Thought you might be interested to know that I got an email from Lance Neibauer himself addressing the color choice issue. He basically explained that the Columbia 300 was tested to a higher temp (175 vs 150 degrees F) which allows darker colors and provides a stronger structure (presuming, I suppose, that the Cirrus would have failed at the higher temp).
Anyway, the point is that I was impressed that the CEO of Lancair takes the time to personally keep his finger on the pulse of the customer base!
Glad to hear he reads this so I will give him a bit of advice.
Before I purchased the Cirrus, I seriously considered the Lancair. Called and received information on it and everything.
Called several times to speak with a sales person. A couple of days before I sent my check to Cirrus I called again. I have yet to receive a return phone call (been waiting a year).
Also, Lancair needs to decide whether they want to be kit plane manufacturer or a production plane company. My bet is that if they try to do both they will not suceed.
I found the Lancair booths at Sun n Fun to be very confusing from a consumer standpoint. I feel kit customers and certified customers will not be well served by a company trying to make everyone happy.
By the way, Cirrus is playing this game well. During peak market demand is the time to figure out how to ship product fast and ignore customer demands for customization, etc. Those of you in the Tech world should know about the “Tornado Theory” (from the book “Inside the Tornado”)
During the tornado phase of a market, demand is great and the number one goal should be to satisfy demand, not be excellent at customer service. So forget fancy color schemes and all the other stuff we whine about in this forum. Cirrus needs to concentrate on getting as many orders filled as quickly as possible and then later, after they have extablished market dominance in high performance light aircraft, go about working on the finer details of color, customer service etc. By then they will have a large installed base of customers and can afford to do more elegant refinements.
Hey, the “Tornado” Theory worked for Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Intel to name a few top brand tech companies. Played well, the game could put Cirrus on top as well.
Alright, I am off the soap box now.