Kitty Hawk—The Wright Cycle Exchange announced today that it has firm commitments from several airlines to purchase 50 Wright Flyer machines with options on 100 more. The airline companies will be announced as soon as such companies have actually started and it can be determined what an airline actually is, which is expected by the first quarter of 1904, second quarter at the latest.
The company said the Wright Flyer, powered by a single 600-horsepower Taylor Dragon engine, is capable of carrying 30 passengers over a distance of 500 miles. The Flyer 500, which the company is taking orders for with deliveries in the first quarter of 1905, will carry 90 passengers over a distance of 3000 miles at a cruising speed of 400 miles per hour. Although the engines, materials, engineering and aerodynamics for the 500 don’t exist, they are expected to by the fourth quarter of 1904, according to the Exchange.
Cycle Exchange Chief of Business Continuation Wilbur Wright said the machines are “game changers” that would reinvent aeronautics and aviation, a heretofore nonexistent field. The Wrights telegraphed the news to their sister in Ohio: “Success four flights Thursday morning. Home by Christmas. Meet us at the FBO in Dayton 1:30-ish.”
A little grim aviation humor that’s probably uncomfortably close to truth. After all, American business has always been characterized, at its outer fringes, by a little flashy exaggeration. In aviation, we sometimes call this flat-out delusional fabulism, but this is an unimportant detail. What matters is that when delivery dates are given in quarters, you know the real delivery date is sometime between never and an excruciatingly drawn-out bankruptcy followed by a fire sale for three cents on the dollar.
Inevitably, I thought of this not-that-far-out fantasy when Miles O’Brien and I were talking about his recent PBS NOVA program on electric airplanes. You can see the program here and our recorded interview here. And I would recommend watching the NOVA program twice because it has some detail I missed the first time around. Miles had sent me a preview version before it aired and after I saw it, we shared a mutual groan over the distinct difficulty and lack of satisfaction in covering this emerging field.
I’ll start with a declaration. In my view, electric airplanes are a genuine technological wave. They are here; more are coming. I’m not hung up on the battery barrier. It will be overcome to the extent that battery-powered aircraft will have a presence of some kind, but won’t be the wide spot in the market unless developments take the technology well beyond the 5 percent gains we’re seeing annually now. Not much is in view to suggest this will happen. But then powered airplanes themselves weren’t in view in 1890.
To assume that some versions of hydrocarbon hybrid or perhaps fuel cells won’t eventually make these airplanes more fully functional is to assume progress is frozen and gasoline piston engines are as good as it’s ever going to get. That’s probably true for us fossils doddering into the end of our flying careers, but how about the 20-something taking flying lessons today? He or she will navigate a different world.
Which is why covering this apparent revolution feels like serving up a bowl of steam. Just this year alone—two quarters worth—we’ve published 16 stories on electric aircraft of various kinds. This week, we published this one. It describes how Ravn, a restart airline company in Alaska, plans air service with an electric airplane called the Airflow. Ravn proposes short-haul trips to relatively closely spaced villages. So far so good.
But what Airflow has so far is a press release. It’s not even to the point of a concept demonstrator, something it plans to do with a Cessna 210 and which Ampaire is already doing with a Cessna 337. (This is covered in the NOVA program.) Like others in the modern mediascape, we cover these stories as straight news without comment, leaving the reader to decide on their legitimacy. I’m beginning to think such reports need a warning label or some kind of five-level credibility index. “Caution: Reading this story may give you the impression that you’ll be flying on an electric airplane next month or next year. Or the year after that. Restraint is recommended.”
The profusion of startups and the stories they ignite may have a cumulative effect. If you read enough of them, you may begin to believe that things are further along than you imagined. The reality is messier than that, uneven and almost impossible to pin down by even an informed journalist asking the right questions. Consider this fact: I’ve covered this field as aggressively as resources allow and I’ve flown electric airplanes exactly twice for barely an hour in six years of trying. And I had to go to Slovenia to do it.
The true, washed-in-the-blood electric acolyte may concede the hype but also believe the entire enterprise will reach critical mass suddenly and you’ll be stepping on a Joby air taxi instead of hailing an Uber. No one can say when this will happen or even if it will.
But I’m pretty sure it won’t be suddenly or sooner than we think. But I’m also lukewarm sure it won’t be never. Betwixt the two is the challenge of playing coverage just the right way. I doubt if we’re getting it right.
