Boeing Cuts 737 Delivery Estimate in Blood Red 3Q Earnings Report

By Dan Catchpole

October 25, 2023, © Leeham News: Boeing slashed its 737 MAX delivery forecast for the year to between 375 and 400 in its third quarter earnings report on Wednesday. The company attributed the cut to rework and inspections to fix manufacturing problems in aft pressure bulkhead sections produced by beleaguered supplier Spirit AeroSystems. It maintained its 787 delivery forecast of 70 to 80 airplanes by year’s end.

Boeing recorded a loss of $1.6bn in the third quarter, its worst quarterly performance this year. The company continues to struggle with supply chain and production problems. Boeing’s defense division spilled the most red ink on the ledger book due to problems on its Air Force One (VC-25B) program and losses on a satellite contract. BDS recorded a $924mn loss. Boeing executives acknowledged that the company’s recovery is taking longer than they had expected, but they remained upbeat about stabilizing the aerospace giant in the next couple years.

  • Boeing reports worst quarterly earnings since 3Q in 2022, when it recorded $3.3bn in losses.
  • Boeing Defense, Space and Security recorded a $428mn loss on its Air Force One (VC-25B) program and a $315 million loss on a satellite contract.
  • The company continues to struggle with supply chain problems and slower-than-expected rework on the 737 program.
  • Boeing CEO says losses are a sign of the company’s commitment to a transparent culture and uncovering, rather than ignoring, problems.

Challenges Can’t Keep Calhoun’s Spirits Down

Despite lowering its 737 MAX delivery target for the year, Boeing will have to hustle to deliver 375 to 400 of the narrow-body airliners. It needs to move about 100 more, but the company only plans to deliver 15 of the planes this October. That leaves the bulk of deliveries in November and December. That will make for a busy holiday season on Boeing’s flight lines and delivery center.

The cut is than what investors expected. As recently as September, though, Boeing CFO Brian West reiterated the company’s previous projection of 400 to 450 deliveries of its cash cow jetliner. At the time, he cautioned that deliveries would likely be on the low end of the range. Ahead of the earnings report, most Wall Street analysts expected the company to deliver about 410 737s this year.

Lowering the delivery target “is a setback, but we’ll regain momentum,” Boeing CEO David Calhoun told Wall Street investment analysts during a conference call covering the earnings report on Wednesday.

“I want to double down on our recovery,” he said. “We’ve had no shortage of challenges… I’ve heard from a few of you, wondering if we’ve lost our step in this recovery.”

The company’s challenges are a sign that it is committed to transparency, and, he said, the focus is on stabilizing the company by 2025/2026.

Boeing Reiterates 737, 787 Production Increases

The company still aims to increase 737 production from 31 per month to 38/month by year’s end

The increase would come even as 737s back up in inventory. At the end of September, Boeing had about 250 737s in inventory. Many of them need rework, and 85 are for customers in China. That country suspended MAX deliveries in 2019 following two fatal crashes of MAXs. Boeing is currently talking to Beijing about resuming deliveries, Calhoun said.

The other 737 delivery shortfalls are due to rework on the aft pressure bulkhead section, not with supply chain struggles, he said. On some, but not all, bulkheads, the holes drilled for the fasteners that attach it to the fuselage are slightly oval, rather than round. The fasteners cannot be put in tightly enough with the oblong holes.

While Boeing works its way through inspecting and fixing 737s with the wrong holes, it already is working with suppliers to ramp up their production rates to keep pace with the MAX’s master schedule, he said.

The company maintained its 787 delivery forecast of 70 to 80 for the year and said that it is “transitioning” 787 production to five/month. Boeing executives previously set the goal of reaching that rate by year’s end. It currently produces four/month. The press release did not say how soon it aims to increase the production rate. It did reaffirm its target of ramping up to 10 787s/month in 2025 or 2026.

Quarterly Losses Led by Defense Program Woes

Boeing’s third quarter earnings report is its worst of the year so far. It did, however, maintain its projected free cash flow of $3bn to $5bn, despite a FCF loss of $310mn during the quarter. The company recorded a $1.6bn net loss in the third quarter, or $-2.70 per share GAAP and $-3.26 non-GAAP. It had revenues of $18bn. The bottom line was dragged down by a $924mn loss by its defense division and a $678mn loss in Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Boeing Global Services posted a profit of $784mn.

Related Article

The company recorded a $482mn charge on its Air Force One (or VC-25B) program, which is providing two heavily-modified 747-8s to replace the 30-year-old 747-200s currently used to fly the United States president around. The losses were due to engineering changes, labor instability and the end of negotiations with a supplier, Boeing CFO Brian West said during the call.

Including the latest charge, Boeing has now lost more than $2 billion on the VC-25B program. It is one of several fixed-price defense contracts that Boeing very aggressively bid. The program came with a “very unique set of risks that Boeing probably shouldn’t have taken,” Calhoun said in April.

BDS also posted a $315 million loss on a satellite contract “due to estimated customer considerations and increased costs to enhance the constellation and meet lifecycle commitments,” the release states.

It’s defense division did have a bright spot. The company delivered the first of five T-7 Red Hawk test aircraft to the United States Air Force in September.

The company continued in the third quarter to spend more on research and development this year than it did in 2022. Through the first nine months of the year, Boeing spent $2.5bn on R&D, compared to $2.1bn during the same period last year. Most of that increase is in BCA–$1.5bn through Sept. 30 in 2023 versus $1.1bn during that time a year ago. R&D spending is down at Boeing Defense, Space and Security ($652mn vs $706mn) and Boeing Global Services ($84mn vs $89mn). R&D spending is up in a fourth category simply labeled “Other” ($222mn through the first nine months of 2023 vs $161mn during that time last year).

The airplane maker recorded 398 net orders in the third quarter, including 150 737 MAX 10s for Ryanair, 50 787s for United Airlines and 39 787s for Saudi Arabian Airlines. BCA delivered 105 airplanes during the three-month period.

270 Comments on “Boeing Cuts 737 Delivery Estimate in Blood Red 3Q Earnings Report

  1. I think I called 360 MAXs for 2023 awhile back, and will stick with that number.

    • Vincent:

      Spot on. Any Boeing recovery is going to be uneven, some years back I had a manager look at an overnight temperature graph.

      What is wrong with that he asks? Its up and down and ….. and ….

      Yep, that is the nature of night, its not a steady trend to a low, it goes down and up and levels off and you never know until the next day that the sun comes up and its a fairly steady trend upwards.

  2. I know that BA moved all the talent on the VC25B out of the PNW and that set up some inefficiencies, But Dear God, I cant imagine finding as many ways to lose as much money as Boeing has on a refurb of 2 already completed aircraft. Its absolutely astonishing the amount of losses BA is taking on these. If you do the quick math, they are 2.250 billion in writeoffs on a 3.9 billion dollar program. BA has spent 6.15 BILLION DOLLARS on 2 conversion projects, hasn’t got them done and will continue to write it down until they deliver, perhaps in years. Ive done refurb planning at Boeing in the past, and I understand the process, but none of the folks I worked with could have done this bad a job blind drunk after doing a 50 foot line of coke, naked in a strip club with friends of Putin supplying the women. Truly amazing

    Ironically, Trump wanted to cancel the project and Boeing, succumbing to the art of the deal, cut their price for the business.

    Theres a fool born every minute…..

    • There’s a fool born every minute…. many of whom are immediately hired to Boeing executive ranks.

      As you said, astonishing.

      • Thus we have the new modified-improved Jack Welch- stonecipher management model. ” Sure- we lose money on every unit- but we will make it up in volume – so sell more units “

        • Very astute of you. There is method to their madness.

          Boeing is touting a $3-5 billion FCF. It’s a dog whistle for investors. But once you look at the calculation:

          pg 9

          You see this:

          Advances and progress billings 2,963

          The biggest item in there. Almost $3 billion increase in the first 9 months. But it’s a liability item, like a bank loan – which must be return to airlines in goods; namely aircraft.

          Aircraft, that once they deliver, they are declaring negative margins on. For 5 straight years now.

          Sell ’em cheap. Get the deposits to pump up cash. Pay the butcher’s bill later.

          • Frank P:

            Are not all or most of the materials paid for by the time you sell (or turn over more accurately) and aircraft?

          • It all depends on the supplier and the nature of the parts. Back when Boeing was healthy several decades ago, the company chose to behave the same way GM did with respect to suppliers – pay slow, and impose discount terms after the fact. Supplier abuse was a refined art form. Now one would have to look at the financials of each of the thousands of suppliers to find out what is going on, but I wouldn’t sell to Boeing on any terms other than cash up front.

            I spent most of my career with the company looking for ways to get new infrastructure built that would solve specific widespread issues, often dealing with communications (machine to machine, human to machine, and human to human). I avoided the big tech companies like the plague because they were only interested in selling us what they already had as opposed to actually solving our problems. So the small companies I worked with would require some instruction on how to do business with us and not get hurt. Thus I would spend as much time talking to them about that part as I would about the help I was hoping they would provide. It doesn’t do any good to develop a good relationship with a supplier if they are driven into bankruptcy by doing business with you.

          • There is a related risk item here as well: GFE and BFE, which are short for government and buyer furnished equipment. At the assembly plants there is always a warehouse area where separately purchased things like avionics and cabin interior goods are stored. Boeing is the custodian of that stuff, not the owner or purchaser. The customer has to go on risk and buy that stuff separately and have it delivered to the assembly site.

            The risk to Boeing in this is the time value of money from the point of view of the customer’s books. If they spend a bunch of money on stuff that ends up sitting in your warehouse for years because you are years late on your delivery commitments to them, this makes it significantly more difficult to sell to them again. The customer ends up wanting to make-up their losses on previous orders by getting significant additional discounts on future ones. If you aren’t meeting your delivery commitments, you are in a downward spiral. There is an obvious way out, but that means managing quality and schedule performance and letting costs be what they are for doing the job right the first time. That way of looking at the world is just not in the DNA of this management team.

          • @Trans

            To add to RTF’s excellent analysis;

            Liabilities and equity
            Accounts payable $11,143

            So a further $11+ billion is owed to suppliers. How far out is that? Who knows. Scott Correa has mentioned (IIRC and forgive me if I’ve mis-remembered) that some get out as far as 120+days.

            Depending on how fast (during normal times) I can slap together an aircraft and how far out I stretch my suppliers, I can make money on that added time.

            Costco (my favorite store) are masters of it.

          • @RTF

            ‘The customer ends up wanting to make-up their losses on previous orders by getting significant additional discounts on future ones. ‘

            To your point:

            Customer Compensation

            ‘Commercial aircraft programs inventory included amounts credited in cash or other consideration (early issue sales consideration) to airline customers totaling $3,862 at September 30, 2023’

            Up $237 million over the past 90 days.

            Boeing is giving customers cash.

          • It’s also worth remembering the limits of accounting. They used to teach this in Accounting 101 classes and good profs probably still do, but it fell out of the standard textbooks about 30 years ago for some reason.

            The boundaries of accounting and the boundaries of accounting are two different things, and depending on the situation they can be quite radically different. Accounting is limited to things that can be fairly represented by monetary valuations which two independent teams of accountants can be reasonably expected to come up with similar numbers. The standard for valuation of a firm in an M&A activity is to start with five times the earnings in the most recent period and then adjust up and down for the non-accounting assets and liabilities. Often those can be quite considerable.

            This again has implications for our standard terms such as bankrupt solvent. There are non-accounting assets and liabilities such as talent, special relations with suppliers and the communities in which one operates, business outlook, and so on. There are also non-accounting liabilities such as pending lawsuits, and a long list of hidden dirty laundry (think Monsanto when it was going through reorganization). Any very large company that operates in a lot of places and has a lot of big customers will have plenty of both non- accounting liabilities and assets. Applying 20-20 hindsight, a pretty darned good argument can be made that Boeing went bankrupt the day Phil Condit was elevated to CEO. The net negative value of that move has to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

    • you are failing to take into account that the Boeing C-Suite were also a bunch of MAGA nuggets, and deluded themselves into believing Trump would reward them in other ways for giving him a very public (and misleading) win, rather than running them down and calling them suckers.

      the F-15EX contract (as much as I think getting that plane it is actually a good thing) was a pure payback the favor contract. the AF didn’t want it, political operatives within the Trump admin did.

      • I have to disagree with you there. The F-15 is a combat proven airframe, and with the modifications will carry 6x the ordinance of an F-35 and longer range than its predecessors, and this model will succeed the retiring C/D models. ITs a far better than building from the ground up considering the massive tax payers dollar required these days.

  3. I only wish it was astonishing. The thing that is so pathetic about this is the behavior of the investment community, which can only be described as insane if one uses the standard definition (doing something over and over again while expecting a different result).

    • Agreed. There do seem to be many people around trying to put the best spin possible on things, trying to drive up share price.

      It makes you wonder how many out there were in at the high and refuse to take the haircut as things tumbled, citing the ‘huge moat’ and ‘duopoly’.

      Even today, profitability is ignored while the ‘$10 billion in FCF by 2025’ is thrown out there.


        • Frank P:

          As we have seen over and over, the so called Financial Community is all about short term gains, they don’t want a well run business, they want one they can gut the profits from and leave a smoldering wreck in the wake.

          What is strange to me that Boeing is not down to $40 a share. Is there just a floor value on it that refuses to accept its in the hole and will be for (two years?) and even then break even?

          • Irrational exuberance? You still believe the WS is rational and efficient? How to explain the subprime crisis?

    • I just noticed a pretty awful typo in my text. I meant to say that the boundaries of accounting and the boundaries of the FIRM are two radically different things.

      Sorry about that.

  4. slowly the Boeing write-offs on the 747-8 and related VC-25B accumulate to more than Airbus lost on the 380 project.

      • How much has BA lost in last couple years?? Has BA learned any lesson? Not really, according to what Calhoun touted in this earnings call.

        Furthermore, by one account, it is estimated BA spent a staggering amount, over $32b, to develop the 787, would BA able to recoup a penny to cover that? 🙄

        • Pedro, I think the underlying cause of what happened, numbers aside, is an important point to consider.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but the A380 was a commercial failure (along with the much talked about A340) because the market changed on them.

          The A380 was designed for a hub and spoke operation with slot congested airports getting relief and then everyone started flying point to point on twins.

          The A340 fell victim to ETOPS and everyone going to a less expensive twin engine aircraft, which got similar range at a cheaper cost due to 4 vs 2 engines.

          Boeing’s issues are less about the market and more about the poor execution, under estimating costs, loss of control in the supply chain and a focus on the financial side of things.

          But at the end of the day, a loss, is a loss, is a loss. You are what your record says you are.

          Global Services seems to be the only thing working well at BA. Maybe they should elevate the guy who made that happen…

          • Balooney!

            Number of P2P connections didn’t increase much.

            Covid contracted the market and the most prudent thing was parking the largest units.

            Smaller units now fly P2H and H2H connections.
            Wait when the market fully recovers.
            A380 will fly for a long time to come.

            I don’t think the A340, created together with the A330 at not much more cost than a single type, was a failure.
            Keep in mind it was the entry model for Airbus into the long(er) range market.

            Doing the A340NG may have been the wrong decision. But it was a low cost upgrade.

          • Uwe, I’m not saying that the A380 won’t be flying for years to come, or that Covid didn’t contract the market. And just to be specific about the timing:

            ‘In February 2019, Airbus announced it would end A380 production by 2021, after its main customer, Emirates, agreed to drop an order for 39 of the aircraft, replacing it with 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s’


            The pandemic started in about Dec 2019? Nothing to do with the end of production.


            Just like Boeing does with it’s R&D spend, we’ll never know what it cost to develop the A380/A340. Offset by another program isn’t what I’m talking about – one could make the same argument that the losses on the 777X are offset by the profits on the original 777.

            The point I am trying to make is that more likely than not, the A380 & A340 programs cost the company money and did not turn a profit, once the final bill is tallied.

            I use the same reasoning for Boeing, so what is good for the goose, is good for the gander.


            The market changed on Airbus. Long before covid. Twins killed all quads, long before covid. Hence the 747-8 was a billion dollar loss for BA, as well (not including, once again, the R&D spend).

            They are not failures as fine aircraft – but commercial failures. That’s all I’m saying.

