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Topic: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: flylku
Posted 2013-07-19 11:36:52 and read 12872 times.

I was in grade school when the DC-10 entered service but I believe that it had very serious teething pains. How many of you live through it and how does what you saw then compare to what you are seeing now with the 787? In the end the DC-10 was a reliable work horse for several decades.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: cosyr
Posted 2013-07-19 11:54:30 and read 12809 times.

Well I wasn't there, but how long after the DC-10's introduction was its grounding? I suppose air travel safety was a completely different environment then, but grounding the fleet after one crash (that turned out to be maintenance, not Douglas) seems a bit of an overreaction. The 787 took several similar incidents in a short period of time to ground them.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: SpaceshipDC10
Posted 2013-07-19 12:49:34 and read 12619 times.

Quoting flylku (Thread starter):
I believe that it had very serious teething pains.

The main problem at the beginning was the problem with the bulk cargo door lock with two accidents, one of which was the most deadly in aviation until 1977.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 1):
how long after the DC-10's introduction was its grounding?

Eight years, in 1979. It was then the sixth hull-loss for the DC-10.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 1):
but grounding the fleet after one crash (that turned out to be maintenance, not Douglas) seems a bit of an overreaction.

Well it wasn't obvious at first when the engine separated itself from the wing causing, the crash of the aircraft about half a minute later, that it was because of maintenance issues. The two accidents I mentioned above probably had an impact on the decision to ground even if European carrier, for instance, were very confident in the reliability of the aircraft.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Pvjin
Posted 2013-07-19 13:05:30 and read 12517 times.

If you ask me it took way too long to ground the DC-10... After the first serious accident caused by cargo door not getting locked properly the problem was well known and understood, yet it took deaths of hundreds of people until Douglas implemented a serious fix.

Someone in Douglas should have ended up in jail for that.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: NorthStarDC4M
Posted 2013-07-19 13:21:21 and read 12412 times.

Quoting Pvjin (Reply 3):

If you ask me it took way too long to ground the DC-10... After the first serious accident caused by cargo door not getting locked properly the problem was well known and understood, yet it took deaths of hundreds of people until Douglas implemented a serious fix.

Someone in Douglas should have ended up in jail for that.

Well lets look at what happened back then:

Door incident over Windsor did result in a modification being done by the DOOR manufacturer (General Dynamics, not McDonnell Douglas.)
The THY DC-10 was not properly modified so the warning indications did not properly appear, and the ground crew was not properly trained in closing the door.

This resulted in grounding ONE...

The door was totally redesigned as a result to force the door latches overcenter whenever the aircraft was powered on and pressurized. Boeing ALSO had issues with this door design on the 747 BTW... for different reasons.

The Chicago crash resulted in grounding TWO... and was the fault of the maintenance programs of AA (and CO and some others could of had the same result).

The DC-10 just was not a very failsafe design, and that resulted in more crashes (UA232 for example)... but it still has overall not that bad of an accident rate.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: ADent
Posted 2013-07-19 14:34:17 and read 12167 times.

Hydraulics and control cables were a contributing cause for many of the DC-10 total losses.

AA96 - floor collapsed, control cables damaged. Disaster narrowly averted
THY 981 - floor collapsed and took out control cables.
AA 191 - Engine fell off, took out some hydraulics, LE slat retracted on one side
UA232 - Engine failed, took out hydraulics

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: SpaceshipDC10
Posted 2013-07-19 14:49:18 and read 12093 times.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 4):
The door was totally redesigned as a result to force the door latches overcenter whenever the aircraft was powered on and pressurized.

The door was indeed redesigned and also moved further haft after L4 on new built aircraft (only) from I don't remember when.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 4):
UA232 for example

Although the hydraulic loss was directly related to the design of its system, the engine's failure was what triggered the crash.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 4):
The DC-10 just was not a very failsafe design

There aren't that many DC-10 accidents where its design flaws are responsible.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: connies4ever
Posted 2013-07-19 15:06:43 and read 12007 times.