In all the discussion about battery technology, about regulation and certification, noise, payload, cost and range one fact is in such plain sight that it’s rarely discussed: the aerodynamic advantages of distributed electric power. Powerful, reliable electric motors are already allowing these machines to do something previous aircraft could not, which is to take off and land vertically or nearly so without sacrificing high cruise speed to an unacceptably high noise signature. If Joby’s claims are correct—and I remain skeptical until they desist from being so secretive—this has been demonstrated to near the point of certified, production aircraft. But between “near the point” and certified is a yawning gap that could take years to bridge.
Electric propulsion also encourages the inevitability of autonomous flight for both people and cargo. Virtually all of these aircraft are being designed with automation as a fundamental assumption with a human pilot inserted as a temporary concession to passengers we imagine to be too fearful of trusting a robot instead. Rational or not, the same thinking assumes passengers can’t or won’t parse that most accidents are caused by homo the sap doing something stupid or wrong in the cockpit. Will this change? I’d say yes, we just don’t know when.
Also lost in the noise is a critical juxtaposition. It’s one thing for NASA to strap 20 motors to an airplane wing to prove a concept and quite another for the boys and girls down in the shop to build such a thing profitably. Never mind fantasies about automated factories, for short-term viability, these ideas will have to show at least some inkling that their economic outlook is worth the trouble and expense.
Probably what gives us agita about covering this field is our inability to understand—or sometimes even see—the intersection of the technology with the business plan. It’s not so hard to understand that an electric airplane with a 40-minute, 150-mile range can do something, but is that enough to ignite enough sales to sustain whoever has invested the equivalent of the GDP of Argentina in this grand, world-changing vision? Worked for the iPhone, right? In aviation the odds are rather more dismal.
Not to be a glass-half-empty kinda guy, but the last two big craters we saw in aviation after frenzied press coverage were Eclipse and Icon. No need to review the dreary history, but both of these airplanes were sold as disruptors, if not game changers, to fail miserably in resisting a tiresome cliché. Neither of the airplanes themselves were fatally flawed, but both foresaw vastly larger markets materializing much faster than the plodding pace of reality would allow. The business investments were hopelessly out of balance with the revenue that sales could possibly generate, thus narrowing the enterprise to a one-way lane to deep retrenchment if not bankruptcy. In Eclipse’s case, it was a flawed concept aggravated by mismanagement.
Joby, the imagined leader in the urban air mobility … I almost said market, but there is no demonstrated market. Let’s call it a concept. Joby is thought to have $6 billion at its disposal and envisions making millions of these aircraft to save, as the company founder JoeBen Bivert says, a billion people an hour a day. Six billion, by the way, is a billion less than the developmental costs of the Boeing 777. For the magnitude of Bivert’s vision, that may barely be a down payment. Watching this company for the next decade is going to be riveting.
Absent my imaginary warning label then, my advice to the discerning reader or viewer is two-fold. First, accept all this press-release originated news about electric airplanes for what it is: long-shot business ideas based on genuine technological underpinnings fertilized by high aspiration, with an emphasis on the gauzy connotation of that word. Some of it is a lot less gauzy than the rest of it. Second, a belief that something won’t happen because it hasn’t happened yet is the lazy refuge of the ignorant cynic, but at least another opportunity for me to cheap shot Lord Kelvin for his insistence that heavier-than-air flight would be impossible.
In our coverage here on AVweb, we’ll continue to try to thread this needle between shameless hype and unpleasant reality. Rather than confess anything so naïve as actual hope, let me just say the law of averages suggests we’ll get it right once in a while.
Good article with salient and analogous points. You do that SO well.
I think that most of your informed readers who take the time to expound on all these fictitious articles, claims or press releases — calling them “vaporware” — are smart enough to know that SOMETHING might come of SOME of the work being done on this emerging technology. Electric power COULD be the future … if energy storage issues were ever solved. Problem is, at this time, it ain’t real and not on the timeline most of us “doddering” on have remaining … as you said. We’re impatient! So why are you printing — and in the process giving street cred to — what appears to be just about every cockamamie aviation claim anyone makes. Most aren’t real and press releases won’t make them real. I was hoping the UFO Report released yesterday would tell us that Element 115 IS what powers them but was — once again — left disappointed. See the problem?
