Boeing further trims 787 production; now sees 5/mo in 2021

By Scott Hamilton

Dec. 4, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing will cut the production rate for the 787 to 5/mo by mid next year, it was revealed today. Officials previously announced a rate cut to 5/mo.

EVP Greg Smith made the announcement at the annual Credit Suisse conference, organized by analyst Robert Spingarn.

The rate adjustment is further indicative of the weakness in the widebody market.

Boeing also has a large number of undelivered 787s. This is due in part to COVID, but also due to quality control and safety issues. Earlier this year, Boeing revealed safety and QC issues emerged from body joins and other factors were discovered.

Deliveries unwinding the inventory will continue through 2021, Smith said.

777X EIS driven by regulators

Smith said Boeing continues to work with regulators for certification work scope on the 777X. Boeing continues learning from the 737 MAX certification process.

Timing for 777X entry into service will ultimately be influenced by certification, Smith said.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun first mentioned the 777X certification process on the first quarter earnings call in January. The admission was a shift in Boeing’s oft-stated position that the MAX certification review would not affect 777X EIS.

82 Comments on “Boeing further trims 787 production; now sees 5/mo in 2021

  1. Scott, there had been a push by Boeing toward digital certification methods for the 777x, using software emulations in place of some physical testing, before the MAX accidents.

    For example building a digital cockpit to shake out human factors issues, which they did for the 777x. According to Mullenberg at the time, Boeing was counting on FAA acceptance of those methods to reduce the certification time of the 777x, and that was part of their aggressive EIS schedule.

    Do you know if those methods are now a cause of the reassessment of the certification scope of work? If they have already prepared significant certification materials based on those methods, that work may now need to be redone. I could see issues like that developing under greater scrutiny, and involvement of outside regulators.

    Also in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, Congress had directed the FAA to develop more performance-based methods for certification, as opposed to compliance-based. The IG audit found that FAA had made little progress on this front, partly because there is no good definition of what performance-based means. Whereas compliance is clearly defined and measurable. So do you think that is another contributing factor?

    • From Aviation Week, May 28, 2020:

      The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) is examining several broad areas—including human factors, airworthiness, operations, maintenance and
      system safety assessments (SSA)—

      its review extends beyond design and into the operational environment. For example, the teamʼs review of the newest 777ʼs highly scrutinized folding wingtips
      will focus as much on human factors and operational issues such as flight deck interfaces and deicing as it does on the systemʼs design.cus as much on human factors and operational issues such as flight deck interfaces and deicing as it does on the systemʼs design.

      • While I have not issue with folding wingtips, I do with the Automotic part of the system.

        While I would hope not, a single input for the auto fold per the MAX AOA.

        Safety wise you want all three squat switches to say you are down, throttle closed (or down in a minimum area) and a manual command (might add a few more indicators like air speed being below runway speeds.)

        Somehow the Navy managed to push a F8 into the air with its wings folded. Auto fold at any altitude would be an ugly thing

        • That’s easy , only fold at low speed which indicates taxying and a check on weight on undercarriage.
          But I don’t expect to be an auto function anway as pilots can operate after landing before the gate and vice versa, whith a final computer check to only allow take off thrust with wings unfolded.

          • I would remind you that frozen pitots show low speed as does a stall.

            Any system that threatens aircraft safety (MCAS 1.0) requires a serial train of safeties.

            Auto fold scares the willies out of me.

            Better to have some wing damage on taxi off the runway that an auto fold crash.

            Manual fold equally should not be without many safeties

        • It’s good it got bigger wings, it was needed, but it’s not needed to fold them.
          Why all the hazzle with the folding system which adds weight too. Better would have been to make even bigger unfolding wings.
          Now Boeing only reached the A350-1000 lift but won’t beat it. To compete it was needed to beat the A350-1000 lift.

          • The folding wing is all about gate size and access. If you fold the wingtip, you can still use IATA type 3 gates that service existing 777, 767 and 747s. The A380 is the only aircraft that currently uses an IATA type 4 gate, but the wingspan of the 777x unfolded puts it in the same gate size, severely limiting deployment of the aircraft.

          • Scott,

            sure it’s because of gate size.
            D 36-52m for 757, 767
            E 52-65m for 330, 350, 747, 777, 787
            F 65-80m for 380, 747-8
            The 777-9 wingspan is 64.85m folded and 71.75m unfolded, but it can’t beat the lift of the A350-1000, only reach it, when it needs to be much better because of its heavy weight.
            516.7sqm / 351.5t = 1.47 for 777-9
            464.3sqm / 316t = 1.47 for A350-1000
            Better would have been to go to war with 79m wingspan. Who cares about Gate E or F.
            The 251t A330neo goes to war with 1.85 vs 1.48 for 787-9 and -10.

        • Needs to be like ground spoilers on Original 737s – a hydraulic valve controlled by landing gear leg compression.

          Plus IIRC and electrical interlock. which had to be fixed after a crew had ground spoilers deploy when arming them on the ground.

          Folding wing tips should have separate controls and actuators for locking and for movement.

      • Thanks Scott. I ‘ve read that Boeing had to demonstrate safe flight with the wings folded, same as they have now for MCAS on the MAX. It makes sense that the human factors component would need more scrutiny. I hadn’t thought about deicing but that makes sense as well.

        • Wow, demonstrate by test flight or analysis? And what about one folded and the other unfolded.

          You would need to show sufficient flutter suppression and roll / yaw authority to handle a case of a unexpected fold event on one wing. Then show that at all speeds and attitudes. That does not seem like a reasonable ask. Easier to show there can never be a unexpected fold event.

          I think thrust reversers are the model here. I don’t believe there is a need to show an aircraft can survive deployment of thrust reversers during high speed cruise, never mind test for it.

