venture:


Hmmm. Bill Gates is friends with Vern Raburn. In fact, Bill Gates was the best man at Vern Raburn's wedding.

Seems to me that Vern mentioned nuclear power as a possible future venture after leaving Eclipse Aviation.

Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?

airtaximan said...

The price of an A320 is around $55M and Direct operating costs are around $3,000 per flight hour

180 seats

$27k Revenue


No_Skids said...

I can't believe that nobody has yet commented on this

Although frankly, it says very little that's "new(s)"

Do any of you believe in Miracles?

gadfly said...

No Skids . . . the article is interesting, and yes, there are miracles . . . but not from Eclipse, and not in the State of New Mexico.

Notice that in the background “photo” (“billboard”) on the referenced page is the “E500" in the background, and the “Vee tailed E400" in the lead. Is that an “implication” that the latter is the direction in which the new Eclipse is headed?

From the “get-go”, nothing from Eclipse has made good sense . . . and maybe the lack of comment from the “Great Unwashed” reflects the cynicism that has been rightfully earned by the little bird from the eastern bank of the “Rio Grande”, sponsored in part by many who have earned the reputation of being unreliable in things business-wise, and in all things “political”.

Of late, we're getting "political" appeals from Senator Pete Domenici's kid, for governor . . . and we're expected to believe that he's a conservative, and won't "cave" like his Dad did, . . . and caused extremely serious problems in the small businesses in his own state.

Once bit, twice shy . . . is the old saying. And another old saying is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The article in Aviation Week is another “ho-hum” . . . not to be taken as worth even the ink that was used in the publication. Translation: "AW" doesn't have a clue.


(The “governor’s” part in Eclipse pales in comparison to his part in the fraud of costing the state a minimum of $500 million for the “Road Runner” commuter train, to bring a few souls to Santa Fe on a daily basis, Monday thru Friday . . . and may find a profit in a couple more centuries . . . long after he [ie: Bill Richardson] has served time in a “gated community”. And by the time historians [or archiologists] get down in their list to “Eclipse Aviation”, someone might have a comment or two about the otherwise long forgotten time when Albuquerque wanted to manufacture a real live “jet”. You’ll just have to wait your time in line . . . in the land of “mañana” . . . which, as you know, does not mean, “tomorrow”, but “some other time . . . ‘just not now”. And now I find it’s time to take a siesta.)

(Please wake me up when the frijoles are done cooking . . . and yes, I prefer the "green".)

(And if the "frijoles and green chili" doesn't set well, please don't call "Obama Care" . . . they'll simply "put me down" like an old horse . . . too old to be worth more than the "glue factory".)

gadfly said...

Funny thing this morning . . . with light snow falling outside . . . while in the shower, the phone-call came through that “Reps” from the “Lab” (Sandia National Labs . . . your tax dollars at work) wanted a meeting to discuss a project. ‘Less than thirty minutes from shower to sitting at the table over a cup of fresh coffee, fourteen miles on the freeway down off the mountain on Highway 14, I-40, and “Old Highway 66", through three traffic lights, in the Lexus “SUV” ain’t too shabby for an “Old Dude”. Now, if that were an airplane, descending 1,500 feet in less than thirty minutes is “no big deal” . . . but having landed at slightly higher than the home nest of Eclipse, we got down to serious business.

Through various “cuts” in the national budget, the “Labs” no longer have the capabilities of doing their own machining . . . a mixed blessing for those of us who “feed” on the out-sourced work. The work “offered” was turned down . . . and a neighboring shop was recommended, because they can do the work faster and cheaper than we can. And that’s the way we want it to be. What goes around, comes around . . . we tell it like it is, and in time, it all works out for all concerned. But, the meeting was worth much . . . re-connecting with the “reps”, and giving an “up-date” on what we do best, and where they (the “Labs”) could get their project done in a timely manner, and at the best cost to their budget, and for the “taxpayer”.

We all came away from the meeting “clean”, knowing that honesty in business was the bottom line.

A long time ago, I learned that “work” was actually “play” . . . doing what you enjoy, day after day, using whatever talents God has provided, solving problems for folks in a way that truly benefits them, while making a living. And, as a Christian, doing everything as unto the Lord. Now, quite frankly, “It don’t get no better than that!”

Some of my friends have more money to burn than most, or all those on this “blogsite”, combined. And it doesn’t seem to bring them much “happiness”, nor true satisfaction. And certainly not any “Joy”. Some have at their instant disposal, private aircraft that cost as much, or more, than anything mentioned in all the comments from day one . . . but only a couple have any true fulfillment in what they own.

Me thinks that maybe a couple of you watch for comments from the “gadfly”, because I’m either bold enough, or stupid enough, to “say it like it is”. Either way, until God takes me home . . . to my real home . . . I want nothing more than to be available, as a “tool” is available to a craftsman, to be used as He wishes . . . that is enough!

Today, a grand-daughter, a “little one”, is in the hospital . . . at this very moment going into “OR” for an appendectomy . . . the call just came through.

We have a president who voted three or four times (back in Chicago, Illinois) to have “little ones” who had, against all odds, survived an intended abortion, to be put into the “trash can” . . . and my heart greaves.

