Very good points, Thomas. And thanks for the tip.
Yes, $80,000 without glass and with basic equipment. Curious to see how many take it at this price point. Experience shows that when glass is available, customers opt for glass.
The launch of the Eclipse is significant because this very cool, very light jet, will be an actual product, not one based on ridiculous assumptions about make believe markets for on-demand charter.
---"At the NBAA convention in October, I got to be on hand to witness one of the most significant events in the 20 years I’ve been an aviation journalist: the official rebirth of the Eclipse jet."---
Really? The launch of a jet that costs nearly $3 million dollars, out of reach of 99.9% of pil0ts, is one of the most significant events in your 20 year career? How? Why? I think it's a nice afterthought but how is this in any way a significant milestone? Do we even know if there is a market for this plane yet? Why not buy a Mustang that doesn't feel like a 172 in side?
It's a nice story and I wish them well but I would hesitate to paint it in the light you have.
There's a big gap between "reasonably capable airplanes are not available" and "consumers are choosing highly-equipped versions of airplanes, despite the added cost".
In other words, you're observing that there's been little demand for the low-priced, although reasonably capable airplanes that are available. True, and interesting. I wonder if a lot of that is due to the fact that they tend to be fabric-covered, which is not appealing to either flight schools or most private owners. The all-composite, but basic-equipment Pipistrel should help to resolve that question.
If you look at the Aerotrek web site, you'll find that even when "fully loaded" with the 100hp Rotax, 2-screen Dynon Skyview with synthetic vision, Mode S, with ballistic parachute, the airplane prices out at $88,500.
The Eclipse is pretty cool. It will be interesting to see how it fares against the Cessna Mustang, on the one hand, and the Diamond D-Jet (if and when it shows up) on the other. I also remain a little skeptical about whether, for the mission, a light turboprop (either a Piper M-Class or, for example, the Pilatus) isn't a better solution.