          • One would think that the economics of the A380 situation would be well outside of my wheelhouse, but due to a curious coincidence I actually have some relevant insight into what caused it’s problems.

            When I first went to work at Boeing in the Fall of 1983, I was teamed with a fellow on a couple projects that ended up getting a lot of visibility. One of them actually scared people and was deliberately buried. It was a novel use of a combination of mainframe and PC based simulation languages that showed how we could cut the labor requirement for a certain type of analysis and document production by upward of 80% – in effect a very early form of what people now like to call AI. Stochastic simulation is a pretty good way to model human activities, and it was pretty easy for us to scare people with that 40 years ago.

            Well, my buddy’s next assignment was on the joint venture with AB to build what we called the “New Large Airplane.” I still have the data he shared with me, but it’s on AppleDOS formatted 5.25″ floppies in a box down in the barn. Anyway, Boeing pulled out of the project because of the market analysis, and we were openly cheering AB on, hoping they would tie up their engineering resources while we did the 777.

            There were two closely related things wrong with the A380 concept. First, our market analysis suggested that even if the program was wildly successful, that the total program might find customers for at most 500 planes over a 20 year period. That was just not enough to justify the investment. Then, when AB decided to go it alone because their leaders wanted to be able to say they had a bigger plane than the 747, they also decided to design the wing to accommodate future stretch version with much higher MTOW ratings. So besides chasing a dubious market for the initial plane, they needlessly crippled its performance by adding weight to accommodate those stretch versions that were never to be.

            Sadly for them, and good for us, it turned out that our market projections were pretty close to how things worked out.

  5. I’m waiting on BA to post the filing on line, to have a look through it and see what was hidden away in the DPB’s. What I find really troubling is that they delivered 35 Dreamliners.

    35. And they’re in the red. The 787 is supposed to be a higher ticket price, higher margin item.


    But as an indication as to where the DPB is headed, here from the BA website is the Q3 Program Accounting Cost vs Unit cost numbers

    2023 ……………………………………………………….1Q23 2Q23 3Q23
    Commercial Airplanes – Program Accounting (615) (383) (678)
    Commercial Airplanes – Unit Cost Accounting * (1,871) (919) (1,148)

    • Frank P:

      You of all people should know that no amount of profit on an aircraft is going to overcome the whole of the losses.

      Say they made 10 million a 787, that is only 350 million.

      That ignores the shim fit losses and failure to deliver those unfit aircraft on time and the cost to make them compliant.

      Boeing gets out of the hole as a whole company not any one program riding to the rescue.

      • $10 million an aircraft, huh?

        Did you see my second post? The DPB went from $12.193 billion to $12.188 – a reduction of a whopping $5 million.

        35 deliveries.

        • Sorry – I’ve got to make a correction here. It wasn’t 35 – 787’s delivered during the quarter, I was looking at another financial report. It was 19 for the three months.

          For the entire year, they’ve delivered 50.

      • It’s also worth repeating (perhaps for the hundredth time) that much of the free cash flow comes from the decapitalization program. By accelerating the push to get talent off of the payroll and selling off marketable assets as fast as they can, a lot of cash has been generated. Boeing was an extremely wealthy company just before the merger. So there was a lot of asset value that could be stripped out. Of course that created the going concern problem the company now has (i.e. a complete inability to execute either new product development or profitable production operations).

        Remember the simple three part test for a successful program.
        1- First revenue flight or IOC occurs within six months of the original program schedule.
        2- On day one the product performs as promised at program kickoff at a minimum (in the old Boeing we routinely delivered more than promised).
        3- It was profitable.

        Of course there hasn’t been one of those in Boeing Commercial, Boeing Defense, or Boeing Space since before the merger – not one. But then, the goal of the C-suite was not successful aerospace programs. It was to strip the company of its wealth while siphoning of as much for themselves as possible (Occam’s Razor applies here). One has to start with the assumption that results achieved were the results that have been intended, and then look for evidence that would contradict that. One would have to believe that these folks have either been really really stupid and inept, or quite deliberate crooks. I’ve never thought there were dumb.

        • It has appeared to me for some time that Boeing is being dismantled. Its CEO’s otherwise-oblivious statements continue to reinforce that belief.

        • benther-dunthat- what has changed? this from 3 decades ago- and actually refers to 5 decades ago – seems the Welch mantra has resulted in a reinvention of ” the beatings will continue until morale improves. ” combined with morphing of ‘ file fit and pound to suit ‘ re manufacturing experience as applied to financial methods.

          APPROX 1993—

          Only a portion of my communications with
          Boeing and the SEC are enclosed, but they are also a matter of public
          I believe that the majority of Operations management, given
          access to the enclosed data, would generally agree with my premise.
          I do not feel that Mr. Cruze was evasive or knowingly stated
          incomplete or misleading information. I do feel that he, like most
          Senior Management, has been insulated by the typical “palace guard”
          and “turf protection” mentality.
          The many misleading and incomplete statements in Mr. Cruzes’
          letter (some of which I have noted) appear to be due to the lack of
          effective communication by the Human Resources Department. I (and
          others) consider unpublished “traditional” policies to be secret.
          Mr Cruze told me that around 1975, the Boeing policy was to
          virtually eliminate most all Paycode 4 Engineers from Operations, as
          they were not deemed necessary or effective. The resultant promotion
          of Technicians to Management positions is still evident in Middle and
          Upper Management ranks and attitudes. I do not believe that policy
          was known, published, or available to those affected. My goal for over three years has been to find a way to
          communicate my concerns and factual information to Senior
          Management and the Board of Directors. A true open communication
          and trusting environment instead of rhetoric and protection of turf
          would save us all time and reduce frustration levels.
          Is it any wonder that Mr. Bill Selby has commented that
          “management does not have the respect or trust” of the employee. ?

          • Exactly. If there is such a thing as a secret sauce to any company’s operating environment, it is a culture of trust and respect. Without that there is no hope.

          • “… it is a culture of trust and respect. Without that there is no hope.”

            now apply this to Boeing and any apparent or expectable learning process there.

  6. Some takeaways from the results:


    ‘Commercial aircraft programs inventory includes approximately 220 737 aircraft and 85 787 aircraft at June 30, 2023

    Commercial aircraft programs inventory included approximately 250 737 aircraft at September 30, 2023 and approximately 75 …787 aircraft at September 30, 2023’

    The Max’s have added back 30 more aircraft to Inventory and Dreamliners have dropped 10.


    DPB – 737

    ‘At September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 737
    program: deferred production costs of $5,359…

    At June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 737 program:
    deferred production costs of $4,739…’

    Up $620 million in 3 months


    DPB – 787

    ‘At September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 787
    program: deferred production costs of $12,188 and $12,689

    At June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 787 program:
    deferred production costs of $12,193 and $12,689’

    So 35 Dreamliners were delivered, but only $5 million of the margin was allocated to reduce the DPB.


    787 – Future orders

    ‘ At September 30, 2023, $13,024 of 787 deferred production costs, unamortized tooling and other nonrecurring costs are expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that have firm orders and $695 is expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that represent expected future orders.

    At June 30, 2023, $11,823 of 787 deferred production costs, unamortized tooling and other non-recurring costs are expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that have firm orders and $1,970 is expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that represent expected future orders’

    Some good news. The future orders now stand at $695 million of margin required to zero the DPB.


    787 Abnormal Production Costs

    ‘We expensed abnormal production costs of $937 and $925 during the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022.

    We expensed abnormal production costs of $693 and $595 during the six months ended June 30, 2023 and 2022.’

    $244 million in abnormal production costs were incurred in the 3 months of Q3 on the 787 program.


    777X Abnormal Production Costs

    ‘We expensed abnormal production costs of $442 and $213 during the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022. The 777X program has near break-even margins at September 30, 2023.

    We expensed abnormal production costs of $262 and $102 during the six months ended June 30, 2023 and 2022. The 777X program has near break even margins at June 30, 2023.’

    $180 million in abnormal production costs on the 777X program, during Q3


    Customer Compensation

    ‘Commercial aircraft programs inventory included amounts credited in cash or other consideration (early issue sales consideration) to airline customers totaling $3,862 and $3,586 at September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022.

    Commercial aircraft programs inventory included amounts credited in cash or other consideration (early issue sales consideration) to airline customers totaling $3,625 and $3,586 at June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022.’

    BA gave out another $237 million in compensation to airlines, during the last quarter.


    • “The 777X program has near break-even margins at September 30, 2023.”

      So, when will is the first 777X first delivery scheduled? Nearly 4 years delayed today & mounting costs, there are 20+ to be modified 777x’s in inventory..

      It feels like somehow the public is taken for a ride, when “break even margins” are mentioned for this program. Word games, perception management & everyone seems numb.

      • ‘We continue to expect the first delivery of the 777X-9 to occur in 2025. We are working towards Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) which will
        enable us to begin FAA certification flight testing.’

        pg 40

    • The details are more jaw dropping than the roll-up of yet another year of unprecedented Boeing failure.
      Re the 737, on the path to return to rates of a decade ago they managed to not produce at the rate and were only capable of delivering ~2/3 of what they were able to roll-out.

  7. A little further down the in financials in Program Highlights is this:

    ‘We are currently transitioning the production rate from 4 per month to per month. In the third quarter of 2021, we determined that production rates below 5 per month represented abnormally low production rates and result in abnormal production costs that are required to be expensed as incurred. We also determined that the inspections and rework costs on inventoried aircraft are excessive and should also be accounted for as abnormal production costs.

    Cumulative abnormal costs recorded through September 30, 2023 totaled $2.6 billion and our estimate of total abnormal costs increased from $2.8 billion to $3.0 billion in the third quarter of 2023 primarily due to supply chain disruption. We do not expect abnormal costs related to abnormally low production rates to continue beyond September 30, 2023, and we expect the remaining abnormal costs related to inspections and rework to be incurred by the end of 2024.’


    For anyone keeping score on the 787 program (not including monies spent out of the R&D budget):

    1) $3.5 billion written off out of the DPB a couple of years ago

    2) $2.5 billion written off out of the DPB by changing the first 3 production aircraft to ‘R&D’ (monies still spent)

    3) $3 billion in abnormal production costs expensed due to the 787 stoppage

    4) About $13.7 billion still remains in the DPB

    • Thanks for those quotations directly from Boeing’s own financial statements.

      • Is it just me, or is it kinda quiet around here? Hardly anyone here defending the financial performance at BA.

        • Oh, I was finding today’s wheat / chaff ratio
          refreshing- for as long as it lasts. 😉

          Boing’s stock is still holding at $178.
          Odd, unless there are some sweetheart deals
          in play..

          • IMO the market is a smoke and mirrors show. Up is down and down is up.

          • ‘Odd, unless there are some sweetheart deals in play..’

            And just like that, LUV orders over 100 Max 7’s.

            Go buy a lotto ticket.

        • Because it’s no surprise for 2023…

          Last February I said that the fanboys will enjoy a little more than expected.

          Things will hopefully be back on track for 2024.
          Normally things should go well for BCA

  8. Having a look at BDS, they write this:

    ‘Some of our development programs are contracted on a fixed-price basis. Examples of significant fixed-price development programs include Commercial Crew, KC-46A Tanker, MQ-25, T-7A Red Hawk, VC-25B, and commercial and military satellites. A number of our ongoing fixed-price development programs have reach-forward losses’


    VC-25B Presidential Aircraft

    The Company’s firm fixed-price contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) effort on the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) VC25B Presidential Aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One, is a $4.3 billion program to develop and modify two 747-8 commercial aircraft. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we increased the reach-forward loss on the contract by $1,452.

    During the three months ended September 30, 2023, we increased the reach-forward loss on the contract by $482


    KC-46A Tanker

    In 2011, we were awarded a contract from the USAF to design, develop, manufacture, and deliver four next generation aerial refueling tankers as well as priced options for 13 annual production lots totaling 179 aircraft. Since 2016, the USAF has authorized nine low rate initial production (LRIP) lots for a total of 124 aircraft. The EMD contract and authorized LRIP lots total approximately $24 billion as of September 30, 2023. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we increased the reach-forward loss on the KC 46A Tanker program by $1,374.

    During the three months ended March 31, 2023, we increased the reach forward loss on the KC-46A Tanker program by $245



    In the third quarter of 2018, we were awarded the MQ-25 EMD contract by the U.S. Navy. The contract is a fixed-price contract that includes development and delivery of seven aircraft and test articles at a contract price of $890. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we increased the MQ-25 reach-forward loss by $579.

    During the three months ended September 30, 2023, we increased the reach forward loss by $71


    T-7A Red Hawk EMD Contract & Production Options

    In 2018, we were awarded the T-7A Red Hawk program. The EMD portion of the contract is a $860 fixed-price contract and includes five aircraft and seven simulators. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we recorded earnings charges of $203 related to the T-7A Red Hawk fixedprice EMD contract, which had a reach-forward loss at December 31, 2022. The production portion of the contract includes 11 production lots for aircraft and related services for 346 T-7A Red Hawk aircraft that we believe are probable of being exercised. We expect the first production and support contract option to be exercised in 2025. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we increased the reach-forward loss by $552.

    During the three months ended June 30, 2023, we increased the reach-forward loss by $189


    Commercial Crew

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has contracted us to design and build the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to transport crews to the International Space Station. During the second quarter of 2022, we successfully completed the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we increased the reach-forward loss by $288.

    During the second quarter of 2023, we increased the reach-forward loss by $257


    All of them:

    Commercial Crew, KC-46A Tanker, MQ-25, T-7A Red Hawk, VC-25B

    Had reach forward losses on them as of 12/31/22 and all of them had an increase in the reach forward loss during 2023.

    It seems that a fixed-priced contract is not the way to go, for BA

    • Will the KC-Y program be a fixed-price contract?

      You can’t help but think the only thing BA good at is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  9. yes- “the market” is now a polite fiction.

    Let’s all pretend, for as long as it lasts..

  10. The sad thing is that there was an easy legal fix to the mess Boeing is in. I don’t think that solution exists any longer because the price has gone up so much. But, had they done the right thing in 2012 when it was clear that the accounting block on the 787 was total fiction, released an honest set of financials showing the resulting negative amount in the equity section of the balance sheet, and then fined for chapter 11, the government would have probably been willing to step in and bail the company out in exchange for replacing the leadership team with one that was qualified.

    The next step would have been to advance the company about $100 billion to do a new airplane, and rigorously police the program status reporting such that there were no watermelon charts, and everyone met their quality and schedule commitments. Nothing breeds success like success. That would have started the process of setting things right again.

    But now, literally the entirety of the managerial and engineering leadership teams have zero experience on a successful program (i.e. creating a production product that has its first flight within six months of the original program schedule and performs as promised in the program proposal). Complicating matters is the little recognized fact that the systems engineering profession for closed control systems (e.g. things like flight controls) have been allowed to evolve into a state of complexity in which performing the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is basically impossible without a total transformation of the way the designs are architected, and the profession shows zero signs of having to come to grips with this problem. It would take some of the very best systems engineers this country has to clean up the mess, and those folks are not in aerospace any more. A whole lot of them are in the gaming industry because of the money they can make.

    So now, it would take at least a decade, multiple subsidized programs, and an internal leadership and “integrity in reporting” education program. Without honest an fully transparent program status reporting, managing quality and schedule performance are simply impossible. That training job to rebuild the DNA of the company would take time and multiple programs. Thus, the cost now would be something approaching half a trillion dollars. I just can’t see that happening. Sadly, it’s over.

    • no need to exaggerate. Boeing is not bankrupt and certainly wasn t in 2012. Even Airbus would have been “more bankrupt” back then. They still successfully issued bonds in the last years.
      Isn t 100 bn a bit much? Who else should be subsidised for no matter what? Every car producer getting 10 bn to do some new car? Every restaurant owner 1 million to do “a new dish”?

      • ‘Boeing is not bankrupt and certainly wasn t in 2012. ‘

        Technically, you are right. Boeing is a zombie company.

        Cash and cash equivalents $6,811
        Short-term and other investments 6,561

        $13.372 billion in cashola

        They have this on the books:

        Inventories 78,972

        But once you back out all the fluff in there, which are actually expenses squirrelled away, you’re looking at $50 billion – at best.