          • Jbeeko, I revisited the special conditions issued by the FAA for folding wingtips, and you are correct. The condition is that folding not be possible in flight by any means. The wingtips automatically fold with wheels on ground and speed below 50 knots. While folded, they can only withstand 65 knots with gusts to 85 knots.

            At takeoff, the wingtip position is tied into EICAS with multiple sensors. The checklist cannot advance unless they are confirmed to be down and locked. Other safeguards as well.

            Here is the relevant section. It sounds like there may be modifications to the special conditions after consultations with other regulators.

            “10. The wingtips must have means to safeguard against unlocking from the extended, flight-deployed position in flight, as a result of failures, including the failure of any single structural element.

            All sources of airplane power that could initiate unlocking of the wingtips must be automatically isolated from the wingtip-fold operating system (including the latching and locking system) prior to flight, and it must not be possible to restore power to the system during flight.

            The wingtip latching and locking mechanisms must be designed so that, under all airplane flight-load conditions, no force or torque can unlatch or unlock the mechanisms. The latching system must include a means to secure the latches in the latched position, independent of the locking system.

            It must not be possible to position the lock in the locked position if the latches and the latching mechanisms are not in the latched position, and it must not be possible to unlatch the latches with the locks in the locked position.”

          • Here is an interesting paper on wingtip folding in flight, based on the XB-70, and potential applications to civilian aircraft. Obviously it never had to obtain commercial certification, but as an engineering solution it was impressive.

            Using a powered hinge, it was able to withstand all flight loads from subsonic through supersonic regimes. The hinge was a series of 6 narrow elongated planetary gearboxes, with 32,000 to 1 ratio, so needed only a small electric or hydraulic motor.


          • Also with regard to thrust reversers, there is a requirement for testing in flight. That was the basis of the Lauda Air crash.

            At introduction, they had been tested in all modes of flight, and worst case was found to be low-speed, low altitude. So testing was focused there. But after the crash, it was found that pylon shortening for larger turbofans had shifted the worst case to cruise. So now cruise is tested too.

          • Rob:

            You are boaluyel and and totally wrong. Thrust Reversers are not tested for in flight deplyment.

            The systems are all designed to STOP an inflight deployment.

            They have run one low speed test.

            “As a result of their findings during the investigation of Lauda Flight 004, additional safety features such as mechanical positive locks were mandated to prevent thrust reverse deployment in flight.”

            It is not tested, its avoided.

          • TW, the FAA disagrees with you and the facts prove otherwise, but as we’ve had this argument before, there is no point in continuing.

    • The map is not the territory.
      You’d have to prove that the simulation is a sufficient reflexion of reality
      and it is another transfer step to meddle with certification for Boeing. Not known for being honorable at all.

      Another well known example of gaming simulations has been Diesel Gate.

  2. It is not coincidental that the shutdown timing of the Everett Assembly line is overlayed with this announcement. We have seen almost a year of the deepest airline upheaval in memory and the limited dropoff of wide body orders that would allow Boeing to continue building at 5 a month could actually be viewed as good news……..

    • My take was long term the 787 build rate (when not jacked up so management could juice the stock prices) was rate 8.

      The real issue was to build a duplicate facility in South Carolina that then became self serving to shut down Everett production. That was the goal all along.

      For business decisions being logical? You cost billions on area and you cost billions by emptiness in another facility.

      But as I noted before. We cut down on our rag use by 30% and the managers got their bonus.

      Big whoop, our rage bill was $250 a year. Man oh man are we saving money.

      Its just a matter of how you frame things, not what it really means.

      • Your claim that the goal all along was to have 787 production only in SC does not make sense.

        With demand strong much facility would be needed. The panicdemic changed things.

        But we should keep in mind how irate some airlines were when a machinist’s strike in WA state delayed delivery of airplanes, it was a motivation to not be a Boeing-only airline.

  3. “Boeing will cut the production rate for the 787 to 5/mo by mid next year, it was revealed today. Officials previously announced a rate cut to 5/mo.”

    Is it just me that’s confused by this?

    • You could not sell this story if you wrote it as fiction!

      Even science fiction.

      Beam me up Scotty !

      Stock buy back should me made illegal, just like Program Accounting.

      I just had a flash though. By keeping Program Accounting you may ensure that Boeing builds another aircraft.

      Otherwise they come to an end of kicking the profit can down the runway.

      • @TransWorld,

        Stock buybacks were outlawed in 1934 (after the 1929 market crash and the resultant Great Depression), and per the discussion at the articles available at the links included below from Yahoo! Finance, Forbes and Harvard Business Review, rightfully should be outlawed forthwith again, with Boeing being “Exhibit A” as to everything that can, and has, gone wrong since the prohibition was repealed in 1982 during the Reagan era:

        Finally, in case anyone missed it, The New York Times published this “news analysis” re Boeing (“Boeing’s 737 MAX Is a Saga of Capitalism Gone Awry: A corporate culture that privileged profits over safety had terrible consequences”) November 24th, which is routed via LinkedIn so my introductory comments with that post could also be included(!):

        Plenty of (pandemic) weekend reading! 😉

        • There is absolutely nothing wrong with program accounting. It has essentially nothing to do with Boeing’s predicament and is used by most all companies launching new products with long payback cycles. Cash is all that matters right now and it was paid years ago. Bravo for researching.

          • @Zoom: Nevermind Corp. Boeing often calls clients to pony up payment ahead of quarter-end trying to paint a rosier picture, financial engineering little different from banks selling triple-A MBS built with subprime mortgages.

          • Thanks, I was fascinated to see it has application to mining, my old industry. In particular the question of if a new mine should bear the cost of just finding that one particular new mine or the cost of all the exploration in say the 10 years prior to finding that new mine.