God will make all things right . . . and, thanks to those who are even at this very moment “prepping” for surgery, on a little girl, care far more than those who claim to “care” for life, but in practice care only for their power over others, and are even now attempting to destroy our once great nation.

This is serious stuff . . . and the Eclipse fiasco was only a glimpse at the low level of morality into which our nation has plunged.

Take a good look at “Eclipse . . . Second Generation”, and figure what you can build on the same foundation as the original. If you attempt to build on the original foundation, you will get the same, or worse results.

And that, you can take to the bank!


gadfly said...

It occurs to me that maybe not many, if any of you reading this blog have ever attended “surgery’. And “So what?, on an aviation type discussion.

Well, I’m a licensed “A&P”, and pilot, with a background in a bunch of other stuff . . . but one day, I found myself as an inventor of a new method of putting together “blood vessels”, etc., without using sutures, that had been the standard method for the previous eighty years. So, on a few occasions, I had the privilege (if that is the expression) of attending surgery, as an observer/participant.

“Put on the booties, cap, coat, etc., . . . and stand in front of a sink, scrubbing my hands and finger nails for maybe fifteen minutes . . . hold up my hands, so the “drips” go off my elbows, and walk into the “OR” (Operating Room), while a nurse applies my gloves, etc., and I have been fully instructed as to what I can, and cannot touch for the next “many” hours.

At first, it’s all “new” and interesting. In a few hours, and a few other times, the “new-ness” will get mighty old.

In the “old days”, I went by the “CAM18" manual, what to do, and not to do, in repairing aircraft . . . and in the “OR”, I’m bound by a similar set of rules . . . each is meant to save and preserve lives. All too soon, I learn that sometimes “neurosurgeons” don’t follow as strict rules as a dedicated “A&P” mechanic.

An example? . . . OK, after carefully drilling five holes through the patient’s skull, and sawing through the sections between the holes, the removed piece of skull, meant to be carefully re-inserted is dropped onto the OR floor . . . and is no longer “sterile” . . . no matter, it’s put aside, the skull will eventually grow back, in time . . . no big deal. But to me, the observer . . . carelessness is carelessness.

The rest of the surgery is a long boring time . . . working the way down to a tumor, or aneurysm, or whatever . . . moving through the archives of a persons memory, etc., without a “clue” as to which parts contain the thousands of memories of a life-time . . . and finally, the problem is reached, hopefully repaired, and the surgeon and attending crew can “close” the patient, and soon get the first meal in twelve or more hours, and go home.

Never, could I have figured that as an “A&P”, or machinist, or “ex-submarine sailor”, would ever look into the backside of someone’s “smile”, from inside their very skull . . . but (as they say), “Been there, done that!”

What’s that got to do with the Eclipse? . . . Plenty! What goes on in an office . . . or inside someone’s skull, when other folks cannot “see” what’s going on, is in all cases important . . . and affects the lives of all involved. In my life and experiences, I’ve seen some wonderful things take place . . . and I’ve seen some terrible things take place. Some were wonderful . . . some would put people in prison, if they were known and could be proved in a court of law. In all cases, God is witness.


Baron95 said...

All I can say is that, so far, it appears that Eclipse Aerospace has done EXACTLY what they said they'd do.

So, if they are saying they'll start production, in some fashion in the future, while focusing on fleet upgrade, which they seem to be doing, I have no reason to doubt them.

It seems to me that the value of the fleet is stabilizing, if not outright growing since their acquisition.

We just have to watch and see. But I'd put the odds of EAI "producing" new fan jet planes (i.e. those without a previous COA), at slightly higher than Piper's and Cirrus'.

StuckInNM said...

I apologize for the OT post... but Gadfly, I must thank you for continuing to give this forum -- and Albuquerque -- some class. (The latter sorely needs it.)

skyrebel said...

pirep 20:38z 03/22/10
psb uua /ov psb170025/tm 2038/fl375/tp ea50/tb mdt-svr/rm plane inverted

julius said...


Do any of you believe in Miracles?

Yeh, that's it for the moment...
Everybody should give M&M some more months to come to a conclusion or more money for a decision about a fpj-production.

If the payroll is about 60 FTEs
then EAI might have a sustainable head count for the upgrade...

BTW:" His first goal, however, is to bring the existing fleet of 250 aircraft into conformity before starting up the line again, he added."(Aviation week: this ) -
how long does it take to finish this task? Is there a need for this junctim?


Baron95 said...

skyrebel said...

pirep 20:38z 03/22/10
psb uua /ov psb170025/tm 2038/fl375/tp ea50/tb mdt-svr/rm plane inverted

Thanks for posting this info - Ouch!!!

So now we know that the EA500 can perform aileron rolls at 37,500 ft.

I'm impressed!!!

Looks like those stir welds held together, huh?

fred said...

Hi guys ...

this afternoon i finally obtained my PPL (private pilot license)

the test was quite easy as in its theories (navigation = what a joke ) practice was slightly different as i have only the required minimum hours flight ...

but i got it ! let's pop some Champagne bottles ! ;-)

monday morning , i'll go back to my "Caribbean Adventures" ...
Where Black-Tulip is welcome to come trading-places ... but the trade would be one way as i wouldn't like to leave the boat too long ...!