Quoting Pvjin (Reply 3):
If you ask me it took way too long to ground the DC-10... After the first serious accident caused by cargo door not getting locked properly the problem was well known and understood, yet it took deaths of hundreds of people until Douglas implemented a serious fix.

The B744 had at least one mid-air belly door opening (if not two) where there were fatalities. The one I recall was featured on Discovery Channel "Mayday". Occurred over the Pacific. I cannot recall the 744 being grounded. Maybe evidence of Boeing having more clout ?

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: JohnClipper
Posted 2013-07-19 16:10:13 and read 11849 times.

That was a B747-200B, not a B744

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-07-19 16:25:04 and read 11787 times.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 4):
This resulted in grounding ONE...

I do not believe the DC-10 fleet was grounded (at least officially via governmental directive) after the loss of TK981.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: goldenargosy
Posted 2013-07-19 18:07:40 and read 11597 times.

I was around for all the DC-10 highs and lows.

Teething pains for the DC-10 were cargo door design flaws which ultimately resulted in 346 deaths in the THY crash just outside ORY.

What was not a teething pain was the American crash just outside ORD that resulted in 273 deaths. American Airline's maintenance procedure of removing the engine and pylon together was a short-cut procedure that was all American's doing and not a recommended procedure outlined by McDonnell Douglas. I didn't then, and I still don't see blaming that crash on a teething problem of the aircraft itself.

While the grounding of the DC-10 that followed that crash allowed for airlines to inspect their fleets and find those aircraft with similar cracks, it also gave fuel to an uninformed flying public to demonize the DC-10 as a flying deathtrap.

What I hope is that the teething pains the 787 has experienced and the misinformed media coverage that follows these events doesn't also create a public backlash against an airplane that has not resulted in a single fatality or a single hull loss.

I remember flying out of LAX on a summer day in 1979 during the grounding and looking down to see dozens of United, Continental, American and National DC-10s jamming up every available parking spot and while it was totally cool to see so many in one place, it was also very sad to see such a great plane with its wings clipped. I never want to see that again with any aircraft.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: connies4ever
Posted 2013-07-19 19:11:27 and read 11085 times.

Quoting JohnClipper (Reply 8):
That was a B747-200B, not a B744

You're correct. My bad.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: sparky35805
Posted 2013-07-19 22:16:50 and read 9649 times.

That was a United 747-122 that had the door failure out of HNL.
General Dynamics Warned McDonnel Douglas that there could be a failure of that door and could cause the loss of the aircraft.The engine separation at ORD was due to a maintainence procedure that the airlines had been warned about.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Max Q
Posted 2013-07-19 23:55:07 and read 8942 times.

Quoting ADent (Reply 5):


Hydraulics and control cables were a contributing cause for many of the DC-10 total losses.

AA96 - floor collapsed, control cables damaged. Disaster narrowly averted
THY 981 - floor collapsed and took out control cables.
AA 191 - Engine fell off, took out some hydraulics, LE slat retracted on one side
UA232 - Engine failed, took out hydraulics

These are the problems with the design that are being ignored on this thread. And no fail safe system to prevent asymmetric slat retraction, unlike the L1011 and B747.


You can't blame the Chicago crash on bad maintenance alone when you had a design that allowed asymmetric slat operation, that was a real weakness of the DC10 as were the control cables being run through the floor and only having three, poorly separated hydraulic systems, compared to the four of the L1011 and B747.


It was a rushed, inferior design compared to the L1011 which never had a design caused accident and a real black mark on the record of MDC, as was the MD11.


I am very concerned the 787 is not up to the usual Boeing standard unfortunately and a tragedy may be in it's future.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: TheCheese
Posted 2013-07-20 02:10:18 and read 8074 times.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
It was a rushed, inferior design ... and a real black mark on the record of MDC, as was the MD11.

I think that the entire DC10 project (including the MD11) was at the very edge of what the engineers at Douglas/MCD could be asked to accomplish with the resources at their disposal. The DC10 was very nearly every bit the jet that the L1011 was, but the Lockheed planes came off a modern assembly line with custom tooling and manufacturing techniques. Douglas built the DC10 the same way they built its predecessors, by hand and eye.

