Odds and Ends: 787 production up to 15/mo

It’s the best-selling airliner in decades before launch, but the it became an embarrassment of riches for Boeing once the delays for the 787 kicked in. Customers face delays of more than three years for delivery and Boeing doesn’t have new sales slots available until the end of the decade.

We asked BCA CEO Jim Albaugh about production capability during our interview with him at the Farnborough Air Show. Theoretically Boeing can produce 17 787s a month: 10 at Everett and seven at Charleston, once the lines are all operating efficiently, Albaugh said, and depending on the supply chain.

During a meeting with employees Feb. 2, Albaugh revised the figure slightly and this kicks off our Odds and Ends column this week.

  1. Jim Albaugh last week said it might go to 15/mo. Here’s his most definitive statement yet.
  2. Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has a long article on Boeing outsourcing. Be sure to also click on the PDF report on which the article is based.
  3. Airbus canceled 12 orders for the A330F in a long-running dispute with the Indian start-up Flyington Freighters. This leaves Airbus with around 54 outstanding deliveries. Here is a second story.
  4. It’s very interesting to WTO/tanker and political geeks, and to us as a resident in Washington State, to see Sen. Patty Murray (D-Boeing/WA) basically disappear in the current back-and-forth about the USAF IFARA release and the Senate hearing. In the 2009-2010 period, Murray was everywhere, shrilly issuing press releases and making apopalytic statements about the dastardly Airbus. In the last 75 days or so, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Boeing/WA) has taken up the charge and Murray hasn’t said much. Let’s see: Murray was up for election in 2010 in a very tough election race. She survived. Cantwell faces reelection in 2012. At the moment, no Republican candidate has emerged. Ya suppose there is a connection in tactics here?
  5. Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon doesn’t get much attention, largely because the program is going so well it doesn’t make much news. This story relates the additional order for four more of the 737-based airplanes from India, bringing the number to 12.
  6. DAE Capital (Dubai Aerospace) canceled 32 737s last week. Watch for a similar number of A320s to be canceled when Airbus announces its monthly report for February. DAE is in the process of canceling all its aircraft over time. It has a big order for A350s, which will likely wind up with Emirates Airlines or perhaps to customers who want the delivery slots.

30 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 787 production up to 15/mo

  1. I think you are right about Murray, she wanted that union votes from Boeing workers, no that she got them, she doesn’t need Boeing. Cantwell is following her plan.

    Interesting about the 12 canceled A-330Fs. Where are all of the Airbus[t] cheerleaders in this story? They were shouting about the 2 canceled B-747-8Fs just a few weeks ago. Did they all loose their voices, and laptops?

    The same questions can be asked about the DAE orders for the A-32X and A-350 orders. It looks like DAE may be going under.

    Boeing needs to be talking about getting the B-787 “out the door” to the customers before they start talking about building 15, or 17, per month.

  2. The Hart-Smith report is an interesting paper!

    IMHO he overlooks the proper decissions for separation
    interfaces : You do them at the minimum point of complex interaction.
    corollary: clearly defined interfaces between sections make testing
    and thus fault location much easier.
    His proposed changes ( on how to part out work, where to put the seames )
    would nix that advantage going towards the less efficient Boeing ways.

    Second: he notices that established accounting rules do not provide
    metrics to decide how to handle the work at hand.
    If there are no metrics the problem ( in accountant eyes ) just does
    not exist. result: BIG FAIL.

    Third : partner trust and oversight (i.e. partner micromanagement)
    is a property not accessible to accountants.

    That is the reason why they are deemed supportive and not
    central to production. ( Qantas sits in the same boat that Boeing is
    rowing furiously : Trust requires oversight and competent understanding.
    Otherwise you will be trapped by language ( think cat,dog) or commercial
    interests. Qantas and Boeing ditched the competente departments on accounting
    conciderations. Elsewhere cutting away your frontal lobes is seen as detrimental ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Dreamliner Production Rate estimates:
    Rather early on the observation was made that the projected 10/m rate was
    not attainable due to unexpected hard limites in the assembly process.
    numbers around 7/m were bandied about. My guess is that upto 15/m is
    B-speak for max 14/m distributed on 2 sites running full tilt and absolutely
    glitch free.