        So $64 billion in cash and product to sell. What’s on the other side?


        Well, they’ve taken in:

        Advances and progress billings 55,924

        From customers, which they have to return in aircraft. When they do return an aircraft to a customer, for the past 5 years, it’s had negative margins attached to it.


        Short-term debt and current portion of long-term debt 4,891
        Long-term debt 47,381

        They also received $53 billion from lenders. That’s $99 billion in just those two items, not including any other obligations like

        Accounts payable $11,143
        Accrued liabilities 21,104


        Maybe you see a way out of this mess that RTF does not?

        Personally I think they should go to market with the shares they bought back for $43 billion and put the whole thing down on debt – but that’ll tank the share price and mgmt, being who they are, are loathe to do that.

        So looking at the numbers, what do you see?

      • @ Frank P Look, among other things, I’m a retired licensed CPA, so let me set you straight on a few definitions. You are confusing the term bankrupt with the term insolvent. A firm is bankrupt when the equity section of the balance sheet is a net negative number. Per GAAP, that was Boeing’s condition in 2012 when it no longer had an excuse to carry the 787 accounting block as what is essentially a plug figure. It is not an asset by even the wildest definition of that term. This is easy to understand if you look at it from the point of view of a potential buyer.

        Let’s say that the Boeing C-suite throws in the towel and decides to sell the company to Lockheed. In the valuation process what value would Lockheed put on the unamortized 787 accounting block? Duh!!!! This is really dumb easy.

        • Boeing is not insolvent, as they are still able to pay their debts.
          For now. Bankruptcy is a legal process.

          ‘A firm is bankrupt when the equity section of the balance sheet is a net negative number.’

          You are saying that they have negative shareholder equity, correct?

          (does negative shareholder equity really mean bankrupt, by the technical definition?)

          Negative shareholder equity exists when liabilities exceed assets, which is where BA is at today and a warning sign to all.

          IF…the company was liquidated and all debts were re-paid, shareholders would get zilch. But that isn’t going to happen.

          (we Canuck former accountants can sometimes read, when the ice melts and we come out of our igloos to feed the sled dogs…)

          Boeing hit the trifecta on going into negative shareholder equity territory:

          They’ve had years of losses. They spent big on dividends – right up until the end of 2019 IIRC & They ran up the debt.

          (Not for nothing and I looked around little bit – did you know that McDonald’s, the burger guys, also have negative equity? Share buybacks apparently. I don’t follow the space, but…there it is)


          From the CPA Exam definitions:

          Negative stockholders’ equity occurs when a company’s total liabilities exceed its total assets. This means that the company owes more than it owns, suggesting that the company would be unable to cover its obligations by selling off all its assets.

          Negative stockholders’ equity can occur due to accumulated losses over time, large dividend payments, or an excessive amount of debt. It’s often seen as a sign of financial distress, but it’s not always a definitive indicator of a company’s financial health. Some companies may have negative equity for a time but still be able to operate effectively if they have strong cash flows.

          However, sustained negative equity can be a concern for creditors and investors because it suggests a company may not be able to meet its financial obligations, which could lead to bankruptcy. Therefore, any company with negative equity would likely face difficulties in attracting further investment or obtaining loans.


          Which is what I thought it meant. You interpret it to mean technically bankrupt – sure.


          ‘Per GAAP, that was Boeing’s condition in 2012 when it no longer had an excuse to carry the 787 accounting block as what is essentially a plug figure. It is not an asset by even the wildest definition of that term.’

          Boeing is using program accounting, which relies heavily on estimates and assumes that Aircraft 1 is going to be a lot more expensive off the line, than Aircraft 1,000. Therefore you can smooth out expenses over the life of the program, to better reflect an average cost basis.

          (Basically investors are seduced early on knowing that they won’t get killed up front)

          Problem is – what happens when production doesn’t result in natural cost reductions, like the 787? Or the 777X? Then you’re stuck writing off expenses out of Inventory.

          I’m not defending BA here, I’m just calling balls & strikes.


          ‘In the valuation process what value would Lockheed put on the unamortized 787 accounting block? Duh!!!! This is really dumb easy.’

          The wonderful BA c-suite guys would point to the share price and say “There’s your valuation”

          To that end:

          BA bought back $43 billion in stock since 2013. Those shares (less the few they gave to employees for the pension fund awhile back) are still sitting there. Still or close to being in the black on them. They were way up on them when BA was at $240 a share back in June/July.

          They won’t do it, because share price would nosedive faster than…(I’m not gonna say it), but they could wipe off all of the LTD in one fell swoop, removing some $45 billion out of the liability side. Along with the added $2.5 billion annual interest expense.


          I know that Inventory is full of fluff (expenses actually and compensation given to customers). I’ve been hammering at this for what seems like….forever. It does not bode well for the future as those amounts will have to come out in two ways:

          1) Against future deliveries, which will erode margins

          2) More write offs


          That is why until something drastic is done, like an equity sale or Uncle Sam stepping in to the rescue, they will lurch along like a zombie company.

  11. What kind of ex-GE guys are Dave Calhoun and Brian West?

    They are always missing their numbers.

    Jack Welch must be spinning in his grave.

    • @Steely

      Let’s remember that the latest 737 MAX and 787 problems trace to Spirit, outside Boeing’s control.

      • I am going to respectfully disagree with you here, Scott.

        If an airline doesn’t get it’s aircraft on time as promised or if there are problems in the future (like a reduction in MTOW due to shimming problems) airlines will get compensation or sue Boeing, not Spirit. Ultimately, the responsibility for the aircraft is theirs – and the suppliers they chose to do business with. Boeing then must go after them, for compensation.

        Just like equipment on the aircraft that they don’t have responsibility for, which are other corporations’ problem;

        Engines from Pratt aren’t up to spec? Airlines go to P&W because it’s theirs to fix.

        Interiors that fade with the sun or seats that tear after normal use? They’re going after Zodiac or whoever they bought them from, not the guys who made the material (unless it’s a BA interior).

        It’s up to the OEM to choose reliable suppliers to do business with.


        To the Spirit issue.

        This really ventures into some murky territory because Spirit used to be part of Boeing. They sold it because IMO they thought that they could get the same quality products but not have to pay the same Boeing wages to the employees.

        Secondly – if Spirit was really a culprit here, what would happen during normal circumstances, when a supplier messes up this badly? The OEM would sue their a$$ off and demand compensation for all the billions they are losing.

        But that hasn’t happened. In fact, BA has given Spirit cash to help them along. Why?


        IMO a few reasons;

        1) Boeing needs Spirit badly. While putting them into Ch 11 and taking them over might have been an option, one could say that they have no other option BUT to work with them.

        2) Spirit has come out and said they lose $1 million a 787 they deliver. With customers and contracts like that, who needs to be in business?

        3) Partnering For Poverty (Thanks Scott C) is a Boeing initiative that hammers suppliers. When BA get’s on the phone to Spirit to shout about holes in planes, they’re probably saying “What did you expect would happen? We losing on every thing we make for you”

        4) Stop – start. Boeing was up at ~50 Max’s and ~ a dozen 787’s before the grounding and production halt. Spirit is about some 60% dedicated to BA? “All those people who used to work for us on your planes, walked away when we had to lay them off because of YOUR grounding & YOUR stoppage”

        5) Pandemic. How many employees moved onto other, better things?

        6) Given that Spirit is a former BA division and retains at least some of the current BA mentality, I would hazard a guess that the ‘go-go-go, don’t stop, just get it done, cut corners if you have to but stay on budget’ mentality has permeated down to Spirit.

        7) Spirit is doing some 20-25% work (by sales figures) for Airbus, no? Where are they, in all this? How come they haven’t popped up to give them cashola? Are there Spirit problems for Airbus, as well? Are they getting product out the door on time and up to spec for them? You don’t hear much from that side of the fence…


        The Spirit situation is a problem made by Boeing and they not only take responsibility for the products, but have created and currently enable the darn mess in the first place.

        • >>> You don’t respond to Scott with real arguments.

          You don’t prove why it wouldn’t be Spirit’s fault.

          Airbus, for example, which chose P&W, is also at fault. P&W is an equipment manufacturer like any other…

          • Checklist wrote
            Airbus, for example, which chose P&W, is also at fault. P&W is an equipment manufacturer like any other…

            On the A320, the customer selects his engine maker and negotiates with the engine maker directly. It is known as a BFE contract. BFE stands for Buyer Furnished Equipmemt. This is far different from an airframe maker supplying a fabricated piece of primary structure that gos to everybody with the basic and stable airframe. I know you have difficulty understanding the nuances of airframe manufacture, But highlighting how little you know with craap like this only illustrates how far Boeing Fanchildren are behind the eight ball…..

          • lol, no.

            Airbus offers a choice of engine on the A32x, it’s the customer that selects PW or CFM and purchases separately from the frame. Which is why PW is directly on the hook for all the costs associated with the GTF issues.

            Spirit’s issues should come as no great surprise given Boeing’s relentless squeezing of suppliers. Partnering for Success? More like partnering for abject failure.

      • The FAA issues the PC700 (production certificate) to Boeing, not Spirit Aerospace. Boeing has always had an army of oversight plus audits plus FAA oversight at Spirit.
        These problems are all on Boeing! That’s why they put their flunky, Shanahan, back in charge.
        The problem is systemic and it’s not going to be solved.

        Don’t any of you find it fascinating that Spirit manufactures systems for Airbus in the same facility yet we don’t hear/see the same quality escapes as we do with the Boeing side?
        This is because Airbus oversight is second to none. They don’t put up with the excuses. EASA also does much
        better on the oversight than the FAA.

        • I would tend to agree with you here, hence point #7. We’ve heard nothing out of the AB side a things, vis a vis – Spirit and they have not stepped up with cash to rescue them.

          Time will tell.

          Side note:

          They’ve got the Irish & Scottish running the show, with the Shanahan & Calhoun clans working things out.

          (a little bit of humour, no one please take it personally, especially those with an English sounding name, with Royal bloodlines)

          • @FrankP

            Time will not tell. Airbus runs a tight ship, same as Boeing once did 25 years ago.
            Just contrast the manufacturing facilities Charleston versus Mobile?
            But I digress. Boeing screwed the pooch selling off Witchita during Stonecipher watch…. Why was this so important to sell off such a key asset that at the time produced 737 fuselage, main pieces of the 757/767/777 and 747?
            They didn’t have an ounce of the problems that we see today. You know why that is?
            Boeing just recycles executives, with failed records e.g. Shanahan.
            Airbus has it and always has…. Remember they invented the wide body twin.
            Boeing today just chases their tails and plays wack a mole.

          • Jeez Airdoc,

            I have been accused of being a cold hearted, numbers focused, rearwards looking with limited vision to see the great, wonderful future ahead for Boeing, analyst. And of being an Airbus fanboy.

            I was gently trying to lead the herd of unwilling horses over to the cool fountain of water for a drink with gentle prodding, a calm demeanor and a dash of humour.

            Stockpiling expenses in Inventory, while running negative margins, continually issuing write offs, hammering suppliers for cheaper products – all while touting free cash flow…isn’t working out.

            You know it’s bad. I know it’s bad. Hamilton knows it’s bad (I wonder if he has royal blood in him?). Others know it’s bad.

          • @FrankP

            Hey I appreciate your feedback especially on the financials. It’s very good and as many us have said, free cash means nothing. You’ve taken over for a guy named Bryce who’s dropped off the radar and always very candid on the financial truth. No BS.
            Many of us think Hamilton is paid by Boeing.

          • ‘Many of us think Hamilton is paid by Boeing.’

            Well, if he is, he’s doing a terrible job with all the criticism he’s leveled against them. I think Boeing HR needs to call him into the office and have a little chat, if he’s on their payroll.

          • “Airdoc”

            Airbus has it and always has…. Remember they invented the wide body twin.
            Boeing today just chases their tails and plays wack a mole…”


            Ah ah aah !

            We understand why you like it. But the words of a Fanboy are not a universal truth. ‘Invented’ is an exaggerated word given how much more Boeing brought to the market than Airbus. Don’t push me to come back to this…

          • “Many of us think Hamilton is paid by Boeing.”


            The proprietor is regularly hazed for Airbus partisanshhip.
            ( IMU patently unfair. There is a ahard limit to how much lipstick can go on a pig. Fair reporting on Boeing is forced to be bleak by reality .. )

        • Back in 1999(?):

          “A new Boeing strategy had been launched a year before the strike at a retreat in the California desert for 280 senior managers. Phil Condit, then the CEO, was the architect of the purchase of McDonnell Douglas, a move that shifted the company’s center of gravity from commercial jetliners to military programs such as the F-15 fighter. It wasn’t going well—costs rose, production lines bottlenecked—and Condit had tapped the former McDonnell Douglas CEO Harry Stonecipher to fix operations. What managers heard at the retreat was a kind of scared-straight message. Condit told them the stock price was so depressed that Boeing could face a takeover. Chief Financial Officer Deborah Hopkins underscored the importance of benchmarks such as *return on net assets*, one of Stonecipher’s favored metrics.

          The relentless message: *Shareholders would* henceforth *come first* at Boeing. The important thing was not to get “overly focused on the box,” Hopkins said in a 2000 interview with Bloomberg.

          • Furthermore:

            “The sales team would sell planes for delivery four years out *at prices the company couldn’t yet hit from an engineering standpoint*—creating immense pressure throughout the organization to drive down costs. […]

            (Muilenberg and McNerney had personal reasons to emphasize productivity and cost-cutting. Boeing’s incentive pay plans for executives and rank-and-file employees have for years emphasized profitability, with revenue, cash, and share performance playing a role more recently. Boeing has beat its targets every year since 2012, contributing to the $209 million in total pay the two CEOs received since then.)

            Remember, Calhoun had a front row seat sitting on the board since 2009.

          • “The sales team would sell planes for delivery four years out *at prices the company couldn’t yet hit from an engineering standpoint*—creating immense pressure throughout the organization to drive down costs. ”

            The question is – has that philosophy been retained today and are the orders they are taking in now being signed under the same circumstances?

            United’s bumper crop order of 787’s come to mind…

          • Pedro.

            Without wanting to defend Calhoun. The latter was recruited because Boeing had become what Boeing has become today. That is to say under pressure from Wall Street. That’s the impression it gives me when I read the article from 2000 when Condit was claiming a takeover because of the stock being too low. Condit must have had pressure for that too.

            There is not a large American global company / multinational that is not listed on the stock exchange,

            As I already said,
            Look at McDonald’s, Disney or Netflix to name a few…

      • @Scott, it depends on how one views sub contracts. For example, Toyota do not view sub contracts as a boundary they must not peer beyond. Rather the opposite in fact.

        When they sign a contract with supplier, they then move into to supplier and get them organised to work in a way to ensure the quality of supply Toyota wants. This doesn’t cost the supplier, Toyota tend to pay for the reorg. Nor do they set production targets on the supplier, it’s all about quality. Quantity will come along naturally once the quality is right. Toyota suppliers enjoy being Toyota suppliers.

        Boeing viewing Spirit as kinda a black box regarding QC is a self imposed risk.

        • Another critical element of Toyota’s success began with the resolution of the 1949 strike by their union. The union demanded and got a complete replacement of the top management of the company. It was still essentially a family run business, and the leadership passed to Eiji Toyoda.

          Essentially, after the strike they adopted a rather extreme version of the principles outlined in James P. Lewis’s book “Working Together.” The company’s wage setting process became one driven by an agreed upon formula starting with the company’s profits. This created a sense of ownership from top to bottom – a true attitude of shared destiny replace the old top down command and control approach.

          This actually mirrored a larger change that was going on in Japanese society. The old top down system was blamed for the country’s humiliation in the second world war. Blind obedience to authority was seen as a problem not an asset, which had been the case for thousands of years. The importance of this change in attitude in Toyota’s work environment specifically and in Japan in general cannot be overstated.

          Now here’s the hilarious part. They think they got it from us. So what have we done We’ve allowed many of our corporations to become top down connected frat boy led dictatorships that have anything but a shared sense of destiny. And in a nutshell, that is what changed at Boeing when the GE criminals got control of the company. Boeing’s quality problems are not in the factories, or at Spirit, or anyplace else down in the ranks. They are in the C-suite. Fix that, and the rest is easy.