            In aviation terms the question is which program carries the cost of all the R&D, including dead-ends, leading to a successful program.

          • The program accountings is fine for a ‘normal’ new plane program but when the costs spiral to massive amounts as it did for the 787 the deferred cost left over gets out of hand. Its all very well to have this massive sum on the books but then aggressive control on production costs of the 787 even now to to make the 15% profit or what ever it is on that years sales after allowing for recovery of that years portion of the deferred cost .
            The two come together, massive deferred ‘accounting cost’ to recover AND 15% margin on cost of production itself. The result is the 787 quality issues seem to have grown rather than diminished which is exacerbated by the low performing Charleston plant.

            Boeing certainly does make rods for its own back

          • Zoom:

            Yes there is a series of issues with Program Accounting.

            What its allowed Boeing to do is Share Buy back and dividends and not pay any taxes.

            Taxes are what allows us to build airports, roads, bridges, schools, police and all other costs of government (defense )

            So you have corruption of a Corporations that is all about profits as well as denying the tax base for the costs you incur (free ride)

            So, I paid my fair share of taxes and I have no problem with that. I had no kids but I paid for schooling for others. Ok, part of the obligation.

            Boeing? Free Loader. And they use their bucks to corrupt the law and FAA to get more and more.

            So yea, there is a huge problem here.

            With Program Accounting you can reap massive profits and claim you owe nothing. And then you just roll it into the next program.

            Ironic that Boeing has to do a new program or massive modify and old one to keep up the scam.

    • Money was not flushed down the toilet, it went to investors as a return on their investment. That means income for those people.

      Given the combination of the MAX and COVID, they would have ended up in debt anyway. An equity sale does not claw back the income distributed to investors, it gives investors the opportunity to increase their equity in the company, at a lower price. That will be their choice.

      It should be well received. It’s part of ebb and flow, and a response to the present down cycle. Sometimes you acquire equity and sometimes you sell it, depending on what the business needs. Spoken another way, they have the equity to sell because they acquired it earlier.

      Yes, they will lose on the sale at the current price, but they could not foresee the COVID downturn that lowered stock price. We all would have made different decisions with that foreknowledge. They have recovered about half of the COVID price loss over the last 6 months.

      Smith said they have sufficient reserves, but need to address the debt. More than half of which is attributable to COVID. An equity sale is just one means to do that.

      • a better long term play for the company (and hence the investors) would have been to reinvest that money in the future of the company. R&D, new products, acquisitions.

        stock buybacks are what happen when CEOs are motivated by short term stock price gains rather than long term corporate value.

        they actually _borrowed money_ to pay dividends to keep the stock price up, which they now need to sell equity (lowering stock price) to pay back.

        clown shoes.

        • @Bilbo

          Exactly – the Directors duty of care is to the company not to those who happen to buy shares

          For Boeing to return so much money to shareholders was dereliction of duty

          “”Third, corporate directors are not required to maximize shareholder value. As the U.S. Supreme Court recently stated, “modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not do so.” ( BURWELL v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC. ) In nearly all legal jurisdictions, disinterested and informed directors have the discretion to act in what they believe to be the interest of the business corporate entity, even if this differs from maximizing profits for present shareholders. Usually maximizing shareholder value is not a legal obligation, but the product of the pressure that activist shareholders, stock-based compensation schemes and financial markets impose on corporate directors.

          The Shareholder Value Myth , Eur. Fin. Rev. Lynn Stout (April 30, 2013)

          • @Gerrard
            The purpose of a share buyback is not to give shareholders additional returns on their investment. The purpose of a share buyback is to remove “excess” liquidity that is not needed for other purposes (such as R&D costs), and thereby re-adjust the ratio of equity to loan capital. In any high-tech company, there is generally a continuing large investment in R&D — it’s why investors prefer to look at P/S ratios rather than P/E ratios when judging whether or not a high-tech stock is overvalued. When a high-tech company (like Boeing) does large share buybacks, one can legitimately ask whether management is paying adequate attention to the future cashflow needs of the company. But perhaps Boeing management didn’t realize that the airline industry is a high-tech sector? 😉

          • @Bryce

            This has to be correct

            Boeing’s practices are a straightforward if slightly dramatic example of how to run a company into the ground which will be cited in Business School textbooks for years to come : ‘Corporate Malpractice 101’

            And as per the MSM articles linked by Howard Miller – when even the NYT is critical management know they are on the way out

            The shareholder cuddling is a diversion to keep Wall Street happy, while every other aspect of operations ; the plane crashes, regulatory capture, the failures mentioned in this post, 787, 777X, the current and planned moves out of Washington, moves against the Unions, these actions display a management intent on asset stripping and off shoring

            One can hear flutters of exasperation from Corporate Compliance who are not looking forward to having to move to China, and to performing PR in Chinese

          • @ Gerrard
            That’s a fascinating link…thank you.
            Not specifically related to the 787 saga, but very relevant in light of creative efforts to get aviation going again. Yes, it’s exclusive in that it’s currently only open to business people and essential workers, but I can think of situations in which it could be extended in other ways. For example, Cambodia could apply a similar system for tourists, shuttling them back and forth between a specific group of closeted hotels in Siem Reap and the temple complex at Angkor. Egypt could do something similar in Luxor. Dubai could do something similar for Expo.
            This type of creativity is very necessary, since there is mounting evidence that vaccines are not going to ease aviation’s woes in a meaningful way any time soon.