  3. Dr. Hart-Smith correctly pointed out how Boeing should (have) implement(ed) the 7E7/787 program:

    The Airbus experiences in regard to outside manufacture contain two important messages for Boeing. The first is that it can be done economically, but only with thorough planning to ensure that the expensive capital equipment that is not available in-house is fed sufficient work to make it profitable, even if that means identifying many detail parts on a great number of different drawings to avoid having similar parts made inefficiently at a great number of sites. The second message is that the entire assembly process must be integrated with the internal and off-site production plans if it is not to cause great delays and increases in costs.

    And:

    It is for these reasons that Airbus makes extensive use of specialty shops in the production of detail parts for their aircraft. A small number of shops produce the small machined parts for all aircraft made on the Continent. Other factories concentrate on the production of long skinny machined details, like wing skin planks for the Mystรฉre aircraft. Restricting the manufacture of stiffened panels to only a few sites made it possible to automate this process and introduce self-assembling (jigless) structures long before they were used on the 757. The reason for this level of automation, at the start of the process is primarily one of precision, to reduce the costs of subsequent assembly steps. All of the horizontal tails are built at one site, in Spain, and all of the wings in the United Kingdom, with large wings at Chester and the small wings at Bristol. The underlying principle behind this kind of work-share arrangement is that it is the only way, for low-volume production, to economically justify the use of cost-saving equipment that could not be justified if it had to be replicated and underutilized at a far greater number of sites. In addition, the great majority of Airbus production, other than as offset for sales, is confined within a small area, which has reduced transportation costs with respect to those incurred by the more dispersed production used by the former McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

    IMHO, the Y2 (787) should have been started with the aim of using the best practice recommendations and production experiences from Airbus in addition to the best production methodologies from within the Boeing company itself. Y1 and Y3 (and Y4?) would then have followed suit by using the same type of set-up for the production infrastructure. I do realize though that the not-invented-here syndrome is as prevalent in Seattle as it is, for example, at NASA HQ.

    Again, IMHO Boeing should have retained the in-house capability to produce the outer wing assembly as well as the centre wing box and integrated centre fuselage assemblies (Sections 44/45), in Seattle or elsewhere in the US. The rest of the fuselage assembly lines could have been outsoured to new centres of excellence in Japan and eleswhere. I do disagree though with Dr. Hart-Smith that Airbus supposedly has too many factories involved in the assembly of fuselage barrels. Although the current set-up is obviously related to the formation of the company and the original political agreements of “work share” , but it did not lead to more splices in the structure than would is typical of aiframes with aluminium structure made out of aluminium.

    Such new Tier-1 centres of excellence could also have been used to assemble existing fuselage barrels for at least the 767 and 777, thereby freeing up space at the Everett factory. One should keep in mind that for each new airliner development, Airbus has basically been building new FALs and new buildings for fuselage and wing assembly at the various centre’s of excellence. Boeing, on the other hand, seems to be “handicapped” by their seemingly self-imposed requirement of having to use the legacy facilities at Everett.

    The problem for Boeing, at this point in time, is that the major components for the new Y1 (737RS) will likely be produced at different sites then what is the case for the 787, and then according to Dr. Hart Smith, “you can’t economically justify the use of cost-saving equipment that could not be justified if it had to be replicated and underutilized at a far greater number of sites.”

    It seems to me that Boeing had a “once in a lifetime chance” to reorganize the way they manufacture LCAs when they launched the 787. Sadly, the thorough recommendations from Dr. Hart-Smith were ignored. Of course, had these recommendations been taken seriously, it’s no guarantee that the development of the 787 would have been less problem-free, but at least Boeing would have been in the possession of a new economically efficient set-up of their production line infrastructure. This new paradigm could then have served as the model for all subsequent new aircraft (Y1, Y3, Y4 etc.) for the next half century.

    • Hups, I didn’t notice that piece of rather good work was from 2001.
      Overlooked that. So Boeing actually had their task schedule perfectly
      set out for building a state of the art airplane.

      Did top brass at Boeing make a concious decission to deviate from
      all that good advice or do we watch the effects of other insidious
      mechanisms at work here ?

      • As I understand it- the symposium was at St Louis which was and is almost exclusively military work.

        The local brass, having suckled on then govt teat for all their working lives did not take it too kindly.