So, while Lockheed (and to a lesser extent at the time, Airbus) were building next-generation aircraft using next-generation techniques, Douglas found themselves losing market share (and consequently, money) and having to tighten their belts to build a plane that they MUST build to survive, but realistically cannot afford to be building. In the L1011 vs. DC10 competition, Douglas won on airframes sold (386 DC10s to Lockheed's 200 L1011s), but ultimately had to sell the DC10 for so little money that they flatly could not afford to properly design a follow-on, much less iron out the inherent issues from which the plane suffered. Lockheed, on the other hand, spent so much on the L1011 that it very nearly drove them out of business completely, and did knock them out of the commercial aircraft market. If Douglas hadn't had a good reputation from the DC8 and DC9 jets, the DC10 wouldn't have sold in greater numbers than the L1011. Lockheed's reputation had been tarnished with their trouble-prone L188 Electra turboprop and had jumped right to a wide-body jet, giving a slight edge to the already jet-savvy Douglas.

At the same time, Boeing did good business with the 747 which initially didn't compete directly against the DC10 as far as mission, but did eat into the DC10's market share with the 747SP model.

Later, the MD11 engineers were tasked with extending the range and payload of the DC10, without the budget to address most of its shortcomings. When the first customers put the MD11 into service, it failed to meet the range and payload claims from MCD though the airframe was to prove capable of such performance, with the famous Performance Improvement Program (PIP). This, too, shows how resource-thin MCD was: the PIP ought to have improved on the type's rated performance, instead it just barely brought actual performance up to the numbers MCD promised on paper. Had MCD had a decent enough budget for the MD11 project, it could've hit the performance numbers out of the gate, then improved on that with the PIP.

So, to sum up, if McDonnell/Douglas hadn't been so broke, the DC10 and MD11 could've been much better planes.

To keep this on topic, I think that the teething pains the DC10 had were way more related to it being an advanced technology jet being built by a company that just didn't have the resources to built the product they needed to be building. The 787's troubles, I think, stem more from it being a purposely big leap in technology, coupled with a design and construction plan that was vastly more ambitious than I believe anyone really understood. I hope that the 787 proves to be a sound platform that is around a long time.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Max Q
Posted 2013-07-20 02:24:23 and read 7970 times.

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 14):

I think that the entire DC10 project (including the MD11) was at the very edge of what the engineers at Douglas/MCD could be asked to accomplish with the resources at their disposal. The DC10 was very nearly every bit the jet that the L1011 was, but the Lockheed planes came off a modern assembly line with custom tooling and manufacturing techniques. Douglas built the DC10 the same way they built its predecessors, by hand and eye.

So, while Lockheed (and to a lesser extent at the time, Airbus) were building next-generation aircraft using next-generation techniques, Douglas found themselves losing market share (and consequently, money) and having to tighten their belts to build a plane that they MUST build to survive, but realistically cannot afford to be building. In the L1011 vs. DC10 competition, Douglas won on airframes sold (386 DC10s to Lockheed's 200 L1011s), but ultimately had to sell the DC10 for so little money that they flatly could not afford to properly design a follow-on, much less iron out the inherent issues from which the plane suffered. Lockheed, on the other hand, spent so much on the L1011 that it very nearly drove them out of business completely, and did knock them out of the commercial aircraft market. If Douglas hadn't had a good reputation from the DC8 and DC9 jets, the DC10 wouldn't have sold in greater numbers than the L1011. Lockheed's reputation had been tarnished with their trouble-prone L188 Electra turboprop and had jumped right to a wide-body jet, giving a slight edge to the already jet-savvy Douglas.

At the same time, Boeing did good business with the 747 which initially didn't compete directly against the DC10 as far as mission, but did eat into the DC10's market share with the 747SP model.