          • @Bryce

            With due respect : discussion is essential of the measures which may/need to be taken to get airtravel up again, the hard background and determining factor is covid – there’s little point in the effort to re certify the Max for it to be so little flown, & airlines collapse, because another foreseable catastrophe requires re certification (so to speak)

            These ‘essential’ traveller programs, as refered to in the Asia Times, are a way of working out solutions, and seem to be operated by governments, and seem to involve not only agreements on policies but on procedures to allow testing standards & timings and indeed standards for every aspect

            This is far superior to the alternative CommonPass program or the IATA proposal – those seem, if I have understood, to bypass Government involvement (except of course on the periphery and in the background)

            Such an evasion will not work ; Governments may not surrender the prerogatives involved, even ostensibly ; different ‘country blocs’ of vaccines will be formed, are already being formed, which inevitably, as already, will conflict with eachother (fake vaxxer accusations against the usual suspects)

            (If one of these private programs came to be) No fly orders or the CDC no boarder orders would take on new wings – in the socialcredit sense- banned from airline, supermarket and office…..and so on, or perhaps pay for an upgrade, do some community work, post your repentance, and bingo…… (The Fed in the US is already talking up it’s digital dollar plans)….

            So- ? Back to the Cold War ‘Part II ,The Vaccine’, which will limit travel and the rest

            Or am I misguided ?

        • Bilbo, I can only suggest you take your theories and request a meeting with Boeing, to explain what they’ve done wrong and how to fix it. Then ask them to hire you to run the company and make those decisions for them. You can appoint TW, Gerrard, Bryce, and Leon to the board.

          Then explain to the shareholders why profiting from their investment was wrong, and that they were overpaid. Then explain the new aircraft that you would design based on R&D, that would magically be selling right now in numbers great enough to recover the investment that you took away from the shareholders.

          If you did these things, you’d find that you have not very much, except a collision with reality. No audience and no credibility, because the true issues are far more complex than your theories. It’s just not that simple or easy.

          This is the same problem as occurs for the accusations of criminality here. Take those theories to the DoJ and tell them how they should prosecute Boeing. That would result in another collision. And again, would amount to nothing.

          Bluster and bravado and simplistic views are possible within the context of an Internet forum. Not so much in the real world. I never like to see others humiliated, but in same cases it might actually do some good, if those people learned to expand their views, and temper their statements.

          Experienced people do not level the kinds of accusations that are routine here, without having a solid basis and a proven alternative. In the absence of those, you put forth ideas and/or criticisms, with the full knowledge & awareness that they have disadvantages of their own.

          • Rob,

            Those guys would get laughed out of the office – but not for the reasons you think. The c-suite boys would hear this and then contemplate:

            “Hey – those changes would cut into our compensation. No way we’re doing that!”

            Nothing could be clearer in the very opaque world of BA, as exemplified by the package given to Calhoun to take the reins; He sat on the BOD and was even Chairman, while all this was going on, signing off on the decisions made – responsible for them. Now he’s getting a $7 million bonus for fixing his own mistakes.

            But hey, in this time of Trump, if you can’t refute the facts – do the next best thing; ridicule the messenger. Straight out of the playbook.

            BTW: you wanna return profits to the shareholders? There is a mechanism to do that – it’s called dividends. But that doesn’t drive up stock price (and exec compensation) like buying back billions in shares.

            Buy high, sell low – that’s some great mgmt, right there.

            If you think that this is a sound business decision, debate the point. Don’t attack the one trying to make it.

          • @Rob
            > explain to the shareholders why profiting from their investment was wrong

            Retoric is getting the better of you. There is nothing wrong with the shareholders profiting. But it is a balancing act. Companies need enough cash on had to survive foreseeable errors. For example the engineering errors leading to the Max fiasco, or a program launch that does not correctly anticipate future demand (AKA the A380 or perhaps the 777x). The problem is that the Boeing financial policy has not allowed for a such errors.

            A company that takes it to the other extreme is Apple with almost 200billion on hand.

        • > a better long term play

          Perhaps. The counter point here is BlockBuster (or Kodak), do you believe investors in BB would have been better served by BB trying to become a streaming video company, or by taking what profit they could and investing it in Netflix, Hulu etc.

          I for one think any dollar invested in BB to try compete with Netflix would have been, to use a financial term, a dollar “flushed”.

          That said I think Boeing went too far with the share-holder value concept. Companies should keep enough cash on hand to survive two disasters. So so for Boeing, the Max disaster and and say the 777x if the ground shifts and it turns out to be too large an aircraft for the future. Boing management has not done that and have hence failed to balance their duty of care to the company vs the shareholders.

          • Jbeeko, I agree with excessive buybacks but also think this takes advantage of hindsight, as in your other examples. Boeing did not foresee the MAX crisis or the COVID downturn. None of us did.

            So what might have been an excess of exuberance with regard to stock buybacks and share price, without significant consequence, became a bad decision with back-t0-back crises.

            As an example, I’d point to Lockheed which is still heavily engaged in stock buybacks at this time. They did not have a MAX crisis and their military basis has insulated them from COVID. Revenue stream is uninterrupted.

          • @Rob

            Correction required

            Many did foresee the Max crisis, within Boeing and FAA, and as reported often by Leeham, many more should have

            FAA regulatory capture was designed to hide poor engineering, poor engineering = crisis

            The pandemic was also foreseen – a series of 6 or 7 over the last generation

            Just that like the Max no one paid attention when they should have paid attention

            Boeing is guilty as charged for the Max, and you are all paying the price for looking the other way when the pandemics started coming

          • Gerrard, no one at FAA or Boeing anticipated the MAX or MCAS crisis. That is one of the myths that has arisen in its wake. You won’t find that as a causal factor listed in any of the technical investigative reports. It’s another conclusion drawn in hindsight.

            As far as the pandemic, I know there was a general awareness that it could happen, and even that it would happen at some point. There are areas of the world where the same can be said of other natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions.