        Add to that the plethora of GE – welch wannabees like stonecipher, and later mcnearney, and including that doyen of mendacity John Mcdonnel who never did figure out how to make money on commercial airplanes, the good doctor was simply dismissed as a non team player.

        That he happened to be correct in his analyis was and is something that even today, the power point rangers and GE types still around simply cannot admit without choking..

        After all, Phil Condit subscribed to the jack welch method – we are NOT a family – we are a team – and I’m in charge here. Damm the workers, full speed ahead.

  4. stealing a line from mark twain and updating it

    “God made idiots for practice, then he made (school boards) Boeing managers”

  5. Addendum:

    Although the current set-up is obviously related to the formation of the company and the original political agreements of workshare packages, it did not lead to more splices in the fuselage structure than what is typical for airframes with most of the structure made out of aluminium.

  6. Uwe, perhaps the answer to your question is found here: But a senior executive present at the symposium spent a half-hour after his presentation attacking the paper, and afterward Boeing leadership ignored Hart-Smith.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sundaybuzz/2014125414_sundaybuzz06.html

    Hart-Smith argued that it was wrong to use that financial measure as a gauge of performance and that outsourcing would only slash profits and hollow out the company.

    Reached by phone in his native Australia, where at 70 he is now retired, Hart Smith said he’d heard in recent months on the grapevine from former colleagues that senior executives at Boeing Commercial Airplanes have been reading his paper.

    “I’m glad they got the message,” Hart-Smith said. “It took far too long.”

    After he presented his paper at a company symposium in 2001, he received hundreds of supportive e-mails from engineers and lower-level managers, he said.

    But a senior executive present at the symposium spent a half-hour after his presentation attacking the paper, and afterward Boeing leadership ignored Hart-Smith.

    He had hoped to join the 787 program but wasn’t permitted to do so. He felt sidelined, he said.

    In Hart-Smith’s analysis, the seeds of Boeing’s outsourcing ideas grew out of the McDonnell aircraft business, which focused on military-airplane programs. On the military side of the business, the U.S. government was the major, often the only, customer and it funded development costs in full.

    “The military approach didn’t require you to risk your own money,” Hart-Smith said. “That was the McDonnell Douglas mentality.”

    He blamed that attitude for the major outsourcing on the MD-95 and proposed MD-12 programs, the failure of which led to the decline of Douglas’ commercial-airplane business in California.

    The same ideas were transferred to Boeing with the McDonnell Douglas merger and led directly to the 787 outsourcing strategy, he said.

    Taken to its extreme conclusion, Hart-Smith said mockingly, the strategy of maximizing return on net assets could lead Boeing to outsource everything except a little Boeing decal to slap on the nose of the finished airplane.

    Though most of the profits would be outsourced to suppliers along with all the work, and all the company’s expertise would wither away, the return on investment in a 25-cent decal could be 5,000 percent.

    It’s likely that Sanford “Sandy” N. McDonnell and Harry C. Stonecipher and/or any of their disciples realized that, embarrassingly for them, Dr. Hart-Smith had just delivered an epitome of the greed, brazenness and arrogance of the MacDac board that had led to the decline of the company’s large civilian airliner business. The MacDac management and board apparently did not possess the qualities required to learn from other people’s experiences (i.e. from Airbus etc.), and unfortunately quite a few of these people were calling the shots at Boeing. Add all of this to the not-invented-here syndrome prevalent at Boeing, and it’s not surprising that a competent engineer not sticking to the party line was shoved out into the cold and ignored.

    • Learning is an inelastic process and may include trauma on its way ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Will this provide some immunity for Boeing after it has run its course
      or is this the path to aged disability ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Did Airbus have an “easier” innoculation after the toplevel wars that
      hampered (still do, much easier to go FUBAR than back) the A380 quite a bit?

  7. besides which – What are structural engineers supposed to know about economics since they probably do not have the right power pointless credentials known as an MBA? nor hands on experience in running a company into the ground.

    • You sound bitter ?
      The core property of a good engineer ( whichever field of work ) is to be able
      to analyse a new problem and build up a curiculum of topics (s)he has to expand
      h(is/er) knowledge on to be able to have a valid opinion.
      This can be by study and/or experiment/research.
      Testing the path to unknown unkowns and making them into known unknowns is the first step in any project.
      You can use an engineer for nearly everything new that does not require posturing or being unreasonable.