The heartburn is that there seems to be SO much of it anymore. It’s kinda like being fed a constant diet of “steam” — GREAT analogy, BTW. If I want a beer, I don’t go to a brewery to smell it or look at it being made, I want to taste and savor the experience arriving at Nirvana after six. That’s why Airventure is such a monumental event to us. We moan because we’re experienced enough to know that the great preponderance of these claims won’t rise even to the level of an Eclipse or an Icon … despite the claims of “disruptive technology,” et al. And we know that there is no market at the dollar figures they need to be successful. Worse, the claims that going electric will save the planet … especially if all they do is call it ‘green.’ Give us all a break!
I — personally — view Avweb as THE Gold Standard of aviation reporting. As such, Avweb has a responsibility to deliver FACTUAL and substantive reporting to it’s readers. And it has a responsibility to itself — as a top level media outlet — to act with the highest of standards. Avweb is often the source link location used by other outlets for that same reason. MY early AM online perusals include a low pass by the Avweb home page to see what’s happening in my chosen avocation of aviation. I don’t come here to read Bravo Sierra press releases or be tricked by “click bait” … I come here for the facts … just like Jack Webb did, “Ma’am.” Print the facts prominently and put the press releases in a separate area.
MY recommendation … invent some ‘sidebar’ area to ID these as “Press Releases” or “From the Fiction Desk” or something like that. That way, readers can dumpster dive if they like or avoid these nutty claims altogether. Facts is facts and fiction is fiction and almost never will they meet. Separate them. YOU — above all others — are the master of seeing that.
Now then, I’ll go back to sitting here waiting for Superior to announce that their Odyssey 2-stroke 2 cycle engine has finally been developed, tested, approved and is available to me to purchase. See the problem?
Bottom line … REALITY rules the world! You know what talks … and what walks. Fill in the blanks.
Of course there was a working Nautilus 100 years after Jules Verne wrote about a nuclear submarine. However, just because an occasional fantasy does come true, does not mean that that kind of story shouldn’t be labeled Science Fiction. Unfortunately, we live in a world limited by physics and chemistry, not by wishful thinking. Short of “cold fusion” (that was a big deal in the 80s) becoming a reality, batteries will not approach the energy density of fossil fuels. The King Air killer being breathlessly reported about is going to use lithium-sulfur batteries. Wikipedia actually has a fair treatment on LI-S batteries. There are massive technological challenges to overcome for these to be commercialized on a large scale, all for, wait for it. . . twice the theoretical energy density of Lithium Ion or LiPo batteries. There is no Moore’s Law in electrochemistry, and the anode and cathode chemistry options have been known for a very long time. Improvements in battery technology over the past decade have mostly been in physical packaging, inhibition of parasitic chemical reactions, charge/discharge management, etc., not in the theoretical energy density.
It’s worth noting that the promoter of Cold Fusion was not some crackpot, he (I’m not going to mention the name) was one of the world’s most respected electrochemists, who misinterpreted erroneous results from some experiments, and then got caught up in the thought of being the next John D. Rockefeller.
My personal opinion is that AvWeb should not become the Popular Mechanics of aviation. The Pipestrel Panthera has been the next big deal in piston powered flight for about ten years, and maybe you’ll be able to take delivery of one in a year or two, and that’s with a plane that uses a pretty conventional design and manufacturing technology. Pipestrel clearly had/has the resources and technology to build such a plane and it still took a dozen years. Repeating the “announcement” of magic aircraft that are going to be certified and flying in four years is pretty much like Popular Mechanics “announcing” that nuclear powered road resurfacers were just around the corner.
“There is no Moore’s Law in electrochemistry.” … good one … I’m gonna remember that one.
Will you forget that battery energy density is improving at 5% to 8% per year for many years?
If you are who I think you are, certainly you are no piker, but you should also remember that there ARE walls in physics – c for example. No amount of technology – at least as we understand the physics now – is going to take you faster than c. Batteries are all well and good, but there is a limit on their energy density, and it’s well below that of hydrocarbon/oxygen combination, i.e. gasoline-burning. The phenomenal efficiency of 3-phase electric motors helps a lot, but not enough.