            With technology and computer modelling, we have a small margin of warning now for the exact timing of those events, although still highly imperfect. But had no such warning for the timing of the pandemic.

            Even after the breakout in China, it was widely believed it would be contained, as SARS had been before. But this time the optimism was unfounded, the transmissibility of COVID was far too great.

            I know it’s consistent with the worldview of some that all these things could have been predicted. Those conclusions always arise after any disaster. That’s understandable with the clarity that hindsight gives us, but it needs to be remembered that the same clarity does not exist beforehand.

            You also find that the predictive conclusions are selectively applied, depending on the entities one chooses to blame. That is another feature of the hindsight conclusion. The actual disaster doesn’t care about our notions of responsibility and blame.

            In Hurricane Mitch in 1998, a cruise ship was lost after being “chased” by the storm, which changed course each time the ship did. Some faulted the weather service, they should have predicted the storm would change course. Some faulted the captain, he steered the ship into the eventual path of the storm, with worsening conditions that inexorably drove it into the eye wall. Some blamed the owners who did not anchor the ship and abandon it to the storm.

            In the end, decisions were made by all parties that they thought were best, and that always had been successful in the past. But the combination of those choices did not avert disaster in this case. In hindsight, it’s hard to accept that can happen, and it’s easy to see alternate decisions to avert it. That is almost always true. It’s also the basis of every disaster movie ever made, so is driven into the public consciousness.

          • @ Rob

            Correction required again

            (Re Max) Read Leeham, or ask them – Leeham had extensive reporting of engineers and others inside Boeing foreseeing a catastrophe

            Likewise FAA modelling predicted a crisis

            (Moreover) Regulatory capture is designed to silence objections disagreements and oversight –by definition is therefore a prediction or the creating of the conditions of eventual disaster

            Anticipating is your word not mine nor anyone else’s in regards to this Max thing : it is a word which involves, in common English at least, a degree of intent which the law or ‘science’ will indeed find culpable

            Boeing mngt acted for all the worst reasons in the world, but/because their intent/attention was elsewhere ; they anticipated they would over reward Wall Street, would asset strip the company, and would off shore, like almost every classic American industry has recently done

            Ditto Pandemic – repeated warning for over twenty years, it’s not just yesterday that such warnings were given, repeated just in time containments so that (prior to this pandemic) only a few thousand people ( ! only) were killed –

            (It has been known for a long time) Clearly established circumstances of production (of such virus) clearly established causality very well established means of sufficiently altering the conditions of production, it was clearly understood that sooner or very much sooner rather than later the next virus would prove impossible to contain

            It is ill advised, negligent and worse – To strive to continue to contain predictable disasters from which you repeatedly suffer, because you are aware that a new virus will emerge again but of unpredictable malignance or effect, for this is part of the prediction

            There are no excuses – To hope for the best ‘next time’ a virus crosses to human is….certainly to be very much more stupid than any virus could ever be

            No one can plead ignorance nor claim innocence – just like BA mgmt may not with their Max, and their 787 and their…well the list is long

            Who is to blame for this the pandemic – who cares ? You are – for You collectively all are now paying the price for your ignorance and your careful/careless evasion of responsibility –

            As recently linked – even the MSM/US Establishment Core is beginning to wake up to pandemic causation, one can not wish to be out of step with them, surely now not


            Covid is child’s play compared to what a virus can do, Ebola is the example which will spring to mind – imagine a virus even deadlier than E and foresee for yourself chirruping about ‘didn’t’ know’ or ‘hindsight’

          • Gerrard, the claim about foreknowledge at Boeing and the FAA is just not true. It’s something you choose to believe, along with many of your other beliefs posted here. But there is no factual evidence of it. The timing of the pandemic was similarly not known in advance, nor the severity of it. I don’t know what else to say, so will leave it there, as this will turn into another endless argument.

          • @Gerrard
            With regard to predicting the MAX fiasco, I believe you may be alluding to information such as contained in these links (for example):

            “The FAA Predicted Further 737 MAX Accidents Following Lion Air Crash”

            “MIT Professor Says FAA Estimate Of 15 Catastrophic Boeing MAX Crashes Is Way Too Low”

            “FAA analysis predicted many more Max crashes without a fix”

          • @Rob

            Foreknowledge is your word, not mine, nor Leehams’s nor the FAA’s nor The House Committee’s : like ‘anticipate’ it involves the notion of intent and of liability

            I used, as did those I cite : foresee or predict


            These are not my claims, but those reported by Leeham, and pretty much universally by the MSM –

            You say ’Timing nor severity of the pandemic not known in advance’ – no one has claimed that this was: what was predicted was that another virus would emerge, unless : I said that a series of 7 or 8 virus over the last 20 years have emerged, that gives you a timeframe, and by definition the precise timing and the severity and the exact type of virus remained un predictable, but what was predictable and was predicted was that another virus would emerge, unless sensible indeed scientific action was taken

            You are lucky it has not been much more severe, the virus

            When you seek to avoid disaster, best to figure out how and why disasters happen – there have been many warnings from the ‘science’ – it is just that you, as most, did not follow the ’science’

            Corporate compliance does take care to express the corporate mind and m.o. This a very useful, very welcome, role, thank you

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for these links – I have provided others

            Overall the insider’s complaints and the FAA predictions were reported in the MSM and here at Leeham

            So much so I had thought them common knowledge by now

          • @Gerrard
            Your assumption is entirely correct: this information was and is common knowledge. However, it’s an “inconvenient truth” that some people don’t want to admit.

          • @Bryce

            Thanks for this – that many people inside Boeing and at the FAA were aware the Max had problems before initial certification is now widely known and well accepted

            No one would say that they had ‘foreknowledge’, as this implies intent and liability

            Idem pandemic

          • @Bryce

            Here is some news : US airlines are suffering worser – daily cash burn going up no relief in sight :

            It is time that serious discussions be had about testing and vaccination and associated procedures



            Then some more news, but old news – does this remind you of a certain OEM ?