          As for not believing that the “1 in 10” airplane is possible, well that was the whole reason for setting that as a goal. It was to free people from thinking that anything they were currently doing was sacrosanct. It’s a way of looking beyond incrementalism.

          The way they talk about this in Toyota is to distinguish between two different change functions. One is routine discipline of the daily continuous improvement which is embodied by by their word “kaizen.” And by the way, that word was echoing through their factories in the winter of 1949-50, and it meant a lot more than just improving the quality of their products and methods. But, there is another kind of change process they pursue, and they have a word for that too. Its kaikaku.

          The meaning is about the same but with some subtle differences. Kaikaku change processes are tied to very long view goals and are implemented in step functions. There is nothing incremental about it, except when viewed in the sense of decades or even centuries. When a Boeing study team visited them in 1989 one of the things Toyota shared with us was their 100 year plan. Just think about the implications of having such a thing. A century ago most airplanes still had wooden spars and were covered with muslin. Thinking that way is truly transformative. 1 in 10? Oh yeah, that is definitely doable. It was part of our 50 year plan that came out of that Japan study trip combined with a very startling learning experience on the 777 program. But to get there, first one has to get rid of the top down, American equivalent of the Japanese leadership culture going into WWII. Shared destiny, and not in the Xi Jinping sense of that turn of phrase, is the key. Mulally called it “Working Together” and that is what we painted on WA-001, the 777 prototype. One cannot overstate just how awful this C-suite is.

          • Toyota mostly develops and manufacturers vehicles in a country that has a single payer not for profit national health care program. This saves on average $2000 per vehicle. Not that that matters. 40 – 60% of health care costs in The USA go to administration. You know, the people who spend 40 hours a week finding new ways to deny paying for health care procedures.

          • “This saves on average $2000 per vehicle.”

            interesting “observation”.

            Could you elaborate?

          • Sure, USA auto manufacturers calculate they pay 8000 to 22000 per year for single to family coverages for their employees.

            A single payer national health system beats these costs by thousands of dollars. Consequently, manufacturers do not have these expenses in industrial countries that supply national coverage. The USA remands a high cost country for manufacturing partly because of this.

            There’s a lot of information on this right now because health care was one of the bargaining points in the recent auto strikes. Thanks for asking…

          • I would add that the United States is basically in the dark ages when it comes to health care in terms of the way the industry is structured. Lean it isn’t. It may be the single mostly heavily burdened industry in the United States, perhaps on a par with Russia’s military industrial complex.

            If you look at the percentage of our health care spend that goes to direct patient care, it’s way less than 30%. This reality is hidden in the official figures which break things into sectors such as hospitals, pharmaceuticals, etc. What they don’t breakout is the overhead rates in each sector.

            Because it’s setup such that there is literally a billing and payments war, the providers have to use people with nursing degrees and experience to do their billing paperwork. It would be difficult to design a system that is more wasteful. Single payer would fix that, but this would initially hit the corporate parts of the industry very hard. They would actually have to stop the billing war and whack their overhead rates.

            The US was well on its way to setting up a universal national health service. We had the beginnings of one with the system that had been setup in the 19th century to care for mariners. This is why the Surgeon General is actually an Admiral in the uniformed services. But, we systematically dismantled that system in response to the K Street greed machine. So yeah, that gives manufacturers in other countries a huge cost advantage.

            Hillary had it right back in 1993. That’s the plan we should still adopt.

          • “Thanks for asking…”

            Your appear to be strangel misinformed.

            Beyond the whopping ineficiencies in US healthcare ( twice the cost for no discernible better quality )

            Here in Germany health care is 15% of income.
            _evenly split between employer and employee.
            Pensions is 18% similarly split.
            to top it off: companies here actually pay taxes.
            Japan seems to be a similar setup.


          • @UWE I think we are seeing the same thing. Good comment.

          • “It would be difficult to design a system that would be more wasteful.”

            Good statement. It’s “open enrollment” for healthcare programs in the USA at this time. All the celebrities and has-beens schlepping Dental, Silver Sneakers and pill programs to get us to switch to their programs. The bosses wouldn’t be paying for all this marketing if there wasn’t gold in them there hills.

  12. @steelyMB Well you have to admit that it was a lot easier for Welch to hide the phony revenue pulled forward from projected future sales of maintenance contracts on obsolete new and unsold and never going to be sold overproduction of turbine generators than it is for his minions to find equally lucrative things in Boeing. Then again, the 787 accounting block came close and seemed to work up until the release of the 2018 financials. They had a good run with that one.

    The thing is that these guys are crooks by any reasonable definition. They use the phony performance dog and pony shows to make it seem like they are worth their outrageous salaries. It’s salary and perk theft pure and simple.

    That’s the problem with people that are brought up being told from childhood that they were born to be leaders, then sent to high end schools where they join the right fraternities and learn absolutely nothing about being real leaders. American industry and our public sectors are saddled with hundreds of these jokers whose primary talent is for making a mess of things.

    In my experience, the very best leaders are people who don’t want the job and have to be talked into it. When you read about the people who got battlefield promotions during WWII and were elevated from non-coms to being front line officers, they invariably were the very best leaders the troops had.

    Boeing needs someone who is too busy trying to get some big engineering or production problem solved, and who will resist taking the helm. Then send them to Sloan or some other quick and dirty finishing school. Then put them in charge of cleaning up the mess. It would be an awful job. They would have to practically live on the company plane for a couple of years. Oh, and there should be only one of those, and make it one that can’t be sold, like one of the early 787s, or perhaps the 757 prototype if it is no longer needed as testbed for the military programs.

    • ‘Boeing needs someone who is too busy trying to get some big engineering or production problem solved, and who will resist taking the helm. Then send them to Sloan or some other quick and dirty finishing school. ‘

      I’ll do you one better.

      I think you need a small team of like minded individuals, who you tell, right off the bat:

      “You are going to get paid, but you are NOT getting stock or options. Your job is not to worry about share price, but to fix things”

    • In my opinion, 2024 will be decisive for Boeing and Calhoun. But to be honest, until now Calhoun was the man for the job. Calhoun appears to be doing the right thing. The 737 MAX’s recurring problems are the invisible parts of the finally revealed iceberg that might have been since the 737NG. It’s just that the FAA has just woken up because of the 737MAX crashes. It’s a theory, although one has to find the surprising grapes of recurring quality problem on the 737. If anyone has any further speculation. Thank you for sharing it

      • There were going to be inherit problems nursing along an old airframe to its 4th generation. But that being said, I think a lot of the delays for the -7 and -10 have to do with a super embarrassed FAA. I would think the employees are bending over backwards to build the best plane they can.

        • SamW:

          I don’t think there is any question the employees are doing the best job they can.

          What I found in my working career was that while a good employee could push the boundaries a bit, poor management, bad company structures would stop that in its tracks.

          Ultimately I just quit.

          No question the -7/10 delays are due to the FAA, but the FAA has been burned by Boeing (and the MAX was far from the first). The FAA is insuring their structure is in place and works so that the MAX debacle or Shim fits do not happen again.

          The FAA still does not have the authority it had under the original ODA.

          The system may be working as we saw a huge outflow on the shim issue on the 787, hopefully that was inspectors coming forward.

          Regardless, Boeing management put the company in this position not the FAA.

          The FAA has its problems in its regionally managed structure and I don’t know how that is playing out. I am looking for articles that discuss that.

        • @SamW

          Basically FAA asked BA to prove the assumptions used in certifying the MAX. See my post below

  13. Tangential Issue:

    Single Pilot Cockpit

    So with the recent events of Horizon surrounding the conversation, something struck me:

    What happens when you have a single pilot upstairs and a guy on the ground (which is the talk of how the system would work) who can monitor and control things – and the pilot in the cockpit goes out for a nature break.

    But this time, the wacko is the guy on the ground, with control over the plane (or monitoring multiple planes) and can shut down engines/fly aircraft into terrain, because his Wheaties told him to do it?

  14. Based on this comment section, seems there are many here who would do a good job at running a company like Boeing. I wonder what you all do for a living.

    The question I have is is the financial situation of the company improving or not, there are people here who are more meticulous than I am so it’s a serious question. I also don’t need a long answer

    • BCA delivered 105 aircraft during Q3. They received $7.876 billion for them. It cost them an additional ($678) million to get those planes to customers. They lost almost $6.5 million on each one they delivered.

      BCA delivered 371 aircraft during the first 3 quarters. They received $23.420 billion for them. It cost them an additional ($1,676) million to get those planes to customers. They lost almost $4.5 million on each one they delivered.

      In 2022 BCA delivered 480 aircraft during the year. They received $25.867 billion for them. It cost them an additional ($2,370) million to get those planes to customers. They lost almost $4.9375 million on each one they delivered.

      In 2021 BCA delivered 340 aircraft during the year. They received $19.493
      billion for them. It cost them an additional ($6,475) million to get those planes to customers. They lost almost $19 million on each one they delivered.


      Better than 2021? Yes. Looks like 2023 is a rinse repeat of 2022, but draw your own conclusions. 2020 and 2019…well

  15. Hey Guys,
    Has anybody noticed how cool our exchange of ideas has been
    without Checklist, the Boeing Fanboy, trying to spin a 1.6 BILLION
    dollar debacle into great news for the PNW……. Damn its been refreshing.

    • @PNWGeek

      We’ve noticed and yes, it’s refreshing. Everyone has their opinions and I mostly appreciate them but his was more of an attack on anyone that tried to use reason.

    • True, but the post count is way, way down. Sure, the quality is there in this thread, but remember the old Soviet adage;

      Quantity has a quality all of it’s own.

      (and that guy sure took it to heart)

    • You have it all wrong .

      I’m here to respond before I come across your rubbish comment. But you are obnoxious and insulting.

    • My impression is that little Checklist has friends in high places. Is there an explanation that is a better fit?

  16. Nice to see Southwest showing their faith in the 737-7 program by ordering another 108 today…

    • @RobertL

      Ordering jets that have no certification dates yet. But of course SWA placed the order. They will always go Boeing. I know first hand they get them cheap and they also get free aftermarket services tied into the sales. And ya know what, truth is that’s why they are so successful.

      • Totally agree..
        The so called experts thinking they had any ntentions of ordering the A220 have long since wanned !!

          • As Ryanair has already done with Airbus a few years ago and made J..Leahy furious

            This does not mean that it would be produced for Boeing. SouthWest wants one fleet. This is proof.

          • I did not believe that South West was going to buy the A220 (I have no issue with them trolling Airbus, Delta did the same thing on the A330NEO/A350 widebody order, that is just business)

            I did and do think it would be in South West best interest to move into an aircraft that is far better suited to the 700/-7 routes.

            South West wants a single type fleet though that is a bit of a laugh when you consider the differences between the NG and the MAX and its more half way common.

            Denver Bronco’s went all in on a questionable quarterback and mortgaged their near and mid term future doing so. It was a decision by a successful business guy, no one outside of Denver thought it was the right decision and time has proven that.

            Not the first nor the last bad business decision.

        • Hey Checkbot: have you heard from Bryce lately? Has anyone? And are you “unbanned” here now? Thanks!


          • No,
            your darling Bryce is no longer here, but if you continue you will definitely join him.

            Didn’t Mr. Hamilton say anything to you about Checkbot recently?

      • An aside, it will be interesting to see if American gets some A220s instead of Max-7s…

        • Nobody bit on this… Well, then it’s got to be common knowledge that American will pit the A220 against any future Max-7 purchase.

          • American has a history going back into the 1930s of being one of the more demanding airline customers.

    • In that vein:

      Southwest Airlines stock plumbs over 9-1/2 year low after Q3 profit plunge
      Oct. 26, 2023

      Key Q3 metrics for LUV: available seat miles (ASMs), or capacity, was 44.17B (+12.5% Y/Y); revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, was 35.62B (+6.2% Y/Y); revenue per available seat mile (RASM) was 14.77 cents (-6.8% Y/Y); load factor was 80.7% versus 85.4% a year ago.

      For Q4 2023, Southwest (LUV) sees RASM falling 9% to 11% Y/Y, but sees ASMs rising about 21%.

      Additionally, LUV said that, in light of its new order book with Boeing (BA), the carrier now expects about 85 aircraft deliveries from the top planemaker, versus an earlier expectation of 70 deliveries. Southwest (LUV) is one of Boeing’s (BA) biggest MAX customers.

  17. Opus:
    To achieve a definitive determination it would be necessary to know exactly what the profit is on each sale the company has made since (as an example) before the start of the Covid intervention. That is unlikely to be found here (although several members have made what seem to be accurate calculations) because formal confirmation is not being released by Boeing. There are therefore only three accepted as fact values:
    1: Stock market price (though highly questionable as a measure since it is affected by the concerns of share marketeers)
    2: Share of market
    3: Airframe deliveries
    In all three cases the answer is to the negative.

    • The Bills lost to Belicek and New England last Sunday. Everyone wants to leave, now… God help them if they lose to the Bucs tonight. US Niagara Falls just might vote to become part of Canada….

      • Funny I was commenting on bad decisions!

        I had a friend on the wrestling team, great teamate, not the worlds best wrestler (he had the tools just not that drive).

        I had a previous injury get re-activated during a match, the only thing I could do for my team was to quit the match, we got assessed fewer points against us.

        The other team was laughing at me as I was in tears.

        My friend then went out and ripped the best wrestler in the state in his weight class to shreds. I was so proud of him.

        He got done and said, no one laughs at my teammates.

        Yea I know its off topic but better than some other stuff

  18. The results are not great but at least it’s improving, slowly but an improvement nonetheless. I wish Boeing management the best because it’s not an easy job they have on their hands or anyone at Boeing really, it’s easy to say what is wrong but the harsh reality is that if you’re sitting in this comment section with me then you most likely don’t have what it takes to turn around a company like this around.

    Just something to think about every time you want to come back every Quarter to pick out what is failing and complain.

    • Opus:

      I agree, the last thing in the world you would want to do is put me in charge of Boeing (well that and a lot of other things I am not qualified at or for)

      That said when you make a lot of decisions that gut the company then anyone can look at a string like that and be correct, CEO material or not.

      Putting your company in jeopardy for stock buy backs and dividends is simply stupid.

      I can see that as can any other non biased observer.

      The NG would have been the very last of the 737 line, even a modern single aisle back in the early 2000s would have been the right thing to do.

      Now its too late and its the next Gen that may or may not pan out. While I don’t believe for a heartbeat Calhoun is in it for other than himself, I have hopes that the board has been broken away from the CEO power center and is doing its job, looking ahead and managing the company for the future.

      I could be wrong, we will have to see if and when Boeing returns to a profit status. That is at least 2026 (my opinion, I don’t see it sooner – debt has to be paid off as well)

    • From the article:

      ‘The FAA in September issued an exemption that will permit 737-7 certification approval without new yaw-damper software that Boeing and the agency determined was needed to meet the latest regulations. It will be introduced and approved on the 737-10 and, like a new angle-of-attack (AOA) monitoring system, eventually retrofitted at Boeing’s expense.’

      I wonder what that will cost them?

      • Franck. P

        It cost Boeing to get it right.

        Isn’t that what the public and global regulators want?

        A company of engineers!…

      • Frank
        There’s probably a good reason to waiver the airplane. Remember the thinking that Boeings CFD programming missed the MCAS pitch up issue and they didn’t see it until the airplane flew. There’s also the fact that the airplanes always outfly their fuel burn numbers, when they are on weight, lol. I really suspect that they cant write the code based on CFD alone and need to fly the airplane a while to get a solid database to make the upgrade. This also gos back to why they have to fly the TTBW demonstrator, confidence in the CFD may not be there when you get to the extreme edges of the model.

        • All very good points.

          I was just wondering what it’s going to cost Boeing, when it comes time to retro fit all this in, that’s all.

          • Frank P:

            Pretty useless speculation as there are also the synthetic speed and AOA to be back-fitted to ALL the MAX aircraft.

            It should be all software but at some point we will get numbers and until we do, wondering is all you can do and I am not worrying about it myself.

            Its a small part of a lot in motion for Boeing and its future.

