Odds and Ends: Random thoughts, Seinfeld style (i.e., about nothing)

We’re feeling irreverent today….

From Twitter: Boeing Defense@BoeingDefense In Sept issue of #Boeing Frontiers: With #Apollo roots, Boeing has grown to be largest #aerospace employer in #Alabama http://ow.ly/dB0Ef

Comment: We remember when Boeing said Alabamans couldn’t build a tricycle (during the bitter competition for the KC-X tanker).

Hunker Down: We’re going into the bunker on this one–Washington should become a right-to-work state. In 2008, IAM 751 (during its strike) boasted WA is the fourth most-unionized state in the country. We know this inhibits expanding aerospace here. We’ve heard it from companies. We’ve heard it from the head of one of the Economic Development Commissions here that unions are the first topic to come up when he is recruiting companies to expand here. We don’t object to unions per se but we don’t think someone should be forced to join one. (That’s how we feel about Republicans, too….)

Take two Viagra and try again: The refueling boom was being extended when it fell off an Airbus KC-30 during a test flight.

Thank you for smoking: Airbus is really pushing Europe to delay implementation of its emissions trading scheme, which jeaopardizes orders from China. Despite the sarcasm, we agree with Airbus–any regulations through be through ICAO, not on Europe’s own, ill-advised hook.

Macht nichts: No AirAsia order at the Berlin Air Show after all. The airline will be the first to operate the A320neo and the airplane with sharklets.

Macht nichts, II: MTU is a partner with Pratt & Whitney on the Geared Turbo Fan for the Mistubishi MRJ, the Bombardier CSeries, Irkut MS-21 and the A320neo but looks to join GE for the new engine for the Boeing 777X.


13 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Random thoughts, Seinfeld style (i.e., about nothing)

  1. Boom lost? sh*t! But Viagra isn’t the way to go here. I’d apply a bit of softener/elasticizer instead.

    Macht nix II :
    “… the work share may match the 7 percent MTU has on GE’s GEnx engine .. ”

    Continuity. ( anybody in the engine business front MTU doesn’t do work for? )

    • I’d say that MTU is considerably less in bed with everyone else than some other companies, e.g. Volvo Aero… MTU is mostly working with P&W, with some business with GE on the GE90 and GEnx (mid-turbine frame if my memory serves me right). No RR Trent business that I can recall.

      • The RR connection is in MIL products via MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce: RR is significantly involved in marine propulsion ( different entity though )
        from WP:EN:
        PW4000Growth, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        PW1000G, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        PW2000, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        PW6000, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        PW300, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        PW500, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        JT8D, partner to Pratt & Whitney.
        GP7000, partner to Engine Alliance.
        V2500, partner to International Aero Engines.
        GEnx, partner to General Electric.
        CF6, subcontracting to General Electric.
        TP400, as part of the Europrop International consortium.
        EJ200, as part of the EuroJet Turbo GmbH consortium.
        MTR390, as part of the MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce (MTR) consortium.
        RB199, as part of the Turbo-Union consortium.
        F414, subcontracting to General Electric.
        F110, subcontracting to General Electric.
        J79, partner to General Electric.
        GE38, partner to General Electric.
        T64, partner to General Electric.

  2. Boom fell off twice.. without knowing the reason, that looks stupid. I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of the shoes of the Military PR manager

    Leahy says the Sharklets are doing well, he mentioned tests showing saving to be closer to 4 then to 3.5%..

    Re carbon trading, no better way to kill an ambitious plan then to state the world has to agree first. The US are implementing bold demands to airlines flying in the US, no worldwide agreement / negotiations whatsoever, similar the EU has the right to implement policies their democratic elected governments have decided to pursue. Such as more then symbolic/PR driven policies to reduce the growth environmental pollution by air traffic.

  3. ….We’re going into the bunker on this one–Washington should become a right-to-work state…

    Until a few years ago- the most unionized ( highest percentage ) of Boeing workers in a union was not in washington- it was in a right to work state! AKA Kansas !

    The problem in states which allow agency fee is NOT with the concept- but with the continuing abuse by the unions of making it difficult- awkward- to opt out of membership while being able to collect dues.

    For example – thanks to the gamesmanship of the unions and with help from certain administrations, the listing of agency fee type dues and discount percentages is never- rarely made public, even in DOL required reports. Add to that that companies like Boeing rightly specify that only ONE rate of dues will be taken out of paychecks, which means that Beck Objectors must pay by check or cash at least once every three months, at a rate which is typically 20 to 30 percent less than regular dues. That rate is supposedly/ determined by a so called audit which must be furnished to Beck Objectors on request.