ONLY one condition :

Women are forbidden on board ( they bring bad Karma , like Rabbit : name forbidden on boat ! ) unless they are young , beautiful and subsequently accept to wear no clothes for the length of their stay ! ;-)

so be all safe and take care of your loved ones ...!

PS : the examiner gave me a little advice = "it is much harder to make an OLD pilot than a new one , so be careful !"

uglytruth said...

Well Fred after all it is your boat and rules are rules! Sounds like your having a wonderful adventure. Best wishes.

Baron95 said...

Hey Fred - Congratulations - it is exciting to get your PPL. I hope you continue on to your IFR ticket, etc.

If you need help offloading any good looking girls from the boat, let me know. I should be in the Dominican Rep. over the next few weeks on and off for work.

gadfly said...

Fred, et al, . . . With all your talk about “boats”, etc., . . . and a recent comment about the little jet, and stir-fried welds: One of our best employees and designers was a “Dutchman”, . . . grew up in Switzerland, could speak about eight languages, fluently . . . and had a brother that built a “concrete boat”. Really! It was the “Portland Cement” variety . . . over a steel mesh re-enforcement. Actually, not all that unusual.

Last I heard, he’s been living aboard that same boat for decades . . . in the Mediterranean . . . Greece? (I forget just “where”). By now, the yacht would be . . . maybe thirty or more years old.

If there is a lesson here, maybe “doing it right” in the first place results in long lasting dividends.


(And a little “corn” for the weekend . . . Ships are called “she”, because they are always looking out for “buoys”. OK . . . I’m outa’ here!)

Floating Cloud said...

Dear Shane:

Oddly enough once I got a grip about the rather questionable qualities of the man (that I thought I loved) from Eclipse, my life has started again renewed! Spring at long last!

I am so grateful to you, Phil, (et al), for giving me such insight and also appreciation of my own contributions to the blog during the last year. Uh oh, maybe I should write this on the blog, but I am afraid things have gone all astray (momentarily) without women being allowed on the Boat er Blog.... ALL (old) men on a boat, PLEASE!

Good ole' Gadfly, always understands womens' importance, young or old, naked or not, we bring quality to every breath you take.

Floating Cloud

julius said...


congratulation for your PPL and a lot of fun and happy landings!

You have tough rules on board - in the beginning some 2CV experiences and a good AP will be quite helpful!


fred said...

Floating cloud = YES , women are salt of earth ...

behind any successful man , most of time , a woman stand !

i totally agree with your view , to the point that when i was working in Africa (in Dev.) i tried to work as much as possible exclusively with local women ...

much more seriousness , always thinking about "a better way" for the family and at all costs for themselves : feeding the kids before anything else ...

i am wishing to have a total freedom for a few years , hence the boat and the type of life ...

in this regard , a woman on board would be a subject to compromise (the only way to live well with a woman) which i don't want to do !

that is the main reason for "NO women on board " and no other sexist ideas ....!

Floating Cloud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Floating Cloud said...

Dear Fred:

I knew it was only a momentary blip on the radar screen. Of course everyone deserves to have some alone time or simply time with friends who are one's own gender. NO offense taken!

I am planning work/vacation trip to Chiapas and the Yucatan and I fully expect to have some real down time, hanging in a hamock, starring out at the sea, a book half read by my side as I drift off to sleep... I don't need a man next to me to completly enjoy myself...so I get it!

Congratulations on receiving your pilot's license! How exciting! And do enjoy your boat! Bon voyage!

Floating Cloud

fred said...

i was afraid you would take me for some kind of a chauvinist pig or something in the like ...!

i am one of a "rare species" who enjoy loneliness as much as contact with other humans .

i do enjoy the boat , i have already crossed the Atlantic on board and plan to go to Belize (for scuba-diving , a very good place) then down the coast to Colon for taking the Panama Canal , after go to Galapagos then Chile to get the permit to land in Easter Island after this , i will cross heading Marquises and Tahiti followed by Tonga and Fidji ...

after i will see ...

Barry said...

Epic auction held March 26. From court docs:
"The following Qualified Bids were received by the deadline of March 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time:
• Harlow Aerostructures LLC("Harlow");
• Aviation Industry Corporation of China General Aviation Co., Ltd. ("AVIC") by way of Asset Purchase Agreement;
• LT Builders Group, LLC by way of Asset Purchase Agreement; and
• LT Builders Group, LLC by way of Plan of Reorganization.

Pursuant to the discretion vested in him in the Order, the Trustee established Supplemental Bidding Rules (the "Rules"), which are attached hereto. As described in the Rules, the Auction was held in two rounds. The Winning Bidder of Round 1 was Harlow, with a cash bid of $4.0 million. The Winning Bidder of Round 2 was AVIC, with a cash bid of $4.3 million. The Trustee selected AVIC’s cash bid of $4.3 million as the Prevailing Bid.

The Trustee intends to file a status report prior to the evidentiary hearing on the Sale Approval Order, which is scheduled for March 30, 2010 at 9:30 am."


FYI, there are challenges to the AVIC winning bid re export regulations, etc.

Floating Cloud said...

Dear Fred:

Huh, I love Belize for the diving! Just don't go and climb temple four at Tikal after diving for several weeks like I did. I almost flung myself out into the rainforest canopy thinking I could float, until a slew of swallows flew up in my face,turned their wing and reminded me that I was no longer under water...(they don't call me Floating Cloud for nothing you know.)