          • Thinking that it is all software is a SUPER dangerous way to think about control systems. In a very real sense, that is what caused all three of the 737 crashes.

        • This is a VERY complex issue that has a lot of parts. I have stepped through the key ones here in the past. They deal with systems complexity due to the aggregation of functions in single components that are not well understood, a critical deficit of engineering talent in aerospace in general and Boeing in particular, and an engineering management team that does not understand the issues.

          It really gets down to whether or not the FMA (some call it the FMEA) is adequate, and if it is, do the issues it uncovers get addressed. There is ample reason to believe that due to the component aggregation and the talent issues, that a thorough FMA is simply impossible.

          Does this mean that the planes equipped with such systems are unsafe? No, but it does mean that the people involved have not done the work to demonstrate that they are, and that no matter how much time you give them, they will never complete such work.

          So the result is that you put the product out there if the FAA lets you and you hope nothing untoward happens. We know how that approach has worked in the past – it directly caused three crashes. Does that mean that there is an unknown problem still in the code just waiting for the right low probability combination of circumstances to occur such that it will raise its ugly head? No. But it does very much mean that no one can provide assurance that such a beastie is not hiding in there. And that is a problem in my book.

          The 777 cert problem is not unrelated as some of the same factors are involved, but there are some key differences. The big one is also cultural.

          Prior to the loss of engineering leadership talent, the process for an engineer or engineering team to get their new idea onto the plane was extremely rigorous. You had to do a lot of work to prove that it was ready, and would not add schedule risk to the program. The preliminary design review (PDR) acted as a gate. You would spend many hours preparing for the review and the present what you wanted to do to a team of very experienced senior engineers and technical managers. Afterward, you would get a thumbs up or down. But, because of the talent problem, the quality of the PDR presentations and the amount of experience reviewing them declined quite drastically. As a result, way way too many “not yet ready for prime time” things got passed out of PDR and on to the final configuration plan. This didn’t cause just a little schedule risk. It basically sabotaged the entire program. That’s what happens when comments like those Debbie Hopkins made are allowed to be taken seriously. She absolutely did not know what she was talking about in the context of a company that builds complex aerospace equipment – period.

          • Completely agree.

            Building aircraft is NOT like building cars. I can’t understand why some people cannot get their heads around that.

          • >>RetiredTechFellow

            First of all I have deep respect for engineers like you RetiredTechFellow. I hope to maintain an enriching relationship and real added value in this very mediocre forum because of the people who populate it which can only lead to failure and a war of frustrated fanboys. Following the crowd is a mistake, don’t be fooled, you are certainly better than that.

            To return to your RetiredTechFellow comment, I would like to inform you that Boeing has been working on what the X-66A will become after testing since late 2009, and has had a redesign/improvements to the wing profile, equivalent to a second generation of wing after almost 15 years of work. Without engineers, a company is nothing, and without strategy, a company is nothing either. Given the (advanced) stage that RetiredTechFellow is at, there is no doubt that Boeing will go quite far with this, when the thing with its tube and long, thin wing validates nearly 15 years of work.

            But it is not just a question of validity here, it would rather be the combination of SAF and efficiency with the partnership, a coalition of the 4 American airlines which will apply the CO2 reduction / decarbonization policy which is being tested.

            This could strategically flow (naturally) from a marketing operation. It’s political, economic and Boeing will seize the opportunity here unfortunately to the great dismay of the Boeing haters whose presence you have noticed and the constant bad intentions they manifest. Let’s not pay attention to them, fortunately they don’t represent anything. Let’s just observe and analyze the situation.

            On the contrary RetiredTechFellow exciting times are ahead and we are already arriving in 2024. It is already half the decade and something will come from it. Boeing is moving, Airbus will move, and even new entrants such as JetZero are moving.

            Boeing is right to invest heavily in such a project to prepare for the future. This is the right thing to do and what Boeing is doing, and I wish them every success. which will likely result in a new program being launched perhaps within 4-5 years at the latest.


          • @Checklist I wish I could agree with you. But time will tell.

            What I will tell you is that the culture of the company here in the Pacific NW went from a place where even the janitors acted like they own the place, to one where it’s basically a command and control hell hole of a work environment – more so in operations than in the DE areas, but things are pretty awful in design too.

            Also, ME work has not changed nearly as much as systems work over the past few decades. This is important. Yes, the MEs have a lot of new materials, but not that new and not that different from what they have used for decades. They are making much more use of composites than they once did, and they have better tools for analyzing things like fatigue and weights and balances, but it’s been a very gradual and well understood evolution.

            On the other hand, the world of systems has been dramatically transformed and infected with a very serious behavioral problem. I spent some time talking about this in the appendix of my book, The Tao of IT. I call it Excessive Software Dependency Spectrum Disorder. And yes, it very much is a mental disorder.

            To qualify a disease of the mind for listing in DSM-5, the psychologists have a few simple tests. One is that you have to be able to consistently describe whatever behavior you are talking about. Another is that it has to be something that interferes with some positive aspect of living. At the extremes, it may run a risk of leading to either self harm, or harm to others.

            Well, because of what most people call Moore’s Law, but very few people, including those in software engineering, seem to understand, is just how dramatically the IC component content of least cost chips has changed things, and not for the better.

            The marginal cost of software is near zero. For this reason there is tremendous economic pressure to do things in software that should not be done that way. Inadequate hardware, especially sensors, but also dumb things like taking simple functional components and adding lots of complicating features to them has made the hardware side of most systems designs inadequate for the task at hand.

            If you watch the behavior, which one has even seen described in several notes in this discussion, when people think there is an issue with the way a system is behaving, the very first thing they do is start playing with the code. This is close to being an insane reaction. This behavior and the environment that nurtures it is what killed all of those people in the three 737 crashes.

            Now maybe you have seen some indication that this issue has been recognized for what it is and dealt with, and as a result the company is going to start delivering great products that sell like hotcakes at super margins that will dig itself out of the bankrupt hole that it is in, but I just don’t see even a tiny shred of evidence to support that perception. I’m not saying that you are wrong, but I don’t think you have enough data to satisfy Occam on this one. I think you are well off in the direction of needing to come up with some extraordinary proof.

          • >> RetiredTechFellow

            I’m not saying that you are wrong either, but we will also have to provide extraordinary proof because what you are saying seems a bit like a doubt that has no reason to exist because I think that Boeing engineers work with the same tools as Airbus, Embraer and the others.

            Having (naturally) a fairly limited knowledge compared to you, a professional engineer, it would seem that you put Boeing in a separate box to such an extent that you have doubts which have no place to be see exaggerated?
            Am i wrong ?

            Correct me if this is the case.


          • @Checklist Yes, this problem is widespread, and it exists in EADS as well. ESDSD (excessive software dependency spectrum disorder) is everywhere in systems design. The marginal cost situation with software combined with the IC component density of least cost chips has created an extremely dangerous situation that touches every engineering discipline that uses software in its products.

            The public is all worried about the substitution of cleverly formatted search results for human work, and I don’t want to downplay that concern. But, the stuff we call AI really is as much of a useful tool as it is a danger. However, the systems complexity issue is, in my book, far more of a clear and present danger. The only thing that comes close to it as a risk to society in my book, is the focus on ad click through rates on so-called news and social media platforms.

            Engineers need to have the pressure to play with the code totally removed, and our process of teaching and inculcating engineering disciplines with a natural tendency to think in terms of total systems is an extremely urgent need. We’re killing people with this software approach to life crap.

            I couldn’t care less if cell phones and microwaves gradually become less and less usable because of the software shoved into them, but when dams break, planes crash, power systems fail, and so on, that’s a problem. Engineers have to get up off their butts and away from their computer screens and THINK about the totality of their stuff.

          • >> RetiredTechFellow

            This is beyond me because as I told you, I am not an engineer. But the reasons why you ”doubt” the X-66A are not the same as the other Boeing haters who actually have no argument, it’s just jealous Boeing bashing. They have no arguments.

            I cannot understand the stupidity that occurs just because a few ignorant people belong to one camp. It’s just childish.

            To return to the subject, we agree that Boeing is right to produce a full-scale test bench. But it will be a brand new aircraft with new systems, cockpit, fly-by-wire integration, engines etc…, in short, a brand new aircraft built in just 5 years. You know that the challenge is enormous, 5 years! …

            This has not happened either at Airbus or at Boeing since the 777 and thé A340/-500/-600, which is partially a new aircraft having wings different from the A340-200/-300, that is to say already 30 years, because since 2000 new aircraft have had difficult births (A380, 787, A350, A220 ex- Bombardier CSeries)

            The X-66 A, is a challenge and a huge gamble for all these reasons…

          • @Checklist – so one more thing about the X-66A and new planes in general. I’m still in the Alan Mulally camp that believes that the future of commercial aviation is less about radical new configurations than it is about radical improvements in the airplane creation process. His goal (before he left to go to Ford) of moving in the direction of what he called the “1 in 10” airplane is exactly the right sort of goal in my mind. The single biggest impediment to achieving that kind of a goal is leadership culture. The technical stuff is easy if you get the attitudes right. If you don’t the technical stuff becomes both irrelevant and impossible.

            What he meant by that “1 in 10” phrase (Alan was very good at coming up with such succinct phrases) was to get to where from program kick-off to first flight took only 10 months, and cost only $1 billion 1997 dollars. He strongly believed that this could be achieved, and that if a customer wanted to place an order for a unique combination of features that nobody else wanted, and they only wanted to buy 100 planes, that we should be able to take the order. Of course, this would be pure GAAP, since the whole program would fit in a single reporting period. No accounting block would be needed.

            As an aside, Alan’s quip for the program goal on the 777 was “Denver to Honolulu on a hot day.” That simple phrase really did describe to totality of what had to be done. One of my prized possessions is a hand written note of his in my copy of Jim Lewis’s “Working Together.”

          • Usually I am more alert, but I sure missed how having your company 50 billion in debt is a brilliant strategy to secure your company future.

            Then to really secure it further, you have two airplanes crash (mostly due to the MCAS 1.0), have the 777X delayed and then to top it off, they cleverly made sure that there were shim fit issues so you could pile up 120 aircraft.

            And even better, by all this work, you get to pay penalties to your customers for aircraft not delivered. How could I have possibly missed that? I am hanging my head in shame.

            I now have to rethink Pickets Charge at Gettysburg.

        • Scott Correa, Frank P.

          Mixture of speculation with ranting.

          If it were true, it would have been made with a cheaper scale model, wouldn’t it?…

          But as the stakes are much greater, it is a real-scale test bench


  19. “Preparing to close in to come near a milestone to an off-ramp to possible certification..”

    Show us, don’t tell us- because we’ve heard it all before from Boing. More hackneyed verbiage..

    • Was it Boeing who said it?
      A timeline was given in the article. I’m assuming you read it?

      • If you’re not confident in the veracity of your source, *why* report it? Perception management, perhaps?

        • Source could’ve come from the FAA, doesn’t necessarily have to come from Boeing

          • Ahh, Ye Olde Plausible Deniabllity ploy.

            I’m so old I remember when off-the-record sources
            were considered highly suspect, and were very seldom quoted.

          • Let’s compare what the AW article claims with what in fact happens, over a bit of time.
            I’ve found that to be a good approach- esp
            with Boing.

            Hey, maybe the MAX-7 really will be certified next month! (per the article).

          • >> Opus

            Indeed, it is not Boeing which claims this because it has adopted a less “braggart” behavior when it comes to certification by the FAA among others. Calhoun demonstrated this by repeatedly asserting that it was all up to the FAA.

    • I remember, not that long ago, a poster was quite confident the MAX 7 would be certified in Q3, based on WN plans to fly them in early 2024. Now, it seems such plan has to be delayed.

  20. So the nonsensical Mr. Checklist has free rein here, despite being “banned” at the same time the *value-adding commenter* Bryce was. I sure hope Bryce gets the same right to speak here.

    • I think it will become clear soon enough just what this opaque medium is about; and for whose benefit.

    • Wasn’t this absurdity highlighted by your friend Bryce, who said that the 737MAX-7/-10 would not get a certification extension last December?

      I almost swore Boeing would get it. A few days later the 737MAX -7/-10 obtained an exemption.

      I used the word ‘absurd’ if that didn’t happen.
      Didn’t your friend Bryce proclaimed without foundation that the orders for Saudi 787 ) Dreamliners were not completed despite the tweet of the presentation of the RyadAir livery?
      Just a small sampling of your friend Bryce’s mistakes.

      It’s Bryce’s absurdity and yours that has been on display for far too long here,
      Imprint that in your head…

      • seems like Checklist is obsessed (e.g. bashing) Bryce Might be time for Scott to give Checklist a “timeout” or let Bryce back in to have a level “playing field”

        • Checklist’s last chance is blown. He’s done for good.


    • He keeps himself in check and don’t take every post on Boeing like a personal affront. Up to Mr. Hamilton

    • Checklist…..
      Small point. The -7 isnt approved yet, so youre congrats is a bit early…. Thats exactly how Fanchildren spin things…. well done on the spin, Fanchild

      • >> PNWgeek

        It seems that our Fanboys like this madman have excellent courage to insult behind a keyboard. Another social case here…

        • Dude, you can give your opinion without insulting me…

          Look at RetiredTechFellow, who knows how to communicate with respect even if he disagrees with me or whatever. Are you adult enough to understand?

      • If one brings up the satview of Paine Field in Bing maps (Google is using an EADS satellite source and has a VERY misleading view currently) you can see the 777 problem. Just look at all of the planes with no engines.

        I spent the day yesterday with another retiree who is starting a not-for-profit to provide music instruction for the blind, and this topic happened to come up at one point. The accounting issues for this “inventory” are legion. Probably the saddest thing though is the empty parking lots. That says more than all of those unfinished planes.

        BTW, it’s worth looking at the EADS view as well. I wonder how long it took someone using a tool like Photoshop to edit out all of the planes, and why they would bother. Some things people do are simply hilarious.

        • Ha ha, that’s way too conspiratorial. Look at Heathrow – image dated 4/10/23 shows not a single plane on the ground. It’s caused by the software they use to stitch images together.

          Nobody’s using Photoshop to erase Boeings at Paine. Ha ha ha.

          • OK, I’ll buy that. It’s awfully misleading though. But why would they put in some code to do that and delete all of the planes? I don’t get that.

          • Curious, I just checked a few others. JFK is full of planes, so is De Gaulle and Schiphol. Dulles is empty. What is the logic?

        • They don’t have software that “gets rid of the planes” specifically. They’ll have several images of a particular area – say they have three, and there’s a 777 parked in one of the three, they’ll decide it’s a temporary object and “merge” the images together and the plane will apparently disappear.

          It’s been happening for some time and doesn’t happen at all airports, so it may depend on the satellites involved and how many images they have. It really isn’t anything sinister or underhand, just a slightly bizarre consequence of how they produce the images.

          • OK, thanks. This is one of the stranger bits of code being unpredictable that I’ve encountered.

  21. Interesting to see where Riyadh Airlines goes for their large Narrow body order; as well as Akasa Air..
    We’ll probably find out soon enough at the Dubai Show..

    • Still relevant today:

      “The sales team would sell planes for delivery four years out *at prices the company couldn’t yet hit from an engineering standpoint*—creating immense pressure throughout the organization to drive down costs.”

  22. Rostec has Created the First Russian Robot for Manufacturing the MC-21 “Black” Wing
    If I recall right, the MC 21 had M Torres for composite tape laying. So let’s connect the dots…..Comac China CR929 has to be concerned about the reliability and availably of western mfg. equipment. So just buy the Russian composite tape laying machine (e.g. out of autoclave technology)
    In the long term, western equipment mfg. (US and EU) will be replaced by domestic producers….so western sanctions are only delaying the inevitable The Russian already replaced western composite material for the MC21

    • David P:

      Russia says a lot of things but you have to keep in mind that is not verified.

      In 30 years yes you can replace all the Western Stuff, but the reports are that they can’t supply other needs right now and how much is going to go into a program that has no return for the foreseeable future?

      The 929 is Kaput, but then it always was. Russia and China fighting over who gets what with China wanting it all, just give us all the tech, we will take it from there.

      The 929 had extensive Western equipment (engines, avionics) as well.