    It is only fair for those who benefit from union protection in the workplace to pay the legitimate costs- but the continuing abuse by union brass and apathetic members has resulted in the painting of private and public unions with the same stinky brush.

    The majority of abuse comes from a few unions – teachers, SEIU, and most california public unions. And yes, a few private unions also help to trash the few honest and ethical unions

    creating a right to work state is not the cure- but forcing more transparency of unions and the real financial situations would do a lot more good for all

  4. “Alabamans couldn’t build a tricycle”
    While this is obviously hyperbole, an illustrative example of this phenomenon is military shipbuilding. My friends in the USN note that while Bath Iron Works (in Maine) and Ingalls Shipbuilding (in Mississippi) build theoretically identical ships, the ones that come from Ingalls are universally inferior in terms of quality; i.e. even at this late stage in DDG-51 production their ships still frequently require rework as soon as they’re delivered to correct really simple things like shaft alignment, weld defects, etc. that end up being very costly to the Navy. The Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana is even worse (the San Antonio Class LPDs that come out of that yard are disaster zones) . There is definitely a quality penalty to be paid doing work on the gulf coast, though whether this is related to union membership in any way is unclear (BIW is unionized, Ingalls and Avondale are not). I’d say it’s a cultural difference that says “good enough” is good enough.

    • Isn’t that more of a problem with the US specific (and imho dysfunctional) arrangements between management and unionized workforce?
      ( The services the unions seem to provide in the US is part of managements job in Europe)

      How does forex Austal fare in this range of products?

      • – I wouldn’t say so. In this case it’s the work forces that are *not* unionized that have the problems. The ships from BIW, NASSCO and Newport News do not launch with the same number of defects. I think it’s a lack of proper motivational culture among the workers, the Quality Assurance personnel and yard managers alike. Since NNS is owned by the same company that operates Ingalls and Avondale, I have to conclude that the difference is a cultural/regional one and does not result from corporate imperatives (cutting corners). – Austal’s LCS-2s are seriously deficient in terms of hull integrity over time; there are now serious hull corrosion and deterioration problems that likely stem from their designers’ experience with high-speed catamaran ferries rather than warships. I’m more likely to blame the requirements development process than the builders of the ship (the utility of the Littoral Combat Ship concept has yet to be shown. In my opinion it is a failed concept born of too many powerpoint presentations and a false belief that these ships can serve many roles interchangeably, that their mission equipment can be changed rapidly, and that their crews could possibly be trained to such a high standard as to be capable of doing the work of two or three men). The number of hulls in the water from Austal at this point is not large enough to judge whether their products will improve over time. The Wisconsin-built LCS-1s do not suffer the same material defects but are still designed to the same requirements.

        • Interesting.

          re unions: Looks like I didn’t make my point accessible.

          My impressions from Boeing seem to indicate that the unions are integrated into the corporate hierarchy ( effectively managing their own workshare and workforce )
          ( A prominent showcase is the 747-8 developement: production docs available to management did not present what actually happened on the shopfloor )

          In comparison here ( DE ) the unions are not in the path. Even the workforce representation “Betriebsrat” is supervisory only (mostly a veto power ). Management controls the workforce directly ( requiring a completely different mangerial mindset ). Additionally worker education and qualification is state and not union controlled. There is a lot more neutral control in the German arrangement. This longstanding divergence started out with Bismarcks “Sozialgesetze”.

          To follow Don in the SPEEA/IAM thread any Betriebsrat (parttime/fulltime) activity is no different from doing productive work on the shopfloor. no more pay no added benefits.
          While union activity (if fulltime and paid) is paid from union dues.

  5. First we refuel and then we drop the Boom on our enemies! A one of a kind feature only on Airbus tankers!

  6. …different from doing productive work on the shopfloor. no more pay no added benefits.
    While union activity (if fulltime and paid) is paid from union dues.

    What are you trying to say ? Most of your post makes no sense …

    Union dues at SPEEA and IAM do pay for time used by union officials on union business. When such time is during normal work hours, the union reimburses the company for the Base salary of the Official based on time used. But the company continues to pay for the benefits portion of the employee. To do otherwise would make an accounting nightmare

    BUT – federal law makes illegal for the company to pay union officials. So a specific exemption was made which allows companies to pay ” benefits ” as usual. Otherwise, even a retired employee could not work for the union. But Boeing simply abuses that exemption by allowing ‘ union leave of absence ” to continue to accrue up to 10 years of credited service. And a few union employees have taken advantage of that [with the help of the company ] by gathering more than the allowed 10 years spelled out in the company legal documents ( which are not freely disseminated)

    Thus- both sides have dirty hands.

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