      • Geeze UWE- wake up ! you seem to have a hard time identifying cynicism and insist on making it personal.

        I was ;-PP ( tongue in cheek ) giving a typical ” management ” response as to why Dr Hart was ignored. He was a top rated structural engineer- and by the typical job classification system used by aerospace and many large companies, he was ” out of his education- experience classification ” thus a so called ” manager” with the braids on his shoulder denoting his exalted status was expected to disagree with DR Hart. Said manager most likely was worried about his own rice bowl and had most likely pushed the oppositie tack- as evidenced by his ( managers ) exalted position.

        To ascribe my comments as being ” bitter’ about my status ( retired in 1995 ) as a registered professional mechanical engineer is one hell of a stretch.

  8. The Hart Smith paper is an astonishingly accurate post-mortem on the 787 written six years ahead of the demise, or in Al Gore terms an inconvenient truth.
    That report of course had to be canned because it truly was “an inconvenient truth” to the highly qualified MBA’s so beloved by the Boeing management.
    It really was uncanny how the barrel joins and side of body issues were identified in the paper.
    Fascinating reading for a fellow engineer.

  9. . . .It really was uncanny how the barrel joins and side of body issues were identified in the paper. . .

    actually, in the777, barrel joins were handled by moveable- computer controlled tooling which sort of squeezed the sections slightly to get a good fit. And the 767 body joins went quite well

    And the 787 join was not as bad as initially portrayed- although the problem resulted from some planning and tooling failures, combined with certain shipping issues.

    JIT does not always mean Just in time – it can mean Just in trouble

    • Barrel joining of A380 fuselage sections can be seen in this video (7:00 start of final assembly, 8:30 final barrel joining):

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGubvHMY8oE&w=480&h=390]

    • On a further note:

      The traditional problem area is the wing-fuselage junction, which is complicated by both structures and systems, for which access is needed. The traditional Douglas Aircraft design
      practice was to complete the entire wing first, without shimming, and to lower the fuselage on to
      it afterwards. The Heritage Boeing concept has been to embed a completed center section in the fuselage and attach the outer wing boxes later. This has required conscious provision for adjustment of some dimensions by deferring the installation of selected fasteners until all of the
      parts are in place. The center wing box has spars where the Douglas designs had ribs, to permit
      the cross section to be distorted slightly without pre-stressing so that it matches the shape of the
      completed wing rib at the root of the outboard box. Even with a large fraction of machined
      precision details, Airbus Industrie also relies on adjustments at final assembly that are
      accomplished by incompletely defining both sides of the interface at the side of the fuselage.
      Every one of these different detailed designs is compatible with its own particular assembly
      sequence. The point to be made is that, if the assembly process is altered by changing the work
      share between factory sites, one should expect that there is a need to redesign the wing-fuselage
      junction. Far too often, it is assumed that this step can be omitted. It cannot!

      “Teething troubles” on the wing-fuselage junction on MSN-001 (at 0:36):

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgAUo8k7hXs&w=480&h=390]

      • The shopfloor person is excusing slight fitting errors “because it’s the prototype”. nice understatement that.

        Jon Ostrower reported some time ago that Boeing did not manage assembly with the initally planned ( AB copied ?) groundmover equipment and returned to overhead gantry cranes.

        Looks to me like Airbus is able to build to tighter specs and thus needs a lot less improvising and fudging talent on the FAL shopfloor.
        That this talent (and its silent fixing action) is largely unknown to management could well be one of the major stumbling stones in Dreamliner manufacture.

  10. KC135TopBoom :
    Interesting about the 12 canceled A-330Fs. Where are all of the Airbus[t] cheerleaders in this story? They were shouting about the 2 canceled B-747-8Fs just a few weeks ago. Did they all loose their voices, and laptops?

    Or maybe a cancellation of 12 planes in a 1,118 plane programme that is selling like hot cakes and is a real cash cow is just not as much of interest as a cancellation of 2 in a struggling programme in a forward-loss position that has attracted -1 net sales in the last 12 months?

    Answers on a post card.

    Having said that, I am sure Airbus is not happy about not getting Flyington to cough up the money for the 12 planes. Somebody else will gladly take the line positions though, I am sure.