      So while each can foist domestic produced items into a State enterprise, that does not mean it can be done on a quantity basis or a quality basis required.

        • David P:

          Well something may be flying in 10 years.

          China has virtually no experience with composite aircraft mfg. So they have to invent that as well, all that tech was coming from Russia.

          All a 929 gets China is a domestic me too and then the Government foists it off on its State Owned Airlines who then are equal in their losses with it.

          In 10 years we will know what a BWB looks like (or not) and take it from there.

          Can China make a jet engine that has the reliability of a LEAP/GENX or PW GTF ? It would take a long time and ground testing does not do it (as we have seen).

          • Actually, back in 2018 they already had C929 composite fuselage section already completed If a recall, they were using French equipment for the tape layering
            My bet…….out of autoclave (black wing) with mfg equipment and materials from Russia and built in Xian They would be better to go the safe route with aluminum fuselage (e.g. C919) Look at Boeing struggling with 787 composite fuselage 20 years into the program

          • “Look at Boeing struggling .. ”

            IMU this is less of a materials choice thing
            than attached design decission ( monolithic tube, inner mandrel )
            _and_ general lacking in processes and stringent interface definitions ( and conforming to those )

            having issues with fitting sections and excessive shimming is sorely sticking out Boeing issue. Nobody else seems to have those.

          • You didn’t mean the reliability as bad as LEAP/GTF, right? 😂

  23. Reuters on BDS

    Boeing struggles to steer defense unit in another year of losses

    ‘Boeing’s executives said they are putting in place new training and deploying resources to suppliers to ensure the unit moves from negative margins to high-single digit margins by 2025-2026, when its most troubled programs are slated to be past flight testing and on more stable footing.

    “We’re driving lean manufacturing, program management rigor and cost productivity consistently across the division,” Chief Financial Officer Brian West said during a Wednesday earnings call. Boeing declined to comment beyond executives’ comments on the call.

    Byron Callan, a defense analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, said Boeing’s 2025-2026 timeline to get to positive margins is feasible but questioned why it took the company years to institute programs to improve execution.

    “Someone really dropped the ball on all of this,” he said.

    Boeing shares have lost 6% this year, compared with the broad-market S&P 500’s 9% gain.’



    We’ll see you in 2025-26 for positive margins at BDS?

    Wow. Just wow.

    • “We’re driving lean manufacturing, program management rigor and cost productivity consistently across the division,” Chief Financial Officer Brian West said..” [and more such word-salad corporatespeak..]

      That’s the latest claim. Boing says all kinds of things.. we’ll see how it goes.

      • Boing CFO West forgot the truly essential words “innovative”and “game-changer”, though.

        • So true.

          So when they say 2025-26, they really mean 2026.

          For the next 3 years BDS will have negative margins, dragging the rest of the company down. Another division will have to carry them…

          • Well you get on a downward trajectory and even if you do things right it takes time.

            So yea, I don’t see Boeing being profitable until 2025.

            That makes all the hollering about this quarters results irrelevant.

            Down the road, if its going to get better, you will have to look at changes to the Plus side (and Frank P, please note, “if its going to get better”)

            None of this is any surprise.

          • @TW

            Let me think, if you are in charge of a co. that is losing $$$ quarter after quarter, can you close your eyes for two years, without knowing any performance metrics and be sure the co. is turned around?

          • ‘That makes all the hollering about this quarters results irrelevant.’

            So financial results are only relevant when they show profitability? Otherwise, don’t comment on them?


          • Frank P:

            You sure like to misquote me.

            What I said is a single result is not relevant.

            Clearly what is and has been for a while, Boeing is in the pits. 50 billion in debt.

            We know that and its expected, there are no miracle turns in the near future.

            The question is has Boeing bottomed out or are they still going down and at what rate (faster, slower?)

            So yea, its a single snap shot that is a long series of snap shots and its going to take a while to see if there is a change.

            2026 is not a bad guess (yes I adjusted that up from 2025).

            There is also a lot in motion on the defense side that could be part of the U Turn. More KC-46A orders, T-7A passing its test and going into full rate production, T-7B for an adversarial fighter, more F-15EX as the USAF keeps dropping combat numbers and the F-35 stays in hiatus.

            So as the family says, Stay Tuned.

          • Frank P:

            My job was to look forward, keeping in mind lessons learned.

            During any piloting, what you need to do is keep ahead of the aircraft.

            What they now call upset training (unusual attitudes in my day) the first thing you did when you came out from under the hood was to see what the trend was.

            For instance, you might well have a negative Vertical speed, but if it was slowing down, then you had to assess that, how fast and what the correct adjustment was (having scanned airspeed, the artificial horizon if you had it, cross referenced to turn and bank).

            Then you made a correction for your recovery. To me that was the best part of flying.

            On the other hand a bit of data in time such as how much fuel you put in and how many inches were in the tank total is invaluable, you are making decisions based on that snap shot.

            The snapshot is extremely important, but its not the entire basis for what is going on (did you get into a cloud and are you disoriented and need to recovery from a untenable situation?) If so the fuel becomes the last thing on your list, not to be forgotten but not the immediate driver.

            Every financial institution saw this coming (yes we will run out of fuel and make a decision on where to re-fuel).

            But if your fuel gauges say you are close to empty and your calcs say you should have over 1/4 tank?

            Yep, land ASAP and sort it out (checking for a fuel loss first).

            So, the Boeing snapshot is important for decisions (hopefully) as to what the company future actions are.

            But while the men on a ship have to do damage control when hit, the admiral needs to know what the status of the fleet is and can they continue the mission?

            And in reality that is what the quarterly is, a look at a current status, are they on plan or sinking still, faster or slower and does it match the plan (hopefully there is one) and the forecast and if not, why and adjustments to be made.

            From my end, I am interested in where Boeing is going and hoping that the past decisions are being rectified.

            That hope is adjusted based on where it goes many quarters in the rear view mirror.

            There is no question that you need that information to make decisions, and again I see signs of hope.

            I could very well be wrong.

            It would be nice to see you read what I write and not just the auto smash.

            You were correct and I was making fun of your profession, I should have made clear or clearer it was just from my take.

            I always understood that a company succeeds or fails on accounting just as much as workers and or management.

          • @Trans

            The point that I think you are missing is that Boeing future is rooted in it’s past and it’s all because of the way they are using program accounting.

            Historically, you try to match revenues to expenses, recognizing both in the period they occur, so that users of financial statements get an accurate picture.

            Look at it this way;

            In 2015, deferred costs on the 787 hit $32 billion. If you look at the ‘snapshot’, as you say – then the company was going to expense that $32 billion in costs, over the remaining orders, which were some 1,150 jets.

            That was the snapshot.


            Now, after approaching the delivery target of 1,150 jets, which is where we are today – the picture is some $13 billion over 1,900 jets (after a series of write offs, R&D fancy footwork and some expenses being pulled out).

            Boeing’s future, when accrue costs like they do – is completely a result of what happened in previous years. When you kick the can down the road, the burden of profitability falls onto orders that had no relation whatsoever, to when the expenses were incurred.

            The orders they are getting now, are paying the penance for the sins of their past.


            You are correct.

            Habitually, when something happened in the past, you took your medicine, admitted your mistakes & learned from them and moved on. all the wiser for it. It was then in your rear view mirror.

            But when you avoid the results of your actions and push off having to face the results to another day, it hangs over your head like a sword of Damocles.


            Why profitability matters

            Earnings are a function of two things:

            Revenues less expenses. The excess of that is earnings, which you get to keep. If there is a shortfall, you have to make it up by spending money you get from elsewhere.

            Boeing is getting whacked in both revenues and expenses; they aren’t charging enough for their aircraft and due to various issues, and expenses are going up – not coming down (as one would expect as you get better at making something).

            But they are squirreling away the expenses for problems they have NOW, which will have to burden future deliveries.


            Under normal circumstances, what you say is absolutely true;

            It’s behind us. It’s done. Let’s move on. What does the future hold? It’s the old ‘rip the bandaid off’ analogy, versus slowing pulling it bit by bit.

            Given all the production balances on all the programs, all the losses they have incurred, all the borrowings they had to undertake to cover those losses – the past isn’t done yet, is it?

            That’s why what happened before, is so important here.

    • “We’re driving lean manufacturing, program management rigor and cost productivity consistently across the division,”

      If you want to increase eficiency you start with the biggest drag and fix it as close to source as possible.
      Boeing apparently does nothing in that direction and instead starts to even more lean on suppliers.


  24. So one of the things I really appreciate about Scott’s forum is the opportunity to read what others have to say. This is a pretty smart group on average, and I almost always learn something, even from some of the somewhat “difficult” comments. That bit today about the image filtering on Google Maps was a good example, but there have been many others, so my thanks to all of you.

    Now on this lean stuff, there is absolutely zero chance that this crowd can make lean work. Perhaps the single most critical aspect of what has come to be called lean or continuous improvement is the cultures. It is absolutely critical and baseline fundamental that the employees feel a sense of ownership and understand the difference between the good kind of pride and the one that is the first (always listed seventh) of the seven deadly sins.

    After Pope Gregory I reworked the original list of “eight evil thougts” described by Evagrius Ponticus and translated from his original Greek into Latin by John Cassian, these became the standard for good and bad human behavior in western thought. Even Thomas Aquinas said they were the right way to think about things.

    Well, the good kind of pride requires a sense of humility and respect for one’s work, and then a commitment to do one’s best as a result. The bad kind (the foundational element of the seven deadlies) is the boastful stuff that makes us feel good merely because we think we are somehow associated with something good. Cassian called it supurbia.

    Now the the problem with West’s statement is that everything these GE guys have done just reeks of the seven deadlies. It’s like they go down the list each day and try to check each as a task to be accomplished. The example they set just oozes with greed on display. boastful pride, vainglory. wrath when someone challenges them, wallowing in perks (luxuria), and grabbing as much as they can for themselves (gula or gluttony). With a leadership example like that, there is just not even the tiniest chance of inculcating a culture throughout the company that causes people to treat the place with a sense of devotion and ownership. And without that, the rest of what it takes to do meaningful continuous improvement is simply impossible.

    • Anyone ever watch any of the Dan Brown movies with Professor Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks? I’m talking about The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno? (I especially like A&D, but there are also aspects of Inferno, especially the character Harry ‘The Provost’ Sims – played by Irrfan Khan, that are enjoyable.)

      The character of Professor Langdon could be explained as James Bond, without the gadgets & Q branch; without the suave debonair lady killer looks, the sexy Aston Martin DB5 & the 3 piece suits; without the guns or hand to hand combat training – but a plethora of knowledge.

      Why do I feel like every time I read a post from you – RTF, it’s as if it has been written by Langdon? (Especially the parts in Angels & Demons when he’s explaining to the members of the Roman Catholic Church, what happened in their history – because they are clueless. )

      You also strike me as the kind of guy who – on his CV, would list under languages; fluency in Latin – both written & spoken. (Just because you needed to fill in your four electives to finish your degree and thought that speaking and reading Latin would be a nice thing to be able to do, instead of taking an Art History course or something, not that there’s anything wrong with AH.)

      It is definitely an educational experience to read your posts and I think that we are all the wiser for your presence here.

      Now please excuse me while I go find the wikipage on Pope Gregory I and try to learn a little bit about what he did.

  25. If the Lockbit thing blows up, we should have that discussion on a dedicated thread instead of adding it here.

  26. If Boeing is going to be profitable in 2025 as some here claim,
    they’d better hop to it, no? I am not seeing how that inference
    is being made, myself.

  27. Question for the engineers/planners/development guys. Given what was posted here by RTF:

    ‘What he meant by that “1 in 10” phrase (Alan was very good at coming up with such succinct phrases) was to get to where from program kick-off to first flight took only 10 months, and cost only $1 billion 1997 dollars. He strongly believed that this could be achieved, and that if a customer wanted to place an order for a unique combination of features that nobody else wanted, and they only wanted to buy 100 planes, that we should be able to take the order. ‘


    Someone like Lear, or Gulfstream or Cessna, take a billion dollars (or may be two, in today’s money) and assemble ‘that’ team of 200 airplane guys and gals and using readily available parts/production methods and suppliers – put together a moderately competitive product?

    Say you looked at the market and decided on making an A321Neo competitor. Maybe it doesn’t hit 100% the same economies that Airbus gets, but 90%. But you run a very flat operation – not many levels of mgmt sitting in between the boss and the guys doing the work.

    You use tried and true existing technologies and as many parts that are available. (Say the supply chain could support the demand)

    Could it be done? Could a start up do it, if it had a financial backer who was ready to risk a couple of billion? If not 2 billion, then how much? Ball park…

    • Let me share some more. The 20xx program was very secretive inside Boeing. I was never clear if that was because Alan wanted it that way or if it was imposed upon him. But, the reality is fewer than 1,000 people in the company knew what it was really about, and it may have been as few as 500. The cover stories were not just for what was told the public, they were internal as well. A good example is the dog and pony show on 20xx airplane #1, which became the 787. To hide what was really going on, a huge deal was made of one of the study options, the so-called Yellowstone airplane. That’s what everyone was told was the non-existent Sonic Cruiser program. A lot of PR money was spent on that cover story. Yellowstone was a real configuration candidate, but there were two others that were every bit as serious. The cover story was VERY effective. I heard a bunch of E-series managers talk about it and they were totally taken in by the nonsense.

      OK, so 20xx was roughly a 50 year plan that was going to replace the entire family of standard offerings. There was some debated as to whether there would be three or four of those. The basic three were planes in the 737/757 size range, the 767 range (that was airplane #1) and the 777 range. The 737 replacement (aka the New Small Airplane) was to be 20xx airplane #2. There was a lot of debate as to whether the a baby twin aisle would be included as a 4th baseline.

      The idea was that at the end of the three or four programs, the transformations in the way we and the whole industry worked would have gotten us to the “1 in 10” goal. It was a 50 year plan that was as much about learning and process transformation as anything else.

      There was to be a dramatic increase in the level of component and systems interface standards. Think AIRINC standards raised by two orders of magnitude in their scope. This would have set the suppliers free to run way ahead of the airframe manufacturers, who would be much more in the component and systems integration business as opposed to the clean sheet design business. That was critical to being able to achieve the needed regulatory support.

      Key to the plan on the program was the Supplier Management organization. The number of engineers in that part of the program would need to be more than double over what had been the historical standard.

      OK, so nobody knows what was said in that closed door meeting between Alan and Prince Jim which resulted in Alan immediately accepting Bill Ford’s offer after it was over, but I’ve always believed it was McNerney making it clear that he had no intention of funding the Supplier Management requirements of 20xx airplane #1, let alone maintaining that for the whole 50 year program. That would have been inconsistent with his continuance of Stonecipher’s plan to drain away the company’s capital resources.

      Whatever, the normal engineering staffing in Supplier Management for the old style programs would have been anywhere from 25 to 50 people. On 787 there were exactly 2. The third one was hired in 2011 after it became clear that the program was no where near being on a sustaining production footing. The suppliers had not been given even the old style level of support they needed for them to be able to know what they should be doing. That third engineer actually lived in our house for a few months before she found a place of her own. She was straight out of the Peace Corps and was the daughter of a first cousin of my college roommate.

      The old Boeing really did work like a family, and that was one of the things the GE thieving idiots had to destroy in order to drain away the wealth of the company as much as they have. Jail is too good for the likes of McNerney.

      • I think that all falls in line with what we saw on the public side with Mullaly.

        First he was passed over for CEO. Prior to that the only way he could get an aircraft program was the ridiculous 787 outsource/risk sharing. Once committed Boeing would have to continue.

        Mullaly of course knew the 787 rollout was hollow in more than just the aircraft as well as knowing where the blame would be despite it being Boeing program approved by the board.

        So with nothing but years of misery and firing anyway, no reason not to join Ford who was going all in to keep the company in business.

    • The time and resource requirements in projects shows exponential growth when you go beyond the capability of one person ( genius or not ) holding full project state.

      look at ( read )
      Northcote Parkinson on distributing workloads
      Brooks on The Mythical Man Month
      Pournelle on Bureaucracies and their deterioration

      IMU this is an MBA Types wet dream. not much more.

      again IMU: Boeing walloped through all the possible errors
      that could have been avoided by some premeditation
      and heeding Einstein: Make the model as simple as possible _but not simpler_

      In the end I still think that Boeing tried to go Cargo Cult on the Airbus Design
      Model while having jingoistic attitudes on being vastly superior to those “Old
      Europeans” and doing frolocking leap frogging.