If you want to change the world, figure out how to make high-power, efficient, and cheap fuel cells to convert hydrogen into electricity using atmospheric oxygen. Then neither your densest reactant nor its exhaust product has to be carried on board. I’m an electrical engineer and all about electric power, but one needs to temper one’s enthusiasm with a gimlet eye toward hype.
Once again, Paul nails the problem–and without being entirely dismissive of the press releases, identifies the problem: THESE ARE ONLY PRESS RELEASES. Aviation journalism is torn between the need to report on the state of the industry, and to prevent consumers from being taken in by puffery and quackery. A review of aviation magazines over the last 60 years shows that only a minuscule number of “THE NEXT BIG THING IN AVIATION” actually survives certification–AND even a smaller number of offerings make it in the marketplace–the ultimate arbiter of product worth.
Most aviation publications and websites depend on advertising to fund the publications–not so with Avweb and Aviation Consumer–and that is why we subscribe–we depend on AvWeb and Aviation Consumer to sort the useful products and news, so consumers can be informed. To give credibility to unproven concept projects diminishes the “brand”. This isn’t unique to the aviation press–it seems that nearly all “news outlets” have gone from “report the news and get it RIGHT” TO “Be the first to report it–right or wrong.”
Jason S. had a good suggestion for the aviation press–put it in a separate section called “press releases.” IF there is any major breakthrough, THEN it can be reported as “News.” Unproven concepts are NOT “News.”
IF an actual breakthrough occurs, then it DOES become “news”–and ought to be reported.
Didn’t you mean Larry S, Jim? 🙂
Looks like all three of us SO far are in agreement …
Here’s another “litmus test” turn left or turn right suggestion for Avweb: IF a Press Release or “claim” has a prototype or ANYTHING that can be scratched and sniffed or is near to flight, it can go into the reality column. IF some claim has only rhetoric behind it … even if it’s coming from a reputable company … to the “Press Release” column it should go.
Just a clarification here: AVweb is supported by advertising. Aviation Consumer is not.
A good editorial. It presents the dilemma reporters face in how or when to report the “news”. Deciding on where to put an article (i.e. News column vs Press Releases) can be a difficult decision. If the reporter makes commentary on the likelihood of any particular aircraft becoming more than vapor ware, the article becomes an editorial. It’s up to the reader to make that decision. I think that most readers of Avweb are smart enough to recognize how likely any announcement of a new electric concept is likely to actually arrive, let alone on the projected schedule. Speaking for myself, my credibility filter goes on high alert any time I see the word “electric” in the article’s title. I don’t need a reporter to tell me the odds of any new flying machine actually succeeding. The reporter should give us “just the facts”, and leave the reader to decide how accurate or believable those “facts” may be. Having said that, I personally value the comments some readers inject in the Reply section. Those people, who shall remain nameless, have enough experience in aviation design and technology to actually present good reasons why chemistry, physics and electronics make the aviation world the way it is. So, keep reading all the posts and adding your two cent’s worth. 😉 Political pontification and character assinations we can do without.
Reading between the comment lines following these vaporware press releases, my impression is that much of what folks are really trying to say is “don’t insult my intelligence”. Some commenters aim that sentiment at the messenger but ultimately it is a statement aimed squarely at the companies purveying the vaporware. I personally see no need for AVweb to classify vaporware stories as “Press Release”. That would be like having to tell us that a joke is a joke. If a joke is good and well told it will get the laugh it deserves, but some jokes just aren’t worth telling. As Phil Ryder says above, “AVweb should not become the Popular Mechanics of aviation”. Don’t become the Popular Mechanics of aviation and a “Press Release” section won’t be necessary.
Some readers are aware that I’m writing a book. No – not an aviation book (that will come later, if I remain vertical).
Enduring Value is the story of how our Greatest Generation parents and the Sisters of Saint Joseph collectively inculcated mid-20th-century American culture, character, and skills in the baby-boom generation of Catholic School students during the Cold War era of the 1950s and ‘60s, and thus shaped their entire lives.
As I commit mid-century memories and thoughts to the screen, I’m gobsmacked by the reality that seven decades of societal “progress” has brought us to what I call “the democratization of ignorance.” The non-Jurassic inhabitants of today’s world seem remarkably incapable of discriminating between what IS and what SHOULD BE. Worse still, their behavior is willful and purposeful. Worst of all, it is righteous – self-righteous, actually.