I so admire your ability to be at sea by yourself...what an exciting adventure you will have.

Hey Baron,

Tell those of us who know very little about the history of the Epic saga. Isn't "Harlow" the guy from Kansas that wanted to hook up with Peter Reed (et al)and buy Eclipse a year ago? Is the 4 mil a better deal for Epic than the 4 mil EAI deal?

Floating Cloud
PS Where's Phil? That poor (four leaf non-trilogy) representation of a shamrock is looking a bit bedraggled.

EclipseBlogger said...

An Oregon federal bankruptcy judge will decide Tuesday if a company owned by the Chinese government will take over the remnants of Epic Air and the companies associated with it. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)'s bid of $4.3 million cash was selected over two American bids by bankruptcy trustee Ken Eiler following a day-long auction at a Portland law office on Friday. Also in the running were the LT Builders Group, representing the owners of unfinished aircraft still inside Epic's Bend, OR factory and Wichita-based Harlow Aerostructures. Doug King, one of the members of the owners' group told AVweb Saturday that they're spending the next three days preparing objections to the trustee's decision, which must be confirmed by the court during Tuesday's hearing. King said his group's bid was actually $2.2 million higher than the Chinese bid but included $4 million in credit to the owners. He said the trustee chose China's bid because it was all cash. The builders are worried they'll never have a chance to finish their aircraft if the Chinese bid prevails and most have already paid more than $1 million in progressive payments on their $1.7 million kit-built turboprop LT aircraft.

King noted the Chinese state clearly in a letter to the trustee that they plan to ship "all assets" of Epic and the associated companies "back to China to develop, manufacture and service general aviation and enhance the value of the aircraft models" developed by Epic. However, in an interview with the The OregonianYan Yang, the lawyer representing the Chinese said AVIC might consider other options. "They want to enhance the value of the brand in this country," Yang said. "They're open to suggestions and working with people interested in the same goal." King said her comments offered some comfort but the written submission from AVIC still stands as its official position. The bankruptcy court hearing starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Portland.

airtaximan said...


nice one!

Baron95 said...

"Today U-haul owns two Eclipse 500s and leases a third to add to their business aircraft fleet, which includes a Pilatus PC-12 and a BeechJet.

In late 2009...U-haul‘s Eclipse 500s became some of the first aircraft to go through a new upgrade program. This six-week modernization of the aircraft adds Flight into Known Icing, an upgraded coupled Auto-Pilot, and an advanced GPS Navigation System.

So it is six-weeks and $149K - not bad.

And even corporate flight departments got their ships upgraded and are using them productively - not bad.

Unless you are a certain Irish prognosticator, and his followers, who had predicted that the whole fleet would be grounded long ago.

That is a "Blail" A.K.A. Blog Fail.

Black Tulip said...


Congratulations on passing your Private Pilot’s checkride. The number of pilots is generally declining and we need more of them… especially ones with your background and capability. Can you reveal the aircraft type and country involved in your training and flight check?

Separate subject: I recently questioned a former high-level Eclipse person about the news that Newco plans to start building Eclipse 500s. He thought not - and advised that the market was not present for a machine so small, at the relatively high price required to produce and sell it.

Conditions aren’t the same as when Vern erected the big tent at Oshkosh. Cessna and Embraer have real products now, supported by real companies. Very light jets and light jets are here… both new and used.

gadfly said...

Fred and Black Tulip . . . There are many things going on here:

The “fun of flying” . . . which has little to do with the method . . . whether by a “primary glider”, a Piper “J3", a Learjet, or something greater.

The “economy of flying”.

The “Prestige” of flying (“First Class” or in your own jet, etc.)

Or aircraft ownership . . . name your vehicle.

In each category, it seems that those who are comfortable in their class don’t much care about the rest . . . only that they can do what they do, when they want to do it, and return safely to their family and homes.

Concerning the little “Eclipse” . . . back when things were “hot”, there were many un-fulfilled claims, and although we see some positive things with “Newco”, we are still in doubt because of the earlier lies and false bragging by the earlier company. ‘Little things like “brakes”, “tires”, quality problems, . . . and a governor who plunged the State of New Mexico into a half billion dollar deficit, in which Eclipse contributed a part . . . sure, a couple percent, but never-the-less, significant to many of us who are left to pick up the pieces. And yet, even today, we “locals” are continuing to pay the taxes, while giving a “break” to the continuing favors to Eclipse.

Somehow, I am not ready to climb on the bandwagon and applaud the cheap “pickup of the pieces” and “cheer on” the new “owners”.

Call me “heartless”, but failing businesses deserve to fail, if they have depended on the “heartless” foundations of using ignorant taxpayers to provide even a portion of their failed, and phoney beginnings.

“U-Haul” is no longer a valid title . . . rather “New Mexico Taxpayers’ Haul” might be more appropriate, since (in effect), the citizens of New Mexico should justifiably claim a portion of the earning’s of “U-Haul”, and all others who acquire one or more of the little birds. Sure, the law excludes them . . . but ethically, this little jet will never break even . . . ever!


Baron95 said...

A little FIKI here, a little Avio there, pretty soon you have you average orphaned but supported GA type.

What is all the emotion about?