Later, the MD11 engineers were tasked with extending the range and payload of the DC10, without the budget to address most of its shortcomings. When the first customers put the MD11 into service, it failed to meet the range and payload claims from MCD though the airframe was to prove capable of such performance, with the famous Performance Improvement Program (PIP). This, too, shows how resource-thin MCD was: the PIP ought to have improved on the type's rated performance, instead it just barely brought actual performance up to the numbers MCD promised on paper. Had MCD had a decent enough budget for the MD11 project, it could've hit the performance numbers out of the gate, then improved on that with the PIP.

So, to sum up, if McDonnell/Douglas hadn't been so broke, the DC10 and MD11 could've been much better planes.

To keep this on topic, I think that the teething pains the DC10 had were way more related to it being an advanced technology jet being built by a company that just didn't have the resources to built the product they needed to be building. The 787's troubles, I think, stem more from it being a purposely big leap in technology, coupled with a design and construction plan that was vastly more ambitious than I believe anyone really understood. I hope that the 787 proves to be a sound platform that is around a long time.

Very well written and insightful.



I would add one more wrinkle, and that is the merger with Mcdonnell, I think this was a major, and costly distraction that really hurt the DC10 program.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Klaus
Posted 2013-07-20 05:43:46 and read 6759 times.

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 14):
To keep this on topic, I think that the teething pains the DC10 had were way more related to it being an advanced technology jet being built by a company that just didn't have the resources to built the product they needed to be building. The 787's troubles, I think, stem more from it being a purposely big leap in technology, coupled with a design and construction plan that was vastly more ambitious than I believe anyone really understood. I hope that the 787 proves to be a sound platform that is around a long time.

Very interesting post, but I see parallels:

The 787 program was also attempted "on the cheap", with rigorous cost-cutting reaching even the point of the elimination of exactly the most critical department at Boeing for a more-electric plane and aggressive outsourcing being used as a tool to save loads of money on design and production.

It has all blown up in Boeing's face on almost every level already, notably including the financial level, but the impetus was pretty similar.

The engineering departments were also starved of competent people and of engineering resources, just for a harebrained management idea that turned a challenging but doable basic idea into a big mess.

Boeing may not have been quite on the brink as Douglas may have been back then, but the mindset and at least some of the mechanisms at work do in fact correspond there.

[Edited 2013-07-20 05:49:58]

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-07-20 09:45:37 and read 4754 times.

Quoting flylku (Thread starter):
How many of you live through it and how does what you saw then compare to what you are seeing now with the 787?

We lost an entire family of people who lived in our neighborhood on the THY DC-10 crash, so that kind of brought the DC-10 to my attention.

Regarding the 787: I think the FAA certification process needs to be looked at - nobody is mentioning their role in this.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Navigator
Posted 2013-07-20 10:04:51 and read 4535 times.

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 2):
Quoting cosyr (Reply 1):
but grounding the fleet after one crash (that turned out to be maintenance, not Douglas) seems a bit of an overreaction.

Well it wasn't obvious at first when the engine separated itself from the wing causing, the crash of the aircraft about half a minute later, that it was because of maintenance issues. The two accidents I mentioned above probably had an impact on the decision to ground even if European carrier, for instance, were very confident in the reliability of the aircraft.

I do not know if anyone was very confident in the DC-10 when it was grounded. The reasons behind the AA crash at ORD was not clear and for instance SAS was seriously considering going for the 747SP and getting rid of the DC-10-30:s. As it turned out the DC-10-30:s continued at the airline and as time passed without incidents there was renewed confidence in the DC-10. I went on the DC-10 to Seattle just after the DC-10 got into the air again after the grounding. Some passengers were concerned and there were a lot of jokes about hoping nothing would fall off the plane. I think the concern about the 787 is about the same now even if I have not heard any jokes about it.

There are similarities to the 787 since the DC-10 was pressed through the design phase way too fast to get ahead of the L1011... Marketing strategies had priority and technical solutions came about too fast with too slim resouces and the design was suffering. This is much like what has happened with the 787.

[Edited 2013-07-20 10:14:45]

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: pnwtraveler
Posted 2013-07-20 10:21:58 and read 4389 times.