    • Yes
      But why, one would be going up against two established OEMs and their world wide support structures. There is more ROI in Defense and Biz jets.

      I have asked the same question and that is the answer I come up with. Its the question Boeing is faced with. If you are going to put money into a me too aircraft, other than keeping existing customers happy, why would an airline change OEMs?

      • ‘There is more ROI in Defense and Biz jets.’

        I think historically at AB & BA, commercial has been better.

        ‘If you are going to put money into a me too aircraft, other than keeping existing customers happy, why would an airline change OEMs?’

        Execution. Supply constraints. If you make a 90%er, with stuff that is already out there, not trying to push the design envelope too much – could you get something to market in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable price.

        You’re also assuming that existing customers are happy. I’m sure that there are probably even some AB customers that aren’t thrilled with the bottlenecks and engine problems. Yes, when everything works well, they’re happy. But that hasn’t been the case. BA…well. We don’t even need to go there

        • A third manufacturer in the 175-200 pax space would be enthusiastically received by the airlines because there would be a three way competition for first time since the MD80 competed with the 737 and A320.

          The aircraft would have to be developed cheaply because to win sales competitions against two established OEMs is going to required some low balling of prices. And hopefully get one or two blue chip customers to bite and order.

          But as Scott Correa has explained, engineering the plane is least of your problems.

          • @ Frank

            The more I think about it, a company like NG or LM would be better off going to Boeing and buying the rights to the 757, take some weight out of it, use present engines and restart the logistics chain. Could it be done for 2 Billion?……………..Hmmmmm

          • You know – that would not be a bad idea. IF…BA would sell it to them, but why would they open the door to another competitor? Maybe a license agreement?

            A really smart move would have been to buy the 757 tooling for pennies on the dollar when BA got rid of it and had it ready to use it…if you could acquire the rights.

            757 with de-rated 787 engines? If you could get the wings to fit inside the 36m gates.

            Not a bad idea.


            Side note:

            After a conversation with Scott C, we had a gander at this:

            Given that Delta made it profitable to use older less efficient aircraft because they had Tech Ops to maintain them (lower capital costs meant they didn’t need to fly them all the time, like cargo airlines, they could let them sit and whip them out when needed)

            How about this:

            An MRO operation acquires older aircraft which it can maintain, for a pittance. Then they fly the jets, using the Delta model.

            He also postulates that they could wet lease to other airlines (pilots only, not cabin crew) these aircraft, as needed.

            The MRO operator also has revenue streams coming in from maintaining the aircraft of other airlines/lessors.

            It’s an interesting thought

          • @williams and @Frank, You wouldn’t do this for the wing. If you could see the inside of the skin and spar plant at Frederickson or whatever BAE has that does the same job in Northern Ireland you would quickly understand.

            If you have any machine shop experience, you know that rigidity of the milling machine is everything. Getting an accurate shape when your table and ways are relatively small (less than six feet wide) takes a pretty hefty machine. OK, let’s start with an aluminum spar, which is a pretty amazing bit of machining.

            The spar is milled on a machine that rides on rails. It has a continuous taper along its entire length, with a huge complex geometry change in the first few feet up by the side-of-body bulkhead. At that end it is about 2″ thick and quickly tapers down to less than an inch in those first few feet. then for the remaining length of the spar it is pretty much a straight-line taper to the other end where it is only about 1/4″ thick or less. It is a truly amazing piece of machining, and that mill setup is industry unique. So to set one up you would be building a custom machine, and the site selection would be critical. The foundations for it need to be such that the machining accuracy is reliable, and we’re talking holding tolerances to a few tens.

            The skins are not as complex in terms of their milling, but they have to be pressure rolled to the right thicknesses, which also taper over their length. Then they have to be formed into their complex curves. This is done using shot peening on a form. Once again, the setup is a monster and industry unique.

            My point is that you would not build such equipment for a new plane the size of a 737 or larger, and keep in mind that on the Boeing single aisle planes, a fairly long list of infrastructure items dictate the maximum length of the wings. You would be green sheeting a new plane, and would almost certainly want a more slender and longer wing, so that spar mill would be even larger.

            The only thing that would make any sense at all for a green sheet plane is a composite wing. The tooling is similarly sized, and the layup beds have similar accuracy needs, but in production getting the spar tolerances and skin shapes do not pose near the quality control challenges one has with aluminum.

            In a little known event, just to drive this point home. After the 2001 Nisqually earthquake the skin forming presses at Frederickson were not immediately checked for their tolerances and recalibrated. And those for the 767 skins were off. A bunch of 767 thin skins actually made it into revenue service with ANA. They were perfectly safe, but their projected life was about half of what was expected. ANA was told about it and given some significant compensation.

          • @Frank

            True, it would depend on Boeing and we are talking hypothetical anyways. For the 757 to be competitive it would need to go on a diet, which would necessitate a new wing. Hopefully one that would bring down 757 60 ton or so OEW. Closer to A321NEOs or 737-10s 50 ton OEW. Then one could use the same engines. New wing would make up for a somewhat heavier than the competition weight. Doing what is describes blows through the 2 Billion figure but at least it would be a seriously competitive aircraft against the A321NEO and 737-10MAX.

    • No..its not possible.
      Its not the design and manufacture that will prevent a new entrant from entering the business. Its the documentation of the production system. The hidden costs of a startup center around the creation of all the process specifications required to build the product. Boeing had to create literally hundreds of pages of instructions in their Hole Preperation manual alone.. Now lets specify all the paint, all the sealant, all the wire termination methods, all the proprietary drawings for special fastemers, processing manuals for how u cure carbonfiber parts and every concievable process in the factory….. THEN there is the creation of the QPL this is all the qualified procurememt list items that you need to trst and specify as appproved for purchasing, identifying a source AND it has to marry up with all your process specifications. By the time you create all this stuff, you will be very deep into both your budget and timeline. Theres a joke that says the airplane cant fly until the paperwork weighs more than it does…..

      • Sorry Scott, it is very possible. Yes it would take a couple of decades and iterations through at least three programs, but can it be done? No question.

        I was going to type a separate note in response to several things that have been said here, but this is as good of a place as any. It’s about the scientific method and thinking like a scientist, which is actually uncommon for engineers. Engineers tend to operate based on rules of thumb and data generated by experience. Science is quite different, and especially the scientific mindset.

        The phrase “scientific method” has been around for only a little over a century. The Idea of experimentation has been around for thousands of years. But it really didn’t start to come together until William of Ockham made his famous observation that we have simplifed to the KISS principle. Take all existing data and formulate a model that is as simple as possible to account for it. That’s leg one of the the three key parts of the method.

        The second part is guided research. Using the model as a starting point, perform experiments to see if what the model predicts is actually right. People have been doing that off and on at least since the ancient Greeks, but Aristotle set things back by making a much of nonsensical so-called empirical observations that were taken as gospel truth for well over a thousand years, but which unfortunately just weren’t so.

        The first person that we know for sure to insist that constant skepticism, even when experiments produce results that seem to be in agreement with the model was actually an ancient Greek text by Sextus Empiricus which due to the introduction of papermaking, making an invention like Gutenberg’s movable type useful in Europe, was finally translated into Latin and published in a meaningful way. Even though his name immediately came to be the common adjective ’empirical’ it wasn’t until Thomas Kuhn’s book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” in the 1960s that the critical importance of never ending skepticism became a hard fast required part of the method and scientific thinking.

        This is why I call scientific thinkers the bravest people I know. It requires one to always submit one’s most dearly held beliefs to modification in light of new data. That is a proposition that is terrifying to most people. But, once one has crossed the bridge into truly being a scientific thinker, there is no going back.

        Once you are a scientific thinker, engineering challenges begin to look a bit different. Those rules of thumb in the engineering textbooks are always taken with a grain of salt (think Wilbur Wright and how he began to doubt the drag and lift tables that Chanute was using).

        Here is what people like Mulally believe. Almost any barrier can be overcome given sufficient time, resources, and motivation. The exercise he led people through was one designed to get people to get beyond their bias of perspective about the accepted limitations of their respective engineering disciplines. He asked a simple question. How many years out in the future will people in your discipline be doing things differently and be free from the constraints you now accept as givens?

        You go around the table and get everyone’s number of years. Then you take the longest one and write it down. That’s your initial delivery date. Then you start mapping everything that will have had to have happened between now and then to make that possible. Those are your schedule milestones. You have just been set free from your current limitations. Now the fun begins. How do we pull the schedule back to the left?

        The hilarious thing is that when we started thinking this way in Boeing under his guidance it was this big secret. And yet at Ford, Mulally worked with Bryce Hoffman to get it into his book. It’s all out there for anyone who wants to read it. Once you know where you are going, it does become possible to get their faster. The key is to identify the most painful change parts and get those behind you as fast as you can.

        A 1-in 10 airplane as the result of a 50 year plan and three programs that take you there incrementally? Oh yeah, that is definitely doable.

        • RTF
          I think you are speaking apples and oranges. The specific question of Franks was this…………

          Someone like Lear, or Gulfstream or Cessna, take a billion dollars (or may be two, in today’s money) and assemble ‘that’ team of 200 airplane guys and gals and using readily available parts/production methods and suppliers – put together a moderately competitive product?

          That had little if anything to do with your “answer” Especially when you say it may take a couple decades and 3 models. clearly that is far outside the scope of the question Frank asked with respect to 1 or 2 billion dollars getting it done…….

          Great writing and I agree with a lot of what you write, but if you’re going to disagree with me, at least be closer to on point.


          • Sorry, when you said “not it’s not possible” I thought you were referring to the 1 in 10 airplane, not the possibility of a new entrant.

            The answer to your question would very much depend upon what is available in the way of tooling in the used market and scrap yards. Could a billion and 200 of the right people do it totally from scratch. No, so I’m agreeing with you on that. Could they do it if they could lay their hands on all of the stuff that came out of the Relativity plant in Long Beach? Maybe. They would be short an autoclave and a large tool and die shop. Could they do it if Boeing’s Auburn, Fredrickson fab, or the DC ever become available with the equipment that is now in the buildings? Absolutely. Then all they would need is a runway.

            There is another possibility that I would need someone with advanced composite curing experience to evaluate. About 20 years ago, the materials science program at the University of Calgary made some noise about having figured out a better way to cure composite structures, and without using an autoclave. They had some sort of gun that used a variable energy bean that could be focused at any depth in the layup. I never heard any more from them, but if that stuff works and could be done economically at scale, that might change the answer here.

          • Russia supposedly has created the MC-21 using out of auto clave curing.

            I am suspect as I can’t find some information on the MC-21 so not entirely sure it all out of auto clave or most.

            The 929 idea was to take (strong on take) the Russian tech and build a wide body (China doing the taking)

  28. -> “On the MAX, I initially suspected the pilots & their training. Many of us did.

    During my next sim, though, after some details had come out, the instructor had designed his own program to replicate the conditions. We had finished the FAA sim requirements early & he asked if we wanted to try it.

    We did. He ran the trim. We knew it was coming, but tried to put ourselves in the position of a confused crew, unaware of the system.

    Once the trim is fully back, moving it manually is impossible. Even if you get the trim system turned off, getting the airplane back under control is extremely difficult.

    In effect, you have to do a parabola; at the top, w/ slow airspeed, you get maybe 15-20 seconds where you can manually turn the trim wheel. As the airplane heads back down & airspeed increases, though, you don’t have the strength to overcome the aerodynamic forces on the tail (which is connected to the wheel via a cable…both of which usually move via electric & hydraulic power).

    With practice, we were eventually able to recover from an MCAS failure. But not the first time. Or the second.

    It changed my mind.

      • very much IMU and IMHO:
        the excellence of the Hudson landing was to be found in premeditation.
        ( Sully must have spent lots of time thinking through potential happenstances )

        Deciding early on towards an achievable ( if on first blush risky ) goal.

        preemting the checklist and starting the APU immediately.

        The remainder was flying while using the Airbus protections.

        Others might have gone for some kind of regular landing on terra firma
        with higher probability of “not getting there”.

    • @Pedro

      You forgot the rest of the tweet.

      “(I fly the MAX regularly now; it’s been fixed & is a very safe, pleasant airplane…one I have no reservations about putting my kids on. It’s a treat to get one on a trip.)”

      I have little respect for one who purposely post things out of context.

      • BA purposely hid MCAS from airlines and pilots. BA should bear all responsibilities, including criminal negligence. Still quite a number of posters believe the crash wouldn’t happen if more experienced American pilots were there.

  29. Pedro.
    You are missing a very important aspect of MCAS and it is clouding your thinking. You couldn’t train on MCAS because it had no off switch and there was no intervention path for the crew to follow. Telling the crew that it existed, when they could do nothing to affect its operation accomplished nothing and it was quite logical to make no entry’s in the training curriculum when there were no crew actions to be taught. That is far different than your claim that Boeing intentionally hid it.

    • “That is far different than your claim that Boeing intentionally hid it.”


      They made all the relevant moves to avoid even looking at the issue.
      That afaics is intentionally keeping information away from the enduser.

      Brazil made them add information on UI changes and MCAS.
      At that point Boeing should have reconsidered, spreading that information to other doains.

    • PNWGeek:

      I think there are two aspects to this.

      Boeing did hide it, that would be an upper level decision (keep in mind the million dollar penalty to South West if it was not fully common with no additional training needed)

      Brazil did make Boeing list it in their manuals, but only in Brazil as that is the limit of their authority to do so.

      The Ethiopian crash proved even with knowledge, they ran smack into it. While there were contributing causes, none of those would have been involved without MCAS (ergo, knowledge is not enough, you need the training and regardless, MCAS 2.0 where it simply can’t do what it did)

      Some people made a big deal about the alert light that was an option.

      Back to your point, unless you knew what it meant, what it implied and what to do about it, that alert light would probably never even be seen.

      Its all a package (training included) and the way the software was written was simply nuts.

  30. Again, the most dangerous thing about MCAS are the processes by which it was created, both management and engineering. And sadly, the most problematic aspects of those two things have not changed. But, we have gone over all that several times here.

  31. RTF,
    Funny you mention the processes that produced MCAS. I have a sneaking feeling that the MCAS debacle was the unintended outcome of ETAC, a PRR Supplemental release and a Change Board Leader that didn’t have the depth of knowledge to activate the correct PIN Numbers when the statement of work was evaluated. Try this on for size, The statement of work for the PRR Supplemental Release said to create a software patch inside the existing Speed Trim/Mach Trim programming modifying the the FCC utilizing the existing pitch vanes for input data. Since it was a supplemental Release, only the Program Item Number owners selected by the Change Board got notified that the statement of work was out there. This is contrasted with the Basic Release that opened every PIN Number when the Max was created. Since the Change Board Manager was in charge of coordination of the Supplemental release and only had software changes on the SOW, Dollars to Donuts says there was never any thought given to getting any Flight Controls or Stability and controls people involved. ETAC (Engineering Tracking and Control) always drives the work through the Engineering groups, and if your PIN Number wasn’t activated by change board, the MCAS package would have been invisible to you. So there was never any reason for the Flight controls groups to lose their minds. There is NO WAY IN HELL that a stab and control guy would have allowed it to happen. I’m sure they didn’t know about MCAS until the crashes were getting figured out.

    • It still totally boggles my mind that such an insidious, essentially uncontrollable system as MCAS could have ever been
      allowed through.. are there not multiple layers of oversight, esp for something so important?

      And no accountability..

      • I wouldn’t be so hard on folks Vincent, except that when someone with some deep experience in tech architectures starts pounding the table consistently over the course of a couple decades, it would be nice if someone took it seriously.

        Both the emergence of the tech complexity problem and the loss of talent in aerospace in general and Boeing in particular happened very gradually over many years. It was easy to not realize the implications of these two things. This is why finding the right people for engineering leadership positions is so very important. Fundamentally, they have two paramount tasks. They have to know what challenges to not give their engineering teams, and they have to know what questions to ask. Almost none of the engineering leaders that came along after Mulally and Gillette had these qualities. On top of that, several of them had serious issues with their personal values and ethics. And, guys like McNerney are like vicious animals that just don’t take no for an answer, so finding someone with the toughness to do that is pretty hard. Basically anyone who would tell them no when it needed to be said would have never gotten the job.