            « Almost seven out of every eight dollars the four airlines sent Wall Street from 2015 through 2019–$39.1 billion out of $44.7 billion — went for share buybacks. The rest went for dividends »

          • @Rob: While Boeing’s staff rushed out the revised bandaid MCAS without letting FAA aware, mocked the Max was “designed by clowns” and “supervised by monkeys”, no one can foresee what’s coming??? Give me a break.

          • Its amazing the lengths Rob goes to disavow reality.

            When you cut costs at all costs regardless of safety and you commit regulatory capture, then yes you will have a disaster.

            Just like untrained and blindside pilots are supposed to correct a lethal act of negligence (at best) on Boeing managements part.

            Yes, no one can predict the exact disaster.

            But, like a Boiler without safeties, sooner or latter you will have one that over fires and blows up a building.

            You can predict what removing safeties will do based on past experience.e

            Aircraft are vastly more complex than boilers, so you can have the failure occur in any one of hundreds if not thousand of areas.

            Its very much like someone saying they won an election they lost by 6 million + votes. Absurd.

          • Pedro, as discussed many times here, those remarks were made about a simulator, not the MAX. The FAA and IG found no evidence that Boeing withheld information about MCAS.

            The FAA official statement was that those comments were unrelated to the aircraft design, in which the author played no role. The author testified under oath that he did not lie to the FAA, as he had earlier claimed.

            In fact all the remarks were recanted by the author, and explained by his legal team as blowing off steam & exaggeration. But now are forever part of the mythos that surrounds the MAX, and destined to be part of the endless repetition by the true believers.

          • @Rob

            To correct you again

            Those here who are sceptical about Boeing, who doubt and are critical of BA’s management, can not be called as you designate ‘true believers’

            “But now are forever part of the mythos that surrounds the MAX, and destined to be part of the endless repetition by the true believers.”

            These people pose reasonable questions, detail and object to the many dubious practices and multiple inefficiences and negligences that created the Max and the crashes (etc)

            ‘True believers’ – on the other hand – are those who, despite reason logic and the weight of evidence chose to close their mind to reality and to continue to ‘believe’, in what exactly is hard to define, but they have faith in Boeing

            No ‘mythos’ surrounds the Max, no Icarus he : just the stupid and avoidable loss of many lives, not to mention the massive effort, the many inquiries and reports and investigations, much of the time in the face of an impertinent and unpenitent BA, as well as the time and the money it took to try and put Humpty Dumpty together again

            If many here are antagonistic to and very critical of Boeing management it is largely from the deception that once a great company has fallen so low in death and deceit

            Vilification is a click bait word – None here vilify, although many are angry, and are afraid that worse is to come

          • Gerrard, I gave the facts, they are independently verifiable. You responded with your beliefs and opinions, as is typical of many here. One can’t be reconciled with the other. I explained this in more detail in a post below, about why these theories persist and what the mechanisms are. This exchange is a good example.

          • @Rob

            With regard to Boeing the salient facts are those which revolt and disgust the many posters here whom you seek to dismiss (facts and posters)

            The facts are The Max crashes which led to untold damage: Boeing’s attempts to evade responsibility; the long list of engineering and financial failures, and so on, the list is long

            These facts and events are still being picked over, Max is re cert only in one small market, the US, the 787 and 777x problems are ongoing

            There are two DoJ investigations of Boeing

            That Boeing PR would seek to dismiss or denigrate those who disagree and criticise management may be attributed to their concern about the stock market, only

          • Gerrard I can only refer you again to what I said below, the reasons why those views are sustained, and the resistance to facts.

            Your revolt and disgust are of your own making, through your own opinions and beliefs. They are a choice, as evidenced by the many thousands of people who have not made that same choice.

            There are no criminal allegations against Boeing. That is the fact. The MAX is scheduled to be recertified around the world. That is the fact. Boeing did not evade responsibility, they have offered and paid enormous compensation to affected parties, with more yet to come. That is the fact. Boeing has not sought to denigrate others, but most comments here do those very things to Boeing. That is a fact.

            But as I wrote, all of these facts are ultimately ineffective against established beliefs. So as I always do, I’ll let this drop to avoid an endless argument.

          • @Rob

            You distort what I and others say, you make up statements and facts to suit your beliefs

            I did not say there were criminal allegations against BA – I said there were two DoJ investigations, these are criminal investigations

            I said the Max is only re cert in the small US market – you claim it is ‘scheduled’ to be re cert globally – wait and see if that becomes a fact before proclaiming a possibility to be one

            I did not say that BA managed to avoid responsibility – I said they attempted to do so

            I have linked the Final report of the House Committee : Please read this : you will find it instructive, with detailed descriptions of Boeing’s failures (and their attempts to blame)


            This link will give you a general and authoritative overview of Boeing’s many failures – please read it


            BA did attempt to denigrate the ‘foreign airlines’ and to blame their pilots and crew : Both the NCBI and the NYT article are severe and are evidence of Government/MSM/Ruling Class distaste indeed disavowal of Boeing


            You argue, as always, against positions you make up, not against what posters have written – like BA you seek to avoid the facts and fly the fiction

          • Gerrard, we’ve covered all these issues before, and you’ve presented these links before. Which as I wrote below, is the common theme of the circling tactic that maintains the narrative without need to reconcile with the factual evidence.

            You can always find opinion pieces, political reports, & commentary that support your views. So can President Trump. They are abundant. But they are not the factual record.