The main difference between the DC10 introduction (as well as all other new aircraft intros prior to the 787) is the lack of internet and social media appetite for information, misinformation and conjecture, and in many cases hysteria. During the DC10 days aircraft aficionados and spotters sat around coffee shops and at airports spotting, doing their commentary and conjecture, and it took days and weeks for information to circulate that wasn't in the daily papers or news. Fanboys still had their favourites but they were limited in how they could run down the "enemy" and promote their aircraft. There was a totally different perspective on things.

Now it is entirely different. A one month delay in first flight at Bombardier is micro scrutinized when previously it would have been par for the course in a new aircraft. The Boeing screw-up with the handling of the 787 intial-rollout etc. has only fueled the skepticism and atmosphere now present. The internet gives everyone a voice no matter how education and experienced they are, and unfortunately as well how uneducated and unexperienced. It also has opened up the opportunities for the misguided, misinformed and malevalent.

As much time now has to be spent by companies and groups on keeping in front of this wave of interest, than through traditional channels of marketing. It is massively time consuming, expensive but necessary. Boeing has found this out the hard way. The days of just individuals populating social media is long past with many "paid" individuals sowing seeds of doubt, and anti-marketing the competition. The CNN effect on TV changed news and made people rabid when information wasn't now and immediate other places, and social media has made done the same thing in an already quick online world. No major launch of anything will be the same again. Bombardier has taken the silent approach and you will have seen that the conspiracy theorists and misinformers at work there. It would be a great case-study for someone doing a masters or doctoral thesis in marketing philosophy.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: SpaceshipDC10
Posted 2013-07-20 10:38:17 and read 4249 times.

Quoting Navigator (Reply 18):
I do not know if anyone was very confident in the DC-10 when it was grounded.

At the very least Swissair was. They even tried to operate the trijets after the grounding was ordered.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-07-20 11:01:56 and read 4040 times.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 1):

I was in high school when the "10" made her debut. Teething problems at first were an understatement. Around 1973 a Turkish Airlines DC 10 lost it's cargo bin door which became a catastrophe with all souls on board (crew and passengers) killed and of course the bird totaled. I'm not sure if there were ground casulties in that incident. I believe there were several other incidents around that same time. Of course there was the AA DC-10 incident Memorial Day Weekend 1979 at ORD. However this I believe was due more to maintenance protocal.

Let us pray that the 787 and for that matter every new aircraft whether it be military, commercial or private does not have those problems that plagued the DC-10 in it's early days.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: bmacleod
Posted 2013-07-20 11:27:17 and read 3807 times.

Quoting flylku (Thread starter):
How many of you live through it and how does what you saw then compare to what you are seeing now with the 787?

The DC-10 had at least 4 high-profile disasters by the end of 1970s culminating in at least 800 fatalities which doomed the DC-10 as a safe aircraft despite AA and many other airlines decision to keep flying.

The 787 despite a few incidents has a very good record so far.

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 19):
The main difference between the DC10 introduction (as well as all other new aircraft intros prior to the 787) is the lack of internet and social media appetite for information, misinformation and conjecture, and in many cases hysteria.


Also Airbus is in a much stronger position than it had in 1970s with a vast market share.

I imagine Airbus COO John Leahy can take credit for splashing around endless (false) horror stores regarding 787 and the 777....

[Edited 2013-07-20 11:33:47]

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: mandala499
Posted 2013-07-20 11:45:31 and read 3638 times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
Very interesting post, but I see parallels:

Well, if you're saying there could be a repeat...
Boeing did merge with MD, and use the MD logo as well as the Boeing font...
Now, maybe some of those ex MD who got the "MD cut" 'disease' are involved a lot with the 787....   

Mandala499

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Klaus
Posted 2013-07-20 12:35:42 and read 3528 times.

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 22):
The DC-10 had at least 4 high-profile disasters by the end of 1970s culminating in at least 800 fatalities which doomed the DC-10 as a safe aircraft despite AA and many other airlines decision to keep flying.

The 787 despite a few incidents has a very good record so far.

