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This airplane was a joke from the start. There is no posible way to build a private jet for under 1 million dollars. Look at the thrust rating. 700 pounds each side for a total of 1400 pounds. Ask any aeronautical enginneer and he will tell you you cannot achieve decent climb, useful load, service ceiling, or any decent speed on this amount of thrust. Compare it to the Cessna Mustang. It is doable. The Mustang has more than 1400 pounds a side and makes similiar peformance claims. Has Eclipse found some sort of Black Magic that has allowed it to cheat the laws of Physics?? The answer is a resounding NO!!!! Now its price and payload figures are not possible because they found it needs bigger engines. This decreses range and increses price. The dream is over and Eclipse will go down and take some of GA's reputation as a solid invesment with it. Buy a Cessna and be happy!!!
I agree. My question is why they posted the price so low at the start of the project. Surely, people who were paying $1.5 for Meridians would gladly pay the same price for a twin engine jet. Yet, Vern Raburn continues to say that they will bring the aircraft to market under the original pricing structure even though they will be forced to use an obviously more expensive powerplant. As you recall, the Williams design was an evolution of the NASA funded GAP project. The goal of the program was to produce a turbine engine at a competitive cost to present large displacement aircraft piston engines: $50-$100K. Obviously, any available alternative powerplant will be considerably more expensive. Who do they think is going to buy that story? It seems to me they missed an excellent opportunity to increase the price as they "claim" the re-engined design will have great capability and, also, Cessna has now annouced the Mustang that is almost three times their price. The real tragedy of this, in addition, to scaring off potential investor in the next aviation startup, is the damage done to the present particiapants in the market: Beech, Cessna, Piper, Pilatus and Socata. How many buyers have been sitting on the fence waiting for the paper airplanes to fly while the current manufacturers suffer? All of GA suffers as a result. Vern, grasp reality and fold the Eciplse tent now before you waste anymore of other people's time and money. We all fail from time to time, and you can always say that you gave it your best shot.
I also thought the Eclipse claims were a bit of a stretch. But I thought similar things about the Raytheon Premier and they made it work. Shooting for specific performance goals from the start of a design and publicizing that fact is a very big gamble. It's one I would not take. But I made a flight model of the Eclipse for FS2002 (something I do now after retiring as an aeronautical engineer) and it looks reasonable if you accept reduced performance.
I put the engines of a Cessna T-37 on the Eclipse - proven performance and produceability. I found climbing to and cruising in the high 20's very reasonable. 300 KTAS is not bad for a small plane. Of course investors might be alarmed if Eclipse changed their goals. But then worse can happen to those investors.
Make certain that you visit the Eclipse website. Now they are promising more performance and still keeping the price under $1M. Obviously, they just are trying to keep their postion holders from defecting. Oh what a tangled web we weave when once we practice to deceive. Vern Raburn is squandering his opportunity to legitimetly raise the price to a reasonable number, say $1.5, where the company has an opportunity to make enough of a profit to succeed. Instead he is trying to save face, and not admit his mistake, which will ultimately lead to their demise. I think he learned his management skills from Paul Allen when they worked together at Microsoft. Read "The Accidental Billionaire".
Thanx for the support guys.
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Here we go again?
There is an ad in the June issue of Flying for the AeroSpectives TAero 4000 jet powered flying car.
The projected price is 400K, which also seems a bit low.
Does anyone know anything about the company or the product?
One of the reasons that the original price on the Eclipse 500 was so low was that of market demand. He had specific price points set, and believed that he would be able to deliver an aircraft with expected performance, cost of operations, and cost of aquisition that made the aircraft very appealing to those individuals who were looking to purchase a new twin engine piston or low-end turboprop. He also expected, and touted, the concept of 'inexpensive' jet charter, bypassing the airlines spoke and hub system. Had Mr. Raburn been able to deliver the aircraft as promised, there would have been hundreds, possibly more, purchased for the express purpose of charter. This is where he expected to be able to deliver the price point. You sell more, you buy at lower costs, it drives down your selling cost. That's basic economics. If Nimbus had stayed the course, in three or four years, they would have taken a substantial percentage away from the airlines. Anybody ridden the airlines lately? If you have, you'll see why Nimbus would be doing well. Even with the raise in initial aquisition of the aircraft, this type of business can be made to work, but your initial outlay will be just a little later getting back to you.
Had Williams been able to deliver the engine as promised, at the cost promised, Raburn would have done very well. Even if Raburn is forced to price the aircraft at 1.25 million dollars, this is still right around the price of the new Adam A-500 twin propeller aircraft. True, it won't have the seating capacity, nor the spaciousness, but it'll fly faster, higher and your total 'discomfort' will be less anyway. Although moving to a P&W engine is going to hurt the cost, in the long run, I think it will actually bolster the aircraft.
In a few years, I believe that Eclipses will be as common as the Citation 500 a year after it was introduced. Remember the derision about *that* airplane? Yet, it has launched an entire line of airplanes. I believe that Raburn is in the right place, at the right time, and his opportunity will be fully realized.
Also consider how many orders that Eclipse has for their 500, the price for the first few customers was fixed, but the price has risen for later orders, not by a huge magnitude though. I think with the sheer amount of orders that they have to fufill, that they will have no problem in the long term. It seems that despite the engine setback, Eclipse is doing a lot of things right, and really thinking about the long-term. It's not just some half-arsed program by a major jet-builder that if it fails or stalls is not the end of the world.
Just heard Eclipse is raising the price of the 500 by 35% to 2.15 million! I applaud them for still being the lowest price jet on the market but not by much anymore.
Make it a habit to check your fuel gauges to ensure the tanks are even.
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