    • Really a boon if you can build a wide range of products on the same line, isn*t it?

      How do we have to interpret the sudden frankness re management failures?

      Thinking:
      Is this the entering speech given at “airframers anonymous” from a new “brother”
      or softly softly with a hammer preparation for more (quality, quantity) tidbits
      things going belly up or a third possibility giving the lame duck to beg for
      some morsels in the form of the tanker deal being assigned to Boeing.

    • Actually, just about every airplane type has had cancelations somewhere along the entire program, from launch, to testing, to delivery, and production. My point wasn’t the canceling of these 12 A-330Fs, Airbus has been trying to get nickles out of Flyington for years. Flyington is a start up company that is having a false start. Airbus management knew this, but they really wanted another sale of their products. In other words, another feather in John Leahy’s hat.

      But, my real point is everytime a Boeing airplane gets canceled, the Airbus crowd cheers loudly about it. When an Airbus airplane gets canceled, the silence from those same people is deafening. The fact is it has happened to Boeing, Airbus, MacD, GD, Lockheed, Fokker, and many others. It even happens in government/military contracted sales. That is why OEMs usually require a deposit upon signing the sales contract, and progress payments along the way, to final payment on delivery. There is not just one check written upon delivery, in many cases.

      Every airplane to date has, or will have some orders canceled, for a veriety of reasons. It is just extending an order to a company that in reality has no way to pay for their order is not smart business. But, don’t worry, Boeing has done this too.

      In the world of manufactuering, Boeing’s management and miscues is not unique, unfortunately. Airbus and RR have made huge and costly mistakes, recently too. But it seems that dispite mistakes on this management level, which should put the company out of business, the governments step in and bail them out. The CEOs know this, politically they can extort bailouts from the government just by saying “we will have to put XXX thousands of people out of work”. Huge unemployment numbers will make any modern day politician jump through hoops.

      It worked for RR, and Chrysler, back in the 1970s, for GM and Chrysler in 2009, and for Airbus in 2010 (the A-400 project), and many other companies in between those dates. It has worked for huge banks in the US and EU. P&W could very well be next.

      If Boeing does not fire the remaining MD crowd from STL, they will soon be in the government bailout/handout line, too.

      Success in management works when the long term planning is sound, just look at Ford.

  11. OV-099 :
    On a further note:

    …. The point to be made is that, if the assembly process is altered by changing the work
    share between factory sites, one should expect that there is a need to redesign the wing-fuselage
    junction. Far too often, it is assumed that this step can be omitted. It cannot!

    +++++
    But but – it worked so well on our lego models, our toys for tots models, and looked neat on the power pointless slides. And the cartoon modeling was really slick . Obviously all the problems were the result of the strike and the unions. We need more MBA and Accounting types. Maybe we can sub it all out to Amazon !

  12. In addition to the blunders made by the “new” Boeing Management with the 787, after the merger with MDD and in spite of the warnings from Mr. Hart-Smith about excessive outsourcing at MDD, another very serious mistake was made by previous Boeing managements,
    by severely underestimating the resolve by the three major West European countries, to join together and re-establish their aircraft industries in the late 60s, after failing to compete individually with
    the three major aircraft manufacturers in California and Boeing, who virtually dominated both the military and commercial aviation markets in Western Europe after World War II.

    After gaining extremely valuable and heavily subsidized experience with the Concorde SST, Germany, France and England launched Airbus Industrie in 1970 with the A300, a large and fairly unsophisticated aircraft and much too large for it’s time, as the 747 was.
    Persisting with the A310 in the late ’70s, to compete with the Boeing 767, Boeing management continued to ignore the Airbus challenge, based on the erroneous assumptions that either the European taxpayers would either get tired of financing a bottomless pit, or that Airbus would collapse from within, or both.

    Than in the 1986 and against all expectations, certainly by Boeing Management and in spite of many warnings, Airbus launched the A320 aircraft, with which Airbus publicly aimed at replacing most of the two most if not all successful commercial airplanes in the world at that time, the Boeing 727 and 737.

    As the Director of Sales for Middle and Eastern Europe, stationed in Germany from 1972 to 1979 and from Seattle thru my retirement 1989, I soon realized that the Europeans were determined to support Airbus at almost any cost and started alerting Boeing management in the late 70s, to what I perceived to be a serious upcoming challenge form Airbus. Unfortunately, all warnings were to no avail, whatsoever!

