Icon A5 Update - No Deliveries!?!

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Inverted Vantage

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Just wanted to point this out: the data collection thing is not that big of a deal. In many ways it can be used to track the health of the product and improve service over time. It can also be used to expand the capabilities of your product. You could have an automatic flight time tracker/reminder app so you would know when the plane needs to be overhauled, how often the previous owner flew it and took it in for repairs, etc.

Most of your cars these days will probably come with some sort of data logging app. Take a look at the Tesla - it pushes updates over the Internet to every car. The whole battery-catching-fire-when-hitting-a-curb thing was fixed when they pushed a software update that retuned the suspension.

I know people can be really angsty about having their data tracked, but unless you have a flip phone (I know some of you probably do), your location is tracked all the time. It's just a part of the world we live in now. You can fight it, and godspeed to you, but A) you probably won't win and B) you probably won't get most people to care enough about it to join you. :\ Though I do hope you win, IMO it's not worth avoiding all the stuff out there that requires this - because virtually everything does nowadays. To avoid it is to jump through lengthy run-arounds that end up consuming your entire life. Just go look at those crypto-nuts who spend most of their time setting up secure proxies or whatever just so they can check their email.
 

Jay Kempf

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Is there a book about how to delude investors?
It just seems seems so common, how do they learn this?
Madoff didn't start out to dupe people. The old frog in the boiling water scenario. It is a mistake of one inch at a time. When it is completely out of control and you should fold you find you get clever finding new ways to keep the company alive one more day. And that leads to years sometimes.
 

BBerson

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Madoff didn't start out to dupe people. The old frog in the boiling water scenario. It is a mistake of one inch at a time. When it is completely out of control and you should fold you find you get clever finding new ways to keep the company alive one more day. And that leads to years sometimes.
I think I heard about half of the Madoff money has been returned to investors.
But stockholders are different and are always last in line, I think.
I have no evidence of fraud. It's just that the claimed investment of over $100 million doesn't make any financial sense.
 

mcrae0104

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Not really. Unlike other kinds of loans, student loans aren't indexed by risk; grades and expected post-graduation earnings (as determined by major) don't factor into the amount of money loaned or the interest rate. Plus, since student loans can't be discharged through bankruptcy, lenders don't have to worry about the potential loss. The colleges know this, and know that they can charge whatever they want because everyone will pay--after all, they're taking out loans anyway, so what difference does it make?

And that's how we wind up with kids owing $160k when they graduate with a degree in non-rhyming poetry...
Very good points. Also, most students take on debt in with the intent of graduating. Not all do. The loans do not go away.

The 2013 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a bachelor's degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2007 was 59 percent. That is, 59 percent of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor's degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2007 completed the degree at that institution by 2013. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40
 

choppergirl

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I submit for your consideration... the Alca Volpe - The Micro Car that Never Was

"Post war Europe was a hotbed of innovative designs for a new breed of micro cars; vehicles that could be produced relatively cheaply to service the needs of a cash and petrol strapped but leisure hungry population. "

"Roll out the Alca Volpe. Launched in Rome in 1947, the car was well received by the media and eagerly snapped up by the general public who pre-ordered in their thousands…only to be bitterly disappointed the following year when Alca was charged with fraudulent bankruptcy. The cash collected by Alca allegedly amounted to £4 million at today’s values. Only 10 of these beauties were ever built… none of them included an engine although one was designed by the Ferrari genius, Gioachino Colombo."


Well all be darn, don't that just sound like the Icon A5 to you...? A page taken right out of the history's play books...

It's not that a microcar was untenable... hundreds of different microcars were made, my favorites of which include the 1951 Crosley HotShot and the 1962 Nash Metropolitan. It's that it was vaporware from the get go. A one off concept car, with no factory assembly line or tooling or dies behind it to produce it. Hubris. Building one of something by a few craftsman is one thing. Building thousands of something on assembly line with unskilled workers doing one job/process each, quite another ball of wax.

"There's a sucker born every minute..." -- David Hannum
 
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Inverted Vantage

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I don't think the Icon is a scam, and I don't think it was ever intended to be. The more realistic (and less sexy) option is that they low-balled the estimate and when all was said and done they realized they were in over their heads and had to raise the price.
 

BJC

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I don't think the Icon is a scam, and I don't think it was ever intended to be. The more realistic (and less sexy) option is that they low-balled the estimate and when all was said and done they realized they were in over their heads and had to raise the price.
Leadership team profile here. Team - ICON Aircraft

A low-balled estimate is a sign of incompetence.

Being in over their heads is a sign of incompetence.

So the options are that they are either incompetent, they or they are scammers. Read about them and decide for yourself.


BJC
 

Vigilant1

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The colleges know this, and know that they can charge whatever they want because everyone will pay--after all, they're taking out loans anyway, so what difference does it make?

And that's how we wind up with kids owing $160k when they graduate with a degree in non-rhyming poetry...
College, medical care, and residential real estate: The three place where the federal government "helps" by forcing money into the system are coincidentally the three places were costs routinely outstrip inflation (esp the first two) or we get "bubbles" that threaten the national economy (the last one). A little less help, please!