Just a fleet of planes with a current TC holder doing its best to supported.

Is that any different than say Aerostar? Or Commander? Certainly better than Adam for instance.

Par for the course. The type will neither die, nor set sales records.

Did any one expect different results. Oh, yeh, I forgot, you did. It should be all grounded by now ;) LOL

Carry on - lets discuss, one more time, how the tax payers of New Mexico got screwed, as if they are not used to it by now.

Phil Bell said...

New headline will be up Tuesday AM - sorry for the delay. (Spring break wind-down)

Baron95 said...

Hey Phil, you are starting to sound like a real A&P.

"Your plane will be ready on Tuesday. Really."

gadfly said...

Phil . . . No need to be "sorry". There is an old saying in the machining/manufacturing trades . . . something like the following:

The customer will forget "late", but never "wrong".

Do it right, the first time . . . and you'll be forgiven being "late" . . . unless you're an "EMT" answering a call on a heart attack, etc.

And, for our friendly "devil's advocate" blogger, who seems forever unhappy about something . . . or everything, emotions have little to do with it.


gadfly said...

And Phil, from a real "genuine" A&P, to another "almost" A&P, me thinks you'll do 'just fine, with an understanding of the "why" and "wherefore" of all those rules and regulations, keeping various flying contraptions in safe condition.


(Of course, once you "sign off" in the log, what the pilot chooses to do while "off the ground" is beyond your control . . . so beware what you do, while the bird is in your care.)

Baron95 said...

So, do you guys want to see the 787 wing at 150% deflection? ;)

I bet most of you can't move your arms back that much. ;)

bgb said...

Isn't a total eclipse the time where there is no light? Everything is black? Think about it - just $2.0mm for a tin-can micro-jet with a complete set of band-aids

March 29, 2010
VIA: www.eclipseaerospace.net
I am taking this opportunity to write all of the previous deposit holders of the former Eclipse
Aviation Corporation (EAC). The purpose of this letter is to introduce you to Eclipse
Aerospace Inc. (EAI), the successor in bankruptcy to EAC.
As a former EAC deposit holder who lost my 60+% deposit, I know how disappointed you
felt not only in losing your deposit(s) but also in not being able to fulfill a dream of flying this
fantastic twin engine jet. This is why I, along with Mike Press, lead a successful effort to
purchase the previous company and create Eclipse Aerospace, Inc.
Eclipse Aerospace successfully purchased all of the assets of EAC in September 2009. The
investors of EAI are comprised of former EA500 owners, deposit holders and new investors.
Our goal is to support the existing fleet while also bringing the EA500 back to full production
so those of us who share the dream of flying the world’s first and only VLJ can be realized.
We truly believe in our “Customer First” slogan and our service and dedication to current
EA500 owners to date proves this commitment.
Through our staff of over 100 employees, over the past 7 months, we have restarted
maintenance services with company owned service centers and have provided parts and
maintenance support to independent Eclipse mechanics throughout the world in support of
the existing fleet of 260 aircraft.
In addition to the restart of parts and services, our engineering staff has now enhanced and
improved on the original design of the plane and have introduced many improvements to the
EA500 to provide the most cost effective twin engine jet travel in the world today!
Many current EA500 owners are now flying fully upgraded aircraft which have been
completed in EAI’s Service Centers. These upgrades include the addition of a GPS coupled
autopilot, integrated moving maps, XM-weather, and approach charts displayed directly on
the aircraft MFD. In addition, every upgraded aircraft is now equipped for Flight into Known
Icing (FIKI).
This document is the property of Eclipse Aerospace, Inc. and is intended for communication exclusively for our
customers. This document should not be reproduced in whole or part without prior written permission of Eclipse
Aerospace, Inc.
Today, I am very pleased to announce our “Total Eclipse” aircraft program. Those with
passion and/or need for the EA500 twin engine can now purchase a FULLY COMPLETE
factory refurbished EA500 jet. Every aircraft in our program has been through our factory
refurbishment program and includes all available upgrades and features to date, factory
warranty, fully paid to date ESP Gold engine program and a paint allowance for your own
customized branding.
We are making available a limited number of the Total Eclipse aircraft for $2.15 MM USD.
This price is the same as the last EAC published price for EA500 aircraft in 2008, however,
the Total Eclipse is complete, no IOUs.
On a limited basis, we have a special offer for former deposit holders of EAC. Eclipse
Aerospace Inc. will grant a purchase credit against a Total Eclipse aircraft up to
$150,000 for any previous EA500 deposit holder of EAC. This offer will only be
available for a short time and based on a limited number of aircraft in our current
I am now a proud owner of an EA500 jet and I can tell you first-hand, this plane is everything
we thought it would be. It is fast, fuel efficient, reliable and safe! While other manufactures
are working towards the development of small single engine and twin-engine jets, they are
still years away and you can fly an Eclipse now.

Baron95 said...

OMG!!!!! This is getting better and Better.

Not one, but two headlines in bright bold at Flight Global on Eclipse.

Here is a taste of one:

EA500 owners behold new Total Eclipse

By Stephen Trimble

Eclipse 500 very light jets are again for sale seven months after the New Mexico-based factory re-opened its doors.