            The factual and authoritative evidence is the 200-plus pages the FAA wrote in support of their decisions, based on an 18-month investigation by multiple regulators, review boards, and agencies, and a 70-day comment period with 270 comments answered. Along with the actual flight data from the two accidents. Those are the factual & governing statements of relevance and law, which do not agree with the opinions you present.

            But like I described, rather than attempt to reconcile these things, you will continue with the same repetitive arguments. So it’s just a game of whack-a-mole, that is pointless as it won’t shift your beliefs, which are already established & fixed. Just as I wrote below.

          • @Rob

            Whenever you argue points, or points of fact, you are shown to be wrong, as in my posts above

            At which point you retreat into generalities, complain, punch the ‘Trump‘ puppet, and appoint your own ‘authoritative versions’, you elevate the FAA’s opinions as to the facts above the House of Congress’s report/finding as to the facts, dismissing the DoJ along the way

            Notwithstanding that the record shows the FAA to have been gravely compromised by Boeing’s operation of regulatory capture, in dereliction of duty, and complicit/implicit in all the failures that led to the Max crashes

            Your views appear to be a subversion of reality as well as subversive of the administrative/political hierarchy of your country – which parallels Boeing’s slide into illegal and illicit practices which led to disaster in the first place

            Corporate Compliance is as dangerous a malpractice as those of the Company it seeks to whitewash

          • Gerrard, I knew you would pivot to discredit the FAA, that was the second method I described below. Between the two methods, you can avoid reconciling your beliefs with the established record of fact that has been presented.

            That is the purpose of those methods, and why they are employed. But I do thank you for providing another clear example.

          • @Rob

            I do not ‘pivot’ to discredit the FAA – for I have always criticised the FAA

            I am aware my opinions do not count, therefore I always copy in the links (as above to the NYT, to the House Committee to the NCBI and indeed many others) where you will find much better placed more authoritative intelligent and much more damning critics than I ever could be

            So much so it would appear that in your country critics of the FAA and BA both are in the majority, defenders are in a minority, at least in the administrations, institutions, MSM and the circles of élite power that really matter, at least with regard to the survival of Boeing

            This will not be news to you : for that you defend FAA and BA nonetheless is much to your credit

            As in any market place those who short require someone out there to long : and were it not for the occasional ‘true believer’ there would be no debate at all – even if it must be a thankless task it is a democratic one

            Any news on the DoJ investigations? Any update on COMAC ban or CAAC re cert ? Please post on these subjects

          • Gerrard your remarks are once again a defense of the substitution of your beliefs (and others) for fact. Your dismissal of the FAA’s legitimacy & report is a necessary element of that, as it is for others here. It’s part of the methods I described below, and therefore expected.

            That won’t be altered by anything you or I write here. You will never acknowledge the facts in the report which have determined the outcome, and I will never accept the substitution of the opinions & beliefs you post for those facts. So this discussion is pointless, as I’ve already said time and again.

            Just be aware that the facts have won out in this case, and will continue to do so as long as people are willing to support and defend them, along with the objective processes that determine them.

          • @Rob

            I do not dismiss FAA ‘legitimacy’ : once again you use an invention to argue against

            I state that the FAA has been found at fault by a democratic majority– by all the authorities/administrations, MSM as linked : and you would be advised to align with such rather than to be associated with a negative and dissident minority

            This positive view offers the possibility of democratic majority reform and a path to the future – it is optimistic for the institutions of your country

            Although perhaps not for Boeing – Let’s wait for the DoJ investigations to report – they promise to be interesting

            Here are some more facts for you –


            The National Bureau of Economic Research has found that your country is vastly negative in major media and public opinion presentation of every aspect of the virus crisis, widespread general and non partisan equally distributed across the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ and so widespread that vast sections of the population are clinically depressed

            Unfortunately the report has no suggestions as to why Americans are of so negative mood and opinion – perhaps you could research this ?

  4. “”Boeing delivered no 787s in November, Smith said. Boeing delivered just 53 787s this year through November.
    According to Cirium data, Boeing’s undelivered inventory included 31 787s at the end of July. That stockpile now stands at 56.
    Those jets have undergone first flight but have not been handed to customers, which makes them “undelivered inventory”, Cirium said.
    Airframe inspections have slowed deliveries, Boeing said.
    In September, Boeing was inspecting jets, following reports of issues with rear fuselage sections and with shims.
    “The additional time that we are taking to inspect and ensure that each of our 787s are delivered to the highest-quality standard
    is taking longer than we previously anticipated,” Smith said.””

    In October Smith said that deliveries wouldn’t be a problem if the tail issues are fixed.
    I was wondering how many 787 would be deliverred last month, but I never expected ZERO.
    Boeing can’t build what they designed for eight months.

  5. “The admission was a shift in Boeing’s oft-stated position that the MAX certification review would not affect 777X EIS.”

    The natural inclination of top Boeing executives appears to be to deny the reality that is obvious to all. They want to close their eyes and hope the problems go away. They would be better off to acknowledge reality early and roll up their sleeves.

  6. If you take a closer look, the 777x is not really of 777-300ER version.

    It made sense to certify the 737MAX as a 737NG version. Only new engines. It went wrong never the less.

    The FAA approving 777x certification under the changed product rule was a surprise for many. It has , new everything.

    JATR put the finger on aggressive grandfathering of design and requirements. Now Boeing needs to redo a lot of homework on the 777x.

  7. Rob said: “In fact all the remarks were recanted by the author, and explained by his legal team as blowing off steam & exaggeration.:

    Whoo! And he’d be in deep… if he had lied to the FAA.

    (He sounds like some people in Facebook, with milder versions in this forum – blowhards, out of control idiots….)

    Any knowledge of the FBI’s investigation to see if there was criminal conduct in development and certification of the 737MAX? (I don’t know what would qualify, lying to the FAA would be strongly in that direction I expect.)