    Both Boeing and MDD, continued to ignore the serious Airbus challenge until 1992, when they finally went to the US government to
    get an agreement signed with the EU, which would prohibit all subsidies to Airbus and limit all financial assistance to a government guaranteed loan, repayable on commercial terms, for up to 30% of the development cost of each aircraft, similar to the arrangement made by Chrysler and the US government in the 1980s.

    The irony of the above story, his the fact that while Boeing benefited substantially from the complacency and the consequent late start
    into the jet age by the three principle aircraft builders in California, Airbus simply emulated the Boeing success story, by launching the A320 in the mid ’80s, the first all new fly-by-wire family of aircraft in
    the history of commercial aviation, which became the baseline for all future members of the Airbus family of aircraft presently in service, which would unnecessarily and to the great dismay of yours truly, replace Boeing as the principle commercial aircraft builder in the world, this century.

    • I’ll bet Rudy also is/was aware of the following points made by Boeing in 1992

      http://www.fas.org/news/taiwan/1992/s920311-taiwan.htm

      THE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS-TAIWAN AEROSPACE DEAL (Senate – March 11, 1992)

      [Page: S3346]

      * [Begin insert]

      Mr. GORTON. Mr. President, recently, I attended a hearing by the Joint Economic Committee to address the proposed sale of 40 percent of McDonnell Douglas’ commercial aircraft business to Taiwanese business interests. I believe that there must be fair competition in the commercial aircraft industry and the United States in general.

      Retaining jobs and expanding economic opportunity is vital to the economy of Washington State, and to the Nation. This proposed venture, which appears would be subsidized by the Government of Taiwan, will create an unfair advantage for the McDonnell Douglas/Taiwan consortium.

      It is essential that we continue to expand economic opportunities and not hinder competitiveness by creating an unfair advantage by allowing foreign government subsidies to bolster development and sales.

      The proposed joint venture would have serious ramifications for the Boeing Co. and for America’s balance of trade. This is a very serious issue and one I have taken all the way to President Bush.

      Mr. President, I ask to place the testimony of Mr. Daniel Hartley, president of the Seattle Professional Engineering Employees Association, and Larry Clarkson, vice president of the Boeing Co. that they delivered to the Joint Economic Committee last week in the Record at this point.

      The testimony follows:

      Statement of Mr. Daniel B. Hartley

      My name is Daniel B. (Dan) Hartley. I am an engineer . . . who has worked in the trenches of engineering for over 35 years. I speak from the viewpoint of the working engineer, one who has also been chosen by my peers for my position as President of the 46-year old Seattle Professional Engineering Employees Association (SPEEA). Although I work full time at Boeing, my views are my own and may or may not agree with any Boeing testimony. I am not trying to sell any particular product to the government. I am not requesting money. I’m not asking for some special favors. To me it seems like everyone who comes here is always saying how to cut the pie. We engineers want to tell how to make the pie bigger. . . . . . goes on

      IMO – this shows that some managment was belatedly aware of the Airbus challange. I have heard ( hearsay ) that after Frank Shrontz retired, in a local speech he commented that he had misjudged the effects of the advent of Airbus on the overall market.

      in a word HUBRIS . . . at that time, BA probablym had 70 percent or so of the commercial market for large jet aircraft . .

      Those who dont learn from history – dont learn from history . . .

    • The basic missconception was that the US has been autonomous in their achievenments.

      But reality started out with knowledge infusion from the Brits during WWII
      further knowledge infusion from Operation Paperclip and a major influx of
      brainpower ( prewar and postwar ).
      This and being rather unhampered by wartime destruction, aided by
      the hegemonial structures of the Cold War aera and advantaged by scaling
      lead to the position of market dominance.

      But how could one ever come to the conclusion that the source of all this could
      never again produce anything brilliant and/or successfull ?

  13. KC135TopBoom :But, my real point is everytime a Boeing airplane gets canceled, the Airbus crowd cheers loudly about it.

    They do? Where? I must have missed the cheering about the cancellation of 32 737s.

    • I slightly dislike articles that make statists of everyone
      beyond the person in the primary role.