The factory's new owners on 29 March unveiled the $2.15 million Total Eclipse configuration. Four major upgrades include flight into known icing conditions, a 41,000ft ceiling, a 20,000-cycle airframe life and several new systems, such as an on-board colour radar, electronic moving map, and Jeppesen eCharts.

The upgrades complete the final configuration of the "original" EA500, says Mason Holland, chairman and president of Eclipse Aerospace.


Lets see, was there a fish, really, really, "worried", that they "won't be able to do the life extension"?

Weren't a lot of member crying over the 4,000 ft between the 41,000 ft TC ceiling and the 37,000 ft temporary restriction?

Holly crap - the thing still has a price. And a catchy slogan - Total Eclipse.

So now I guess we are down to what? Oh yes, the friction stir welds will come apart at the seams. LOL.

You can read more at:


Enjoy. Or cry. ;)

Baron95 said...

Oh, forgot to add....

"Eclipse will offer current EA500 owners between $1 million to $1.7 million for trading-in a used EA500 for a Total Eclipse version."

Smart move to provide some used market price stability.

Now lets see how many they sell ;)

Best case, you trade in your plane for $1.7M pony up and extra $450K and walk out with a Total Eclipse with factory warranty.

Worst case you have to pony up $1.15M for your early model plain Avio, no ETT models.

I have to say - these guys are not making any bad moves.

Baron95 said...

Hi BGP - our posts crossed - but anyway, it is good to have the company communication and the story as reported in the aviation press, side by side.

So now the CEO bought himself a total Eclipse - nice vote of confidence. Sounds like $2M of his money. A bit better than Jack's wife (supposedly) buying a 162.

Black Tulip said...

Lets see now - for two million one hundred fifty thousand dollars I could buy... any number of other used well-supported jets. But none would carry the enviable name, Total Eclipse.

bgb said...

How many they sell? At 2.15mm, I'm going to write some c++ code:

if(EAI.ScamFolder.TotalEclipse.Sales.size() != 0)
foreach(Sucker in EAI.ScamFolder.TotalEclipse.Sales)

gadfly said...

Once upon a time, Grandma had a turkey. The time was about 1943 . . . and we all lived on the side of a hill in the Verdugo Foothills, between Burbank, Roscoe, and Sunland (California) . . . a war was on at the time. The turkey lived up the hill with the chickens in the coop, about a hundred feet from Grandpa’s machine shop, and was allowed to “run free”. (Today, he’d be worth a bonus for being “free running” . . . but not back then.)

One day, that turkey decided that he’d sure ‘nough like to fly . . . so he started at the top of the hill, and began his “take-off” roll . . . and before he knew it, with his wings bent back like in that Boeing picture, he got airborne. And like the rooster in the famous Claymation “Chicken Run”, he was indeed flying . . . right out over the little canyon and creek that we all called “home”.

‘Grandma was also out, that day . . . hanging up clothes on the line under the giant “Live Oak” tree. Well, that there turkey about that time decided that he’d had just about as much flyin’ as a domestic type turkey could stand . . . and no freedom in sight. So, bein’ plumb tuckered out, he just quit . . . and came down hittin’ branches and sharp leaves (if you ever saw a live-oak leaf), and near crashed right atop my Grandma, who never weighed much more than ninety pounds, soakin’ wet. Well, Grandma, and the turkey gathered their collective whits . . . Grandma thankful she hadn’t been hit by a turkey . . . and the turkey thankful that he could still manage to walk. The “grandma” returned to hangin’ up the laundry . . . and the turkey slowly walked back up the hill, to the chicken coop.

By “Christmas dinner”, we realized how much we owed that turkey, and bent his wings “way back”, along with his “wish bone”.

Now, if there’s a lesson in there, somewhere . . . I may have missed it. But of late, we’ve been talking about other “turkeys” and things that fly, now and then . . . and this thing came to memory.


(And talk about Grandma’s “stir fried gravy” . . . with home-grown ‘taters and stuff . . . And except for that “takeoff roll”, it weren’t fast, nor efficient, nor reliable, nor safe . . . but it was everything we thought it would be . . . with pumpkin pie for the encore.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I never said they couldn't do it Baron, I suspected they would not be able to do it in one fell swoop. And I always clarified that it was dependent on the shape of the fatigue test article, how far along the testing was, and what it would cost to complete.

Keep in mind though, that offering it now does not, in fact, mean they have completed a life-extension.

Assuming they have in fact done it, I would be interested to learn how they managed to change the life limit beyond the current 10% per application which is mandated by FAA guidance letter.

I believe they are taking huge missteps at this point. Talk about restarting production is simply more of the same - I see a return to poor behavior, not an example of good management.

We are now to believe that EAC 1.0 was somehow only a few months away when they closed the doors? Only 12-14 weeks from completion of fatigue and certification of Avio 1.5 and FIKI?

That does not seem to track, if they were truly that close how were they unable to raise the few sheckles necessary to complete what we are now being told a rag-tag group did in the past few months?

Doesn't make sense, not that it has to, but it doesn't.

gadfly said...

A couple things immediately caught my attention . . . mentioned here in reverse order:

“Meanwhile, Eclipse is offering several options for buying the upgraded Total Eclipse. A limited number of new buyers will be offered a guaranteed buy-back, allowing the owner to trade-in an upgraded Total Eclipse to offset the price of a new production model after they become available.”