If colleges had to carry the student loans on their own books, you can bet that degrees that lead to real jobs would be more easily financed and that colleges would take a keener interest in the quality of their students and in assuring their degrees meant as much as possible to employers.
 

TFF

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Lots of credentials there. Although the design is cool I bet they really dont care one bit about it; they want to be the new Cirrus. Curtis Pitts, Burt Rutan, Dick VanGrunsven care/ cared about their airplanes first. They all took steps beyond, they all make/ made a living from their designs. They are probably the most successful of this part of aviation. Cirrus had the VK-30 first; Glasair and Lancair started small. All the smaller plans and kit people did it for the design and desire to share their designs; they all realized making money was just a perk not a necessity. Icon was set up to be an airplane company and needed a catchy product. Probably they need another product. Suck you in with the sports car; sell you the station wagon.
 

Battson

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I imagine that "deluded" person is driving a rather nice car, owns a pretty large house in a nice area and has a envious bank account ... or 2.

I wouldn't mind being that deluded.
I still contend that the top people in th company know exactly what they are doing, are good at it, are reaping the rewards, and will have nice investment portfolios when that compay goes bankrupt.

It is the investors who are deluded, and will have been defrauded when it is over.


BJC


I don't think you're wrong.

But I would still maintain that "person" or those "people" have a screw loose. Intentionally misleading investors is more than just morally wrong, it's borderline illegal.

Legalities aside, IF they can live with themselves after something like that intentionally, material possessions be damned (you can't take those with you), I think "person" is too good a word to describe someone with a moral compass that loose. I can think of better words.

Worse than just discrediting themselves, it's another nail in the coffin of private aviation. More burnt fingers, more bitten investors, less Goodwill left for those who will follow - those with a realistic outlook / business plan.
 

cheapracer

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Worse than just discrediting themselves, it's another nail in the coffin of private aviation. More burnt fingers, more bitten investors, less Goodwill left for those who will follow - those with a realistic outlook / business plan.
Yup, that's what I keep saying in a number of similar threads - and get shutdown occasionally.

I think the issue of 'damage to our sport' is more serious than some imagine.
 

BJC

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I don't think you're wrong.

But I would still maintain that "person" or those "people" have a screw loose. Intentionally misleading investors is more than just morally wrong, it's borderline illegal.
It is illegal. It also is, unfortunately, quite common.

Legalities aside, IF they can live with themselves after something like that intentionally, material possessions be damned (you can't take those with you), I think "person" is too good a word to describe someone with a moral compass that loose. I can think of better words.
I have known some of those *##¥€£¥s that you are referring to.

Worse than just discrediting themselves, it's another nail in the coffin of private aviation. More burnt fingers, more bitten investors, less Goodwill left for those who will follow - those with a realistic outlook / business plan.
Agree, and that is the biggest, and worst, impact of their behavior.


BJC
 

cheapracer

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It is illegal. It also is, unfortunately, quite common.

You have to prove intent and that's extremely difficult.


I have known some of those *##¥€£¥s that you are referring to.
The reason I rant on this ilk of thread is because I have known some victims who lost everything. Sure, buyer beware, but these were older people easily swayed out of their life savings on selfless hopes of doing something for their children/grandchildren. It's a terrible thing to see.
 

Inverted Vantage

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Leadership team profile here. Team - ICON Aircraft

A low-balled estimate is a sign of incompetence.

Being in over their heads is a sign of incompetence.

So the options are that they are either incompetent, they or they are scammers. Read about them and decide for yourself.


BJC
Probably just incompetent. Like someone said earlier in the thread: they were determined to make the best dang airplane they could. Problem is once they got everything set up, they found it was more expensive than they thought.

Production problems occur in every project, and they had a lot of promises to keep. That's a lot of engineering debt that they had to pay back. When they finally did, they found they were over the heap.

Aside from the onerous purchase agreement, it's not like they've done anything super scammy - like delivered a half finished product and called it "finished" and then asked for more money to add in the "extra" features. All they've done is increase the price and added some ****ty points in the purchase agreement.
 

BJC

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Probably just incompetent. ....
Aside from the onerous purchase agreement, it's not like they've done anything super scammy - like delivered a half finished product and called it "finished" and then asked for more money to add in the "extra" features. All they've done is increase the price and added some ****ty points in the purchase agreement.
They have spend lots of other people's money to develop a mediocre airplane, promised price and delivery without delivering, attempted to impose new, onerous, conditions on their depositors, and, apparently, are unable to manufacture a product that is straight forward to build.

Look, again, at their leadership, and decide if it is incompetence or something else.


BJC. "We report, you decide."
 

Hot Wings

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Look, again, at their leadership, and decide if it is incompetence or something else.
It matters not which is true. The outcome is the same for the investors, and general aviation as a whole, one way or the other.
 

cheapracer

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They have spent lots of other people's money to develop a mediocre airplane, promised price and delivery without delivering, attempted to impose new, onerous, conditions on their depositors, and, apparently, are unable to manufacture a product that is straight forward to build.
+1.
 
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