  14. I believe my comments about Airbus were misunderstood by some of you, because:

    A succession of Boeing executives from the early ’70s on, not only failed to under-stand and ignored the fact that Airbus, with it’s government subsidies, was clearly an increasingly serious threat to Boeing’s leadership in commercial aviation, they really believed the self serving argument, that Airbus would somehow disappear, in spite of many warnings to the contrary from myself and many others!
    That in my opinion, was arrogance & irresponsible negligence and may well be reflected by the above report under Dshuper, with comments on the MacDag/Taiwan negotiations, with the following quote:
    “Our airplanes are the best example of technology in production. Our next design
    will be better and if we can keep our team together, the one following that will be better yet.”

    • . . .under Dshuper, with comments on the MacDag/Taiwan negotiations, with the following quote:
      โ€œOur airplanes are the best example of technology in production. Our next design
      will be better and if we can keep our team together, the one following that will be better yet.โ€ ..

      While I agree with Rudy’s overall comments regarding Boeing management, I should point out for those who may have missed the subheading in the link showing those comments were made NOT by Boeing management, but by Dan Hartley ( deceased in march 2004) Dan not only was a good close friend of mine, but a UNIQUE grunt Engineer. HIs words were respected by most ( but not all ) of management, and he had unique entry into them Government power structure. Dan was a civilian advisor to SEC DEF under Nixon, and held that status until late in the Reagan administration.

      Dan had attended GATT92, and worked for years to get Boeing to file against airbus. But in 2001,Boeing management had decided that since 60 percent or so of their sales were in foreign ( read EU ) countries, any efforts to file a Countervaiing Duties petition against Airbus would impact their bottom line, and subverted such a filing by unions. But thats another story – told earlier in this blog.

      IMO- BA has yet to come down from their Hubris pedestal.

  15. One more comment on a critical issue, often overlooked!

    As Boeing has proven repeatedly and successfully in the past, there are advantages and disadvantages, by being first on the market with a new airplane model.
    Example: The 707โ€“100 was a dog compared to the first DC-8 and Boeing would never have become the pre-eminent commercial jet manufacturer worldwide, if our CEO at that time, Mr. Bill Allen, had not invested an ad-ditional large sum of money in a great hurry, to produce the 707โ€“320 series!
    History repeated itself, when the MDโ€“11 and the A330/ A340, were attacking the 767 and 747 markets on both sides in the late 70’s and early 80s.
    Boeing was late with the 777, to produce a competitor, partly due to getting the 747โ€“400 delivered on time.
    However, when they did launch the 777 at the end of 1991, Boeing had the advantage AND the necessity, to better both the MD-11 and the A340/330 designs, or they would have kept their money in their pockets.
    Consequently, the superiority of the 777, contributed significantly to the demise of MDD and the elimination of the A340, as a serious competitor in that category, a
    lessen Airbus never forgot.

    Boeing did NOT take their own lesson into account when it launched the 787 in 2003, when they should at least have assumed that Airbus would either launch an im-proved version of their best-selling A330, which essentially put the 767 out of the commercial business, or launch an all-new airplane and follow their own ex-ample, with the 777 v.v. the MD-11 & the A340.
    After failing to impress the airline industry with a soup-ed up A330, Airbus launched the A350, which by defin-ition is, therefore, a superior aircraft compared to the 777, with a wider cabin, a larger wing, more range and consequently, a lowers seat-mile cost compared to the 787.
    In addition, the A350-800,-900 and -1000, have now become a serious challenging, not only to the 787โ€“8 and -9, but especially to the 787โ€“10, the 747โ€“8I and the 777, with almost 600 units already having been sold 2-3 years before their introduction into service, match-ing or exceeding the 787 sales record, at the same time in it’s development cycle.
    On top of that, the 3 year+ delivery delay on the 787 program so far, did not help it’s sales, (understatement) with 70+ cancellations having been recorded so far.
    Even if the A350 will also be delayed, as expected, Boeing will be facing difficult times with the 787 and 747-8, due to the challenges from the A350 and the A380 respectively.
    Fortunately and hopefully, the 737 and 777 programs, with their planned production rate increases for the biggest part of this decade, will produce enough money before they will have to be replaced with new models, to enable Boeing to produce the necessary cash to face up to the above challenges from Airbus and better both the A350โ€“1000 and the A320NE designs.

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