I empathize with the journalistic dilemma that Paul so cogently has described for us all, recognizing that his tome is a proper – if inevitable – response to recent protestations regarding the legitimacy of both vaporware and AvWeb’s coverage of it.
Mothers, don’t let your babies grow up to be aviation journalists. Or something like that.
Thanks to Bertorelli and the rest of the AvWeb authors. I’ll continue to trust their judgment.
I would like to suggest to all journalist: After reaching out to the players of the story/release, write into the story what they did or didn’t say or do. If I developed the next flying advancement and an aviation reporter called me I would be all over it and talk their ear off. Then I would invite the opportunity for a demo. How many cars would Tesla sell if they kept their cars in secret?
Apples and oranges.
Tesla actually HAS real cars.
Yes, Tesla has real electric cars with self-driving features but, just like aviation vaporware, Tesla is reporting ‘Fully’ self-driving cars. News stories like this have people believing the aviation vaporware stories.
I’m still waiting on my drone delivered pizza that I ordered over a decade ago after watching countless number of videos with drones delivering packages, food and medical supplies? If any of these drone delivery companies exists I would hope AvWeb will inform us.
:” long-shot business ideas based on genuine technological underpinnings fertilized by high aspiration, with an emphasis on the gauzy connotation of that word.”
Precisely what – well, not precisely I suppose – I would think every time yet another article, blog or news flash on Avweb appeared about the start-ups and their dreams and vaporware for the next best fuel replacement to 100LL. On and on it would go, “we’re close, not quite fungible, what about transport and infrastructure, will pilots accept it, etc.” Yet still to this day, nuthin’ – still spewing lead. But in my ‘Real World’ I always wanted to hear about when unleaded Mogas will be offered at my local airport to the burgeoning group of homebuilders around me and their alternative engines. Would have enjoyed some ‘vaporware’ on that subject and not held it against Avweb, lol.
Just saying that there seems to be selective criticism when it comes to electric airplanes. Yet, the entire planet seems to be transitioning to its use and the expanded consciousness of its benefits for everyone. Maybe Avweb is being a little sensitive on this subject, I don’t know. But I don’t waste my time worrying about if the writers are ‘keeping it real’ or not – they’re doing a fine job as far as I’m concerned. Hope they don’t fall into the trap of political correctness – but other than some commenters and their worry about what they consider to be THE REAL WORLD, I don’t see that happening.
I would highly recommend the one hour PBS show by Miles O’Brien for those who can accept climate change and aren’t overly sensitive about dreaming big. It’s very well done. Thanks, Paul.
And there is a nice article in Popular Mechanics about Guy Bluford, too.
In addition to the PBS show, I highly recommend readers view the interview that Paul did with Miles about the making of the PBS piece. In it, both men commented on how difficult it is to dig into the details of the myriad offerings of electric aircraft and see what actual equipment might be found among the vapor ware. Miles was quite critical of the secrecy surrounding some projects and the company’s unwillingness to allow independent test flights or even journalists photographing the hardware. As Klaus said above, how successful would Tesla have been if they hid their cars from public view while in development? Or on the other hand, companies making fantastic claims about the number of people who have flown in their machines. At a time when anyone with a smart phone considers themselves to be a journalist, being a serious journalist and presenting quality content among the noise can be a real challenge.
In the Wright Brother’s days, people were interested in discovery and implementation. Today, many are interested in sizzle of the product and are want to fall for the hype. In reality, many of these companies are driven by the vision and not able to grasp the reality of the science. Then to, there is a lot of $ out in the world looking for the next big deal. So if you have excess amounts of cash or block chain coin, then go ahead and dabble. Having worked on many development projects, I quickly learned what would not work. The key to success was analyzing the reasons why a concept did not work and trying the next iteration. So if people want to invest their hard earned $ or coin, then have at it. Maybe one of the idea purveyors will actually have a game changing discovery. It may even surprise the designers and backers. Teflon was discovered that way, and well the rest is history. I guess the caution is don’t invest in the vaporware if you cn not afford the loss. Widows and orphans be ware.
The difference between 1904 and now is that people have actually seen these electric aircraft fly, (and dirigibles) through landscapes that are familiar to them, on media they not only trust but carry around with them all the time — their smartphones.
Blame universities for taking perfectly good brains and converting them into 3D video specialists by the trainload — all desperate to make some bucks in what has always been a crowded market.