    • Keith, there is no information available as the grand jury deliberates in secret. We only know of Forkner’s testimony because he was subpoenaed by Congress and refused, so his legal team gave a summary of his previous testimony.

      We know many people inside and outside of Boeing and the FAA have been interviewed over the last year. Peter Lemme was one of the first, he said the investigators were very well informed and knew the right questions to ask, they were not fishing. So from that we can guess they were looking for specific instances of criminal negligence, willful misconduct, and concealment or misrepresentation in dealings with the FAA.

      The IG laid out the certification timeline in great detail, without attempting to draw conclusions about fault. They only pointed out mistakes that were made and that those mistakes were indicative of communication rather than intent. So my guess is the investigation is now looking at the broader culture of Boeing, as to whether it fostered or encouraged negligence in an organized manner, so as to rise to the level of criminality. That scope has probably widened to include other quality control issues at Boeing.

      The fact that Forkner has not been charged may indicate that there is not evidence of conspiracy at Boeing, which he would have been concealing from the FAA, and would definitely be a crime. That is why he lawyered up and refused to testify before Congress. But as you said, they likely regarded him as a blowhard. He left Boeing and went to Southwest, where he has since retired and withdrawn from public life.

      Lastly there has been no allegation from the FAA that they were deceived. They agreed with the IG report that failures occurred inside the FAA, as well as within Boeing, and between the two. The FAA as government agency has legal immunity, they can be investigated but not charged.

  8. I’d like to address some general issues raised above. Due to the need to understand vaccine messaging and the election results, there has been significant recent research into conspiracy theories, and why they are so hard to eradicate. This has relevance to things that are posted here about Boeing and the MAX.

    A major finding is that the theorists develop an immunity to truth and facts. The more they are provided with countering information, the more they retreat into the isolation of their views and groups, actually becoming hardened against the truth. They have perfected the role of the mole, in the game of whack-a-mole.

    One method they use for this is to move rapidly from issue to issue, circling back around to previous issues when their list of objections is exhausted. They begin again as if the issue had not been previously answered or addressed, which allows them to keep their narrative alive without reconciling with the facts that are presented.

    For example, Trump has circled though the states multiple times, first with recounts, then with the courts, then with the legislatures, now with the governors. He has kept his narrative alive for more than a month after being factually resolved. Similarly issues of the MAX that were resolved in the FAA final report, are still being raised, here and elsewhere.

    A second method used is to, in advance, discredit and vilify potential sources of facts and truth. Trump has done this consistently with the media, they always lie, because he knows their reporting will not support his narrative. Also has discredited and vilified the mail-in voting and ballots that he knew would defeat him. These acts enhance immunity among his believers. We have seen similar statements made here about the FAA, and even EASA when convenient. Also in attacks upon Dickson.

    And of course, there is the nearly constant vilification of all things Boeing here, as well as the US, for which Boeing serves as a favored surrogate. The only real relief from this is Bjorn’s weekly Corner columns, for which we should all be thankful.

    However, the research also shows that a better method of outreach, is to be welcoming and invite participation, so that people can gain first hand experience with the issue. This is more effective because, while they have been hardened against external establishment of truth or facts, they are still open to their own interior processes. They also can learn that vilification is not justified or real, which helps to lower their defenses.

    Thus we see the American Airlines strategy of promo flights and allowing the public to speak with pilots and see the MAX. Although that has been ridiculed here, it’s clear they have studied the research. Another example is the conduct of Joe Biden, who has not engaged Trump but is reaching out to Trump supporters, the same as his own. Downplaying differences and not vilifying or discrediting, letting people observe and learn on their own.

    This same theme will be employed for the vaccine messaging, people will be not only educated, but encouraged and invited to participate & speak with doctors and providers, and witness the inoculation process for themselves. But not forced or told they are wrong for not vaccinating.

    Obviously this approach becomes progressively less successful with the more hardened groups. So we have to recognize those people are part of our society too, and will always be with us. They can be encouraged and provided with opportunity to learn, but may not choose that path.

    This presents a conundrum for social media. Some viewpoints expressed will be disinformation that is potentially harmful. To yield to that is obviously wrong, but to argue with it is now known to be ineffective. And to delete or prohibit it amounts to censorship. So currently it is labeled as disputed, which is an attempt at balance. But this has also driven some to platforms with no rules, as well as an attempt by Trump to prohibit labeling on the mainstream sites.

    So perhaps the best practice for us all, is to point out truth as perceived falsehoods arise, but then let the forum members absorb it or not, as they will, rather than extended and repetitive arguments that only entrench the opposing side. Which I’m sure Scott will remind us, he has been saying all along.

    And lastly to think about our own contributions in the context of conspiracism, and ensure we aren’t relying on those methods in our arguments.

      • All the same thing. Denialism always has a competing narrative based on beliefs rather than factual evidence. As well as a conspiracy theory that the evidence is being faked or concealed or otherwise manipulated, which allows the belief to be supported in the absence of evidence. So no real difference, just a different terminology.

        The difference that matters is in the methods used, as I mentioned above.

      • @Bryce

        The US has a long tradition of wandering preachers, laymen (usually) given to strange aspect and stranger voice

        They linger on in the recesses of corporate denial departments

        But – Hope is at Hand – when BA decamps to whatever jurisdiction will offer them better protection than the US against malpractice suits and criminal investigations, Corporate Denial will decamp too

  9. In the 3Q earnings filing Boeing stated that any further decrease in 787 rates (at the time 6/mth) would result in the 787 being a forward loss program.
    We’ve seen the rate drop to 5/mth PLUS an additional blow in delivery schedule for already built aircraft… but still not willing to declare the program is in a forward loss position. Bad wine doesn’t get any better with age!

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