“Both Holland and Press also intend to restart production of a redesigned EA500. A decision was originally expected in early 2010, but the timeframe is now "to be determined", a company spokeswoman says.”

‘Not exactly like some earlier promises, but somehow ‘with a familiar ring.

And then, “The upgrades complete the final configuration of the "original" EA500, says Mason Holland, chairman and president of Eclipse Aerospace”.

‘Seems to me, that a list of “all” the claims about the “original” EA500 might prove to be an interesting study and basis of comparison between “then” and “now”. ‘Course, if the “original” means the way that the 260 birds (plus or minus) were pushed out the door, then they’re more than safe.


(Cold Fish is right on target . . . pay attention!)

(And "Total Eclipse"? . . . Who thought that one up? Absolutely beautiful! . . . it sums up the entire project in two words.)

julius said...


suppose you have 20 Hummers in your garage and you want to get rid of them - using them as a taxi isn't the best idea....

It's just the sales action of last week's fresh fish....

There are 100 heads on the payroll ...that means real pressure or lay-offs because of ... success?


P.S.: The wedge Nov./Dec. 2007?

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

Is this “Writing a Contract/Warranty 101" at the local junior college?

Subjects to be studied:

“Several Options”
“Limited Number”
“New Buyers”
“Offset the price”
“New Production Model”
“After they become available”
. . . and other nebulous/vague/indefinite terms to pad contracts and advertisements.

A passing grade will entitle the student to enter “201", a course in speaking at four to eight times normal speed, toward a future in reciting disclaimers in radio advertising for class action lawsuits and car dealerships.


WhyTech said...

"This offer will only be
available for a short time and based on a limited number of aircraft"

OMG, does this ever sound familiar! Can there really be anyone left there who could fall for this?!

As BT points out, there are far better choices at or near this price point, including nearly new Mustangs and Phenom 100's.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I've got it, this is just an early April Fool's Day gag.

Or maybe M&M hired BlackTulip by mistake....

Baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Keep in mind though, that offering it now does not, in fact, mean they have completed a life-extension.

B95: Very true.

WhyTech said...

As BT points out, there are far better choices at or near this price point, including nearly new Mustangs and Phenom 100's.

B95: Not saying, I'd buy one, But if I had one with no FIKI, no warranty, no Avio NG1.5, no 41K, no Life extension, with a liquidation value of say $750K, I might consider spending $450K (trade up), assuming I can drop my plane off at 9:00AM and fly away at 9:01AM.

That would mean I'd get a usable jet for $450K cash + $750K liquidation of my old jet = $1.2M.

That would buy you a non Garmin Meridian or a 10 year old TBM.

A Mustang would be about about 75% more and a Phenom would be way more than double.

It is like saying that that a $45K 328i buyers would be cross-shopping a $90K M5.

Anyway - whatever happens, they did manage to breathe new life into the airframe, or at least this blog ;)

Baron95 said...

CW said...We are now to believe that EAC 1.0 was somehow only a few months away when they closed the doors? Only 12-14 weeks from completion of fatigue and certification of Avio 1.5 and FIKI?
.... if they were truly that close how were they unable to raise the few sheckles necessary to complete what we are now being told a rag-tag group did in the past few months?


Different priorities CW. EAC's goal was simply to deliver as many planes as possible to collect delivery cash balance (40%/ship) to fund operations. Since customers were not baling at paying up with the huge IOU list, there was absolutely no incentive to complete the planes.

As a matter of fact, it would have been managerial incompetence to use a single dollar (at that time) to extend airframe life instead of keeping the lights running another day.

After all, the first ship is still years away from hitting the limit.

Now, EAI, has a different set of incentives. They have no deposit holders on the hook for 60% that they can bully into paying an extra 40% for a ship.

They will only collect a dime for a finish plane or an upgrade to a finish plane or support for a plane.

Some people fail to understand how priorities shifted from EAC to EAI.

It is a completely different set of incentives, thus priorities.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

There are Q1 and Q2 2010 Mustang positions as low as $2.4M, on Controller right now. Brand spanking new, 100% functional, and fully supported by Brand C.

There are late model used BeechJets for below $2M.

There are used Citation V's for less than $2.5M.

I just don't see a value proposition for the EA-50 when compared to these, again beyond the fuel sippage.

And the full-on EAI upgrade appears to be almost $500K?

$2.15M for an upgraded, used, preemie jet?



ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I disagree Baron, management incomepetence would be to continue pumping out incomplete tin, if you were literally only a few months away from actually meeting what could be argued to be a baseline completion spec.

There had been zero new sales for almost 2 years at that point, only meeting the spec was going to, possibly, bring in new sales.

Only meeting the spec was going to truly and reliably enable any of the commercial operations plan using the plane - and thus re-open the possibility of commercial fleet sales.

They were losing money with each delivery, what, they were going to make it up on volume?

I think history bares out it was absolutely the wrong choice to pursue the course you suggest and which they actually followed.

With a finish line in sight they could have actually laid out a workable CH13, stalking horse or no - but pushing IOU laden configuration management nightmares out the door as fast as possible instead damaged the brand.

Now, it's like that lyric by Herman's Hermits, 'second verse, same as the first'.

Black Tulip said...