One thing Covid has shown us is a grasp on reality disappears for many people once they have seen something on Spacebook or whatever.
And besides if someone tells them the airliner they have just stepped off has electric engines, they will reply “cool” and wander away quite happy.
Hi Paul. Great article as always. Up here in Vermont, the big aviation news is Beta Technologies. Where might that fit into your analysis of electric aircraft?
I think a big problem with development in America is that capital is attracted to the disruptive and revolutionary instead of the slow-burn of evolving and improvement of current technology. I was explaining to my brother about how typical aviation piston engines work and how hard it is to start them (impulse couplers, priming, magnetos, and all that rot). We’re relying on technology that’s almost a century old when straightforward applications of current technology (electronic ignitions, computer control and diagnostics, and emissions controls) could solve a great many of the issues confronting aviation and those who criticize it. But who wants to throw money and attention at improving a system when you can get the rush of radical, disruptive (there, I said it) change? I agree that commenters can get a bit snippy about these wild-eyed radical promises, especially when they come from established companies who have a lot invested in the status quo, but a lot of us, too many in fact, are up there in years, and we’ve seen and heard it all before. I would be more impressed with an engine that starts as easily as my everyday car, gets much better fuel economy, and puts out less pollutants than a lawnmower. That’s worth a press-release.
ORVILLE WRIGHT would not agree with your article.
It was hard to visualize a ‘real’ watch like Dick Tracy in the past.
I prefer your articles on describing flying the way it was, I can relate to it having owned 6 airplanes in the past and enjoyed every second of it, but my next one will be electric.
Now Paul in order to achieve a balanced view on the subject of electric airplane,
you should write an article about the « bowls of steam » prress releases that are negative about the future of aviation being electric. Maybe you would attract more positive comments and make AvWeb more upbeat about the future of electric flying.
Claiming to be realistic, pragmatic or realistic is just peddling the status quo.
Knowing everything about aviation but not understanding where we are heading.
Of course you know we have a serious problem with the pollution our hobby and transportation is creating.
Aviation would not exist with peddlers of FUD.
They have to be exposed for what they are.
They are just trying to drag us down to their level of misunderstanding and short vision because they don’t know what to look for.
After you know what to look for
you see things
that you did not notice
when you did not know
exactly what to look for.
I might watch the show if it could be guaranteed free of climate-change lectures.
If you mean avoiding any references to climate change, even if it’s just a statement that one company or another is working on electric propulsion because of climate change concerns, you should probably not watch the show (or the weather forecasts, for that matter).
I meant what I wrote, and trying to characterize my comment as “avoidance” means you felt a need to comment on your perception of my motive rather than on what I wrote.
If one confuses content references with lectures, on any subject, you’ve entered the wonderful world of phobias – I watched the program also and Gary’s comment was perfectly appropriate to those with a basic grasp of how knowledge is acquired.
Objective viewpoints and discussions on subjects like anthropogenic climate change can be very helpful to the deniers – offering them real, scientific proof of it’s non-existence, ‘ammo on your belt’ to refute the believers. I would jump at the chance.
I referred to lectures, not “content references”. Gary confused “content reference” with lectures and tried to make me agree with his misrepresentation of my position. Now you’re telling me Gary’s misrepresentation of my position was correct, and I was wrong about my own statement. Do you understand why arguing in such a way makes people take your arguments in less than serious ways?
Both of you have made up your minds in prejudicial ways as to what my position is on an issue that pushes your buttons. You have no basis for your assumption based on my original comment.
Another excellent article and interview but I did not see/hear any mention of Bye Aerospace?
He’s busy designing a new 120 passenger jet airliner powered by hot air and manure! No time for that 8 pax thingie he talked about last month.
The key phrase in Paul’s comments was “cumulative effect” a.k.a using the BIG LIE approach to pound the usually ignorant reader into submitting to the subject matter by continually hammering them with the same wrong dogma. Soon, just need a few more millions and to work out a few kinks. This approach seems to have worked amazingly well for the climate change doomsday crowd who have convinced a huge number of gullible fools that the world as we know it is going to disappear by the end of this decade. It has worked so well it is no wonder the air industry grifters continue to use it with apparently good success.
Expert needle threading, Mr Bertorelli. Definitely enhancing your batting average. Nicely done!