        • Thanks for your reply, RTF. I’m still amazed that someone, somewhere would not blow the whistle,
          despite personal and professional cost. What a time
          we’re living in..

          • Vincent.
            My post about the engineering change release process was intended to show how the people that would have lost their minds over the MCAS implementation weren’t invited into the change board meetings because the change board manager didn’t understand the implications of changing the pitch data stream from advisory to control. Until MCAS, the pitch vanes were advisory data in that they did not drive a control function so a single vane feeding data was fine. MCAS, being a control function, was incorporated without anybody catching that this required a change to the input data stream to eliminate a single point failure…. You are screaming about the wrong things…….

            OBTW, Bryce thanks you for sticking up for him…

          • Scott C:

            As the MCAS mess was revealed, I was astonished on the first simple aspect.

            That was a single control input not being cross verified (AOA).

            Either you cross verify, or you have safeties after that but a single sensor failure driving a system, that truly was nuts.

            The rest was nuts as well, but the AOA should have been a showstopper by itself.

          • TransWorld
            Scott C:
            As the MCAS mess was revealed, I was astonished on the first simple aspect. That was a single control input not being cross verified (AOA). Either you cross verify, or you have safeties after that but a single sensor failure driving a system, that truly was nuts.
            The rest was nuts as well, but the AOA should have been a showstopper by itself.

            The thing being missed is that there was a subtlety missed on the pitch vanes. They were already there and functioning fine as a single input source, because the data fed advisory data on displays and had no control function. When the SOW came out directing a programming change creating MCAS. The programmers did their job and change board missed the conversion of the data stream from advisory to control, and with it the need to have input data redundancy. This meant they didn’t get the correct peeps in the meetings and the stab and controls guys (among others) weren’t there to object. It was a Mongolian Cluster, not because Boeing lacked the safeguards, but because the Change board manager didn’t have the experience to see what was actually in the SOW and get the correct players in the room. If the correct players were there, the reuse of the existing data stream would have been caught, and BA would be 35 billion dollars better off.

          • People at Boeing should have been criminally prosecuted.

          • I would add two things to your analysis Scott C.
            The FMA or FMEA if you like, also should have caught the mistake. However, since the FMA work wasn’t done, that also didn’t happen. This leads back into the complexity issue which starts with a question.

            Why wasn’t the FMA done? I would at this point reference Bob Bogash’s open letter to the FAA investigators on this topic. Bob merely stated that the FMEA (his preferred term) was inadequate, but that’s a bit like saying that some kid’s sand castle is smaller than Neuschwanstein. What little was done was so insignificant as to be irrelevant. And that is the reason it wasn’t done. When the engineering leadership realized how massive that job had become due to the total number of IC components on a board, and the lines of software that are loaded onto those chips on those boards, they correctly concluded that it was a next to impossible task.

            Now at this point, the right thing to have done would have been to scrap the hardware design, break apart the MCAS LRU into separate boxes each having well defined discrete functions, and put some strict limits on the amount of code allowed to be loaded into each. In other words, pull the whole system back into a design envelope that humans can manage. But they didn’t for the high level reasons that have been stated by several people here and on previous threads.

            Yes there were too few data inputs. Yes there was insufficient data quality checking done in the code, and yes, the people writing the code exceeded the boundaries of their engineering disciplines and started playing with control functions they didn’t understand. But, I think those are just individual trees in a forest, and it is the forest that is the problem.

            The complexity issue is still there today. Software is just as addictive as fentanyl, and can lead to similarly disastrous consequences in some situations. The hardware design needs to protect the code weenies from doing things they shouldn’t. I’m including the system software as a part of the hardware when I say that, since those two disciplines routinely work together to create a platform for the application or mission code to run on. I don’t think it matters all that much as to how those two teams split the provisioning of functionality in the platform. Ever since the invention of the FPGA and self healing circuitry, it has been hard to tell system software design and chip design apart.

            It’s been 30 years now since the FPGA was invented and I still marvel at what it does.

          • RTF said
            Why wasn’t the FMA done? I would at this point reference Bob Bogash’s open letter to the FAA investigators on this topic. Bob merely stated that the FMEA (his preferred term) was inadequate…..

            Ok, as was noted in a different thread involving the need to actually fly the TTBW. Historically, BA’s modeling appears to have been a bit conservative in that the airplanes always outflew the predicted performance numbers when on weight. Combine this with the fact that non linearity of the pitch curve was not predicted and you see the model needs work. Its not unsafe, it just misses things at the edge of the envelope. When they flew the airplane and had the problem that MCAS addressed, they had not predicted it in the model. The statement that the modeling was inadequate perfectly describes the issue, and loops back to why they want to fly the TTBW, This would allow BA a chance to get somebody else to pay to increase the fidelity of the modeling they are using.

      • Vincent.
        Yet again, you lack an understanding of what happened with MCAS. The program worked perfectly. It saw the out of range pitch value and actuated, just like it was designed. The failing was not inside the program, but instead, it was the interface with the airplanes pitch vane sensors. The input data stream not hardened against the effects of an erroneous pitch value being driven by 1 sensor. When you go to see what MCAS system changes were made allowing it to fly today, you see that instead of 1 pitch vane feeding data to MCAS, now 2 are used and they must agree on the value to be transmitted. Both accident sequences revolved about unintended out of range pitch data inputs. 1 was a bird strike, the second was the installation of a non conforming pitch vane out of overhaul. BOTH EVENTS are Boeings fault for allowing a single channel data source to feed MCAS, but as history has shown, MCAS itself worked correctly. Try harder to understand what really happened, because your description of the events doesnt allign too well with facts.

        • Actually, I did not give a “description of the events”.
          Can you point to it, please?

          The fact is that the first installed *system* was [insanely!] dependent on a single sensor, had four
          times the control authority that is was initially designed for, and reengaged multiple times rather than switching off, as it should have.

          Call it whatever you like- but there is no way to justify that initial design.

        • I don’t know about Vicent.

          But you obviously have no understanding of the problem domain.

          MCAS is not the “trim fix” algorith but the complete function block added
          into (IMHO) the wrong place anyway.

          What it strongly lacked was input sanitation.
          What it got was leverage well beyond what was divulged to the certification authority.
          Absolutely insidious design element was “rinse repeat” on manual intervention.

          Covering all this was initial assumption that had no hold in reality.
          And the final lid on a catasthrophy was not including a function description in documentation for pilots.
          Just “nothing changed”

          Whole thing was enabled by lots of involved people with strongly vertical education.

          Finally and IMHO thecx whole gambit was penny pinching intentional. Brinkmanship for once gone terribly wrong.

  32. Scott, I am not surprised by your story, but it does make me sad.

    I think there should probably be some defined functional limits and boundaries, both in the way work is authorized, and in what the basic LRU hardware can do. Too much potential capability is being provisioned in these processors, and they are being given command data paths to things they shouldn’t (i.e. violating the boundaries of the disciplines of the designers). When you add in the Jurassic Park Syndrome (people not asking if they should), and the tendency to do way too much in software because its so cheap, these sorts of things seem almost inevitable.

    I still worry about what else might be lurking in some of these systems. If they are going to continue to use these highly capable LRUs that are connected to too many things, maybe we need to have some chip and system software designers get together and design a new generation of hardware that somehow defines and enforces the boundaries. I can envision a board design in which if an instruction is not tagged with the right class identifier for the author of the code that generated it, it is simply ignored. In effect, this would be like a mainframe virtual machine system in which everything runs in an identified context with strictly enforced limits on what sorts of instructions are allowed by each defined context.

    That said, I think it would even be better to to back to early 1980s levels of chip technologies, except for the power and heat requirements of that era. But either way, there needs to be some serious complexity management regimen imposed.

    By the way, this is not just a challenge for the design of things like flight controls in an air vehicle. It applies to most control systems. And things could get much much worse, and probably will if something isn’t done. Imagine what the new AI tools could add into this space.

    • Granted I am not a fan of COMAC or state run companies, but I think you could make the point this is a weakness (bug) not a feature.

      When you start cannibalizing (converting) new aircraft to the F market, it means that no one wants the aircraft.

      Ergo, we need to get some use out of these things.

        • It’s hard to know without spending a huge amount of time there, and be fluent in their language, and be able to pick-up on cultural nuances. But I wonder if the Chinese have a problem similar to ours with respect to the overall distribution of engineering and manufacturing talent across their entire economy. In 1990 it was still true that the American aerospace industry was able to recruit and retain many of our best and brightest engineers. By the turn of the century that was no longer true, and it has had some devastating impacts, not just to aerospace.

          We have made some rather horrific choices, mostly by accident and without really thinking about what it was we were doing. I’m still shocked at how much talent we have squandered on things like computer games, social media systems, and online advertising platforms; but top talent tends to follow the money. I wonder if they have done something similar, perhaps with different economic sectors reaping the benefits.

          A soviet style planned economy is obviously totally wrong headed, but zero planning, in terms of how incentives are created and destroyed strikes me as being just as wrong headed. The United States used to be a lot better at incentivizing mostly free markets for big societal benefits. That’s how we built the railroads, the telecom system, the interstate highway system, started to explore space, and got commercial aviation going. We seem to have lost our ability to commit to similarly big projects and goals. This doesn’t strike me as being a good thing. These days we seem to be more focused on incentivizing greed machines.

          • Comac is designed like Airbus, they have center of excellence (e.g. Xian does wings for several aircraft Shanghai does final assy)
            C919 has the latest western production equipment (e.g. Wings EI, fuselage Gemcor and Brotje, FAL tooling AIT)

          • Thanks Dave. I would have expected something like that, since one thing they have demonstrated that they are very good at is copying. That doesn’t address the talent distribution across their economy question, but it does at least hint at their capabilities.

          • Frankly I believe the Chinese are fully capable of anyone in the world, when they are not hobbled by Government involvement (ie owned) industry.

            That said, you could tell Chinese made motors from those made in the US or Europe, the finish was awful. The few we had worked fine (mostly we had Baldor and Reliance motors before they got eaten up by Baldor)

            Many of the world renowned equipment mfgs have products made in China and those are top rate companies, but none of the factors are China State owned.

            Breaking into the LCA aircraft area is the single hardest task in the world of mfg and Airbus was unique in it was allowed to do the A300 and then the A320 without a government standing over them and telling them what to make.

            I had the chance to fly an A300 from Taiwan to the Philippines and was highly impressed (granted I was not impressed with two engines over that much water!)

            The DC-10 I also flew in that era was a rattly piece of junk.

            The 767 and L1011 were also solid feeling.

            The A300 was so well done it went onto the 310 and 330 and as a family it has been a huge success.

          • Back in the late 1980s another member of the Boeing technical fellowship took time out of a personal vacation in the UK to take the BAE plant tour of their new wing facility in Northern Ireland. When he got back he wrote a paper on what he had seen and the implications of the capacity for which the plant had been sized. A group of our execs who will remain nameless ordered that paper suppressed. It was taboo to talk about AB becoming a serious rival. In those days our execs had far too much in common with the leadership of the auto industry in Detroit. The wake-up call really didn’t come until the execs at United practically kicked out a Boeing sales team that was trying to peddle an early concept for what would become the 777. Being thrown out of United finally got everyone’s attention, except maybe Condit’s. He really never did get over his super serious case of hubris.

    • Granted 2.2 million is chump change to Boeing.

      But being me too is not a recipe for success.

      Shades of the not to be APU and the Capsule to the Space Station. Give it up, walk away, focus on programs that have promise or are successful (F-15EX, Apache AH-64/ Chinook)

    • IMU a good thing (TM) tha t medics here do not have to divulge patient info and can’t be forced either.

      enoug hsofa control freaks seee this a a downside but …

  33. TransWorld
    November 4, 2023
    “Frankly I believe the Chinese are fully capable of anyone in the world, when they are not hobbled by Government involvement (ie owned) industry.”

    Absolutely agree. They may be masters of industrial theft, but they immediately built 5th generation AESA radar equipped airplanes on an learning curve unmatched anywhere.

    “Breaking into the LCA aircraft area is the single hardest task in the world of mfg and Airbus was unique in it was allowed to do the A300 and then the A320 without a government standing over them and telling them what to make.”

    Even more impressive has been the creation of the Airbus Helicopters product line and its exceptionally diverse offerings competing heads up with Sikorski and Bell and having buried Westland Enstrom and MD Helicopters reducing them to Boutique Manufacturers

    While I’m US based and Ex Boeing, I hold the Euromakers in very high regard because by any measure they are quite good, Puma Gearboxes and all.

  34. Sound familiar?
    Yup. BA is “bottoming”. ™
    Spreading like a pandemic.

    ‘We missed our mark’: Next Boeing F-15EX delivery coming in November

    “Boeing expects to deliver the U.S. Air Force’s next F-15EX Eagle II fighter by the end of November, nearly a year after the company originally planned and four months behind its revised estimate. […]

    The Government Accountability Office said in a weapons system assessment report earlier this year that Boeing originally expected to start delivering the first of six lot 1B aircraft in December 2022.

    Boeing missed that deadline, GAO said, mainly due to a supplier’s quality problems with a critical part in the fighter’s forward fuselage that is necessary for flight safety. GAO added that the Defense Contract Management Agency found Boeing mis-drilled holes to install the windscreen on four fighters due to a faulty tool. […]

    In that report, GAO said Boeing had since shifted its plans and expected to deliver the third F-15EX in July 2023, and the fourth a month later.

    A November delivery date, as Boeing now expects, would represent a further four-month delay from that most recent goal.

    Novotny said Boeing’s shift to a new manufacturing approach to build F-15EXs, called full-size determinant assembly, was more difficult than expected and contributed to delays. That approach, which Boeing already used in production of commercial aircraft, takes advantage of modern manufacturing processes such as 3D drawings and the automated drilling of holes in components. It is intended to produce more precise and accurate holes so parts can be easily fastened together without the use of shims or match drilling. […]

    • Not sure how anyone can hold Boeing responsible for a supplier and as noted, one key missing part and you can’t finish the aircraft (sure tires, engines, Air conditioning units can be added though costly but a key safety structural part? no)

      You have to admire Boeing is not doing the same oh same oh, clearly they are working on getting the defense lines into the 21st century.

      Good for them.

      • Did I miss anything here??
        Since BA is the main contractor, it is responsible for billions of losses from the Air Force VC-25B contract. BA is also responsible to compensate airline customers for delivery delays of 737 MAX and 787. Last but not the least, “Defense Contract Management Agency found Boeing mis-drilled holes to install the windscreen”.

  35. I would have to know a lot more about the finer details of the tooling design to have an opinion as to whether what they have been doing on the F-15 line is a good thing or not. As I have said here many times, I have a constant fear that the balance between hardware and software on anything Boeing does is right. In everything I have seen up close since sometime around the turn of the century, there was at least a small problem with this balance, and often it was a big one. Every time there has been an issue, invariably there has been too much of a dependency on software for any given task or system. So let’s just say I’m skeptical. This engineering behavioral issue is both real and pervasive.

    • No disagreement.

      I do think its not necessarily the sky is falling.

      Early on the building controsl world moved to software based and while a bit rocky, it had huge advantages.

      About 2nd generation they got it right and the ability to monitor huge amounts of space and get alarms and see what the symptoms was, it made my world vastly easier. I could also tune the programs and that was a major benefit. I could not fix problems, but I could see what and where they were (some were tuning, most were a hardware issue, but I could tell the manager what it was, what had to be done and if I could access it and how long it would take, disturbance if it was an air box in an office)

      Then the software people got in control and it turned into a nightmare.

      One of the best examples of thinking I saw was when man powered flight was attempted. Initially they thought they needed a pilot and you could train them on endurance.

      What they found was endurance was an athletic skill that took years and the solution was to teach an endurance athlete how to fly (flying is simply a taught skill – WWII the US alone did tens of thousands of them from all walks of life).

      Regardless, you need follow up and quality checks to ensure your stuff does not go off the rails (be it holes or shims)

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