It shouldn’t take too many neurons and synapses to decide between a nearly-new Eclipse 500 and a nearly-new Citation Mustang at $2.15 million. Based on current listings, there must be several Mustangs available at this price.

From the passenger’s viewpoint suppose you’ve gotten used to riding in back of an Eclipse. The Mustang would seem like upgrading to a Gulfstream in comparison. (“We could play basketball in back, Mom and Dad.”)

From the pilot/owner’s viewpoint suppose you’ve gotten used to Eclipse Aviation and Eclipse Aerospace. Now you are offered the Cessna legacy, a network of Cessna Service Centers, and hundreds of independent Cessna-qualified mechanics at FBOs around the world.

(May we set aside the difference of a few teaspoons of fuel consumed per furlong? Ken hasn’t been around lately to pester us with these second decimal point issues. It is probably safe to assume that objective pilots and passengers would both prefer to be in a Mustang, even if it wasn’t a dark and stormy night. The Garmin 1000 alone would sway the pilot.)

It would take a Total Eclipse of brain function to decide on spending two million plus on the recently announced ‘alternative’. Don’t know how this works out as an upgrade for a current Eclipse owner as I would rather not think about that… too scary.

airtaximan said...

"It is a completely different set of incentives, thus priorities."

.. so this wonderful decision tree led to building a single engine prototype instead for ++ $10M...

Nice one!

airtaximan said...

Baron, I think the "life extension" is that they will give you a new plane after 10,000 hrs.

Think about it, the old parts are probably worth more than a new plane, and they have a bunch lying around, anyway.

Baron95 said...

Black Tulip said...
It shouldn’t take too many neurons and synapses to decide between a nearly-new Eclipse 500 and a nearly-new Citation Mustang at $2.15 million


And why is this a relevant comparison? This is not the target audience.

The target audience is one of the 200+ customers that can trade in their existing, but largely incomplete EA500 (for $1.0-$1.7M value) and pay a net of $450K-$1.15M to get an upgraded, functional jet.

That is the audience.

Those that are already in for half a pound, going in for the full pound.

If you have say SN240, yu have 3 choices:

1 - keep on flying the plane with limitations (no FIKI, FL370, no moving map, etc).

2 - Get the Total Eclipse trad up for say $500K give or take.

3 - Liquidate your losses by dumping on an illiquid market for $500K-$750K.

What would you do? Remember, if you do 2, you probably have at least a couple of years of good supported flying, and can always sell in much better terms, say $1.5M or so later.

It may be, as they say, the least bad option.

Baron95 said...

CW, the reason, 2 years ago, to pump out as many jets as possible was to stay alive in the (long shot) hopes of finding an investor, and/or create as many (in for a pound) captive owners as possible. I don't think new sales were that relevant at that time.

Anyway - that is in the past.

Now on to Flying and AOPA etc putting the Total Eclipse on their covers again and doing a proper flight test.

Kind of like they do with the Commander 1000 -10 or Aerostar Superstar 700 or whatever they are called now every 5 years.


After all, when was the last time there was ANY part 23 new design GAMA airframe under 6,000 lbs to flight test?

Oh, yes. That was the EA500 ;)

Floating Cloud said...

What's a girl to do? Pick my hubby's Mustang (slightly used) airplane over a refurbished "Total" Man Eclipse?

Oh darn, wish I could decide? I know, I know, I was supposed to take flying lessons, but Hubby is always gone working on the front lines of GA. That's okay, but the gist of it is "Total Eclipse" offers a no frills deal with or without fully fiki quasi FAA qualifications, let alone seams a bursting! And that's so exciting I can hardly contain myself let alone the airplane! I just don't have the time, between nails and ballroom dancing lessons to be able to make a total commitment. Total Eclipse offers me the whole package, without one, love that!

I am so ready to fly into total darkness! If only I could. I dream of men from Eclipse.. they smoke cigars and cigarettes and kinda stink...

Mary Rose

Baron95 said...

ATM the $1M or whatever EA400 was started 2 years before the final act.

And it was a reasonably productive effort that cause quite a few owner to pony up additional deposits and enabled the EA500 price increase by offering an alternative place to park the deposit.

Again - different times, different priorities.

Despite their failings, not everything Eclipse did was irrational.

And not everything EAI does is doomed.

Get some perspective - criticizing everything gets boring. (I should know ;) ;))

Baron95 said...

Hey it is Passover and almost Easter and we are still stuck on a St Paddy's thread - LOL.

But at least there are actual news to discuss.

EA500's doing rolls at FL370 in CAT without unzipping the FSW seams, to Gadfly's amazement.

At least a handful of fully functional EA500s flying around.

100 Employees at EAI - that is a 80,000% better hiring performance than Cessna and HBC, by the way, contributing to the US economy.

Dow knocking on the doors of 11,000.

Auto sales for march expected to show a hugely brisk pace.

Who knows. Perhaps, just perhaps, EAI is part of a V-shaped thingy ;) ;)


Floating Cloud said...

Alright B95, I have been wondering about that mandate for EAI to hire x amount of employees per month to get the deal with the city/state. Do you have any real stats? Seriously.

Floating Cloud

Phil Bell said...

New Headline Post is up.
Sort of "techie" item

(Long standing curiousity about wings and things).

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