Really? There have not been any fatalities so far, that is true, although at least in one of the cases there may have been good luck in play. But the incident history including their severities is anything but "very good". Statistically the 787 is pretty much in the dumps – it needs to turn around that string of problems pretty fast and stay out of trouble for quite a while before it's even on par again.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 23):
Well, if you're saying there could be a repeat...

No. History doesn't simply repeat itself. But problems in the past unfortunately don't make problems in the future that much less likely.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 23):
Boeing did merge with MD, and use the MD logo as well as the Boeing font...
Now, maybe some of those ex MD who got the "MD cut" 'disease' are involved a lot with the 787....

Wasn't Harry Stonecipher indeed one of the main drivers behind the harebrained 787 design and manufacturing scheme?

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-07-20 13:33:19 and read 3543 times.

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 2):
Quoting flylku (Thread starter):
I believe that it had very serious teething pains.

The main problem at the beginning was the problem with the bulk cargo door lock with two accidents, one of which was the most deadly in aviation until 1977.

Apart from the cargo door issue, I can't recall the DC-10 having any other notable teething problems.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: SpaceshipDC10
Posted 2013-07-20 14:05:22 and read 3499 times.

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 22):
The DC-10 had at least 4 high-profile disasters by the end of 1970s culminating in at least 800 fatalities which doomed the DC-10 as a safe aircraft despite AA and many other airlines decision to keep flying.

Two of these accidents were in no way related to any flaws of its engineering. They were high-profile, yes, especially one, partly because they happened the same year as ORD. This lead to another round of media hysteria. Although the vast majority of sales and deliveries of the aircraft were behind, if the aircraft had been so much doomed as you say, I don't think it would have been operated in scheduled passenger services during the next 25 years or so by major airlines. If the manufacturer would have kept developing the DC-10 series 60, sales would have probably grown. For instance, NZ needed something larger than the series 30 and they were very interested by one of the three 60 variants MDC was working on then.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: cornutt
Posted 2013-07-20 15:02:27 and read 3432 times.

Quoting goldenargosy (Reply 10):
What was not a teething pain was the American crash just outside ORD that resulted in 273 deaths. American Airline's maintenance procedure of removing the engine and pylon together was a short-cut procedure that was all American's doing and not a recommended procedure outlined by McDonnell Douglas. I

And IIRC the motivation for the grounding was that the shortcut maintenance procedure had been spread around the industry by word of mouth, and the FAA got wind of it. They mandated before-further-flight inspections, which uncovered cracking around the pylon attach in additional aircraft

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
I would add one more wrinkle, and that is the merger with Mcdonnell, I think this was a major, and costly distraction that really hurt the DC10 program.

It's no giant secret that McDonnell management always expected the Douglas division to be a cash cow. The failure of the MD11 to meet its performance numbers was largely because they wouldn't spend the money to redo the airframe to either allow for a center engine with a larger fan, or eliminate the center engine.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 23):
Now, maybe some of those ex MD who got the "MD cut" 'disease' are involved a lot with the 787

The merger was 14 years ago. Most of them are long gone.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2013-07-20 15:18:05 and read 3392 times.

It is of my personal opinion that if it weren't for the fact that a permanent grounding of the DC-10 would have essentially destroyed American Airlines (at least United could pull better-condition retired DC-8's out of the "boneyard" and put them back into service on an interim basis until the 767-200 started operations in 1982), that's why the FAA never issued a permanent grounding order for the DC-10 in 1979 when there were enough technical issues to stop all operations.

But yet, we are lucky that we have not experienced a hull loss of a 787 in a revenue flight--so far. I think the airlines are being extra cautious on maintenance and operations on the 787, and once the issues are resolved the 787 will be a good airplane for the airlines that operate it.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-07-20 15:27:02 and read 3370 times.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 28):
that's why the FAA never issued a permanent grounding order for the DC-10 in 1979 when there were enough technical issues to stop all operations.

Apart from the cargo door problem which was resolved long before 1979, what technical issues are you referring to?

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: chrisair
Posted 2013-07-20 15:37:03 and read 3351 times.

Quoting cornutt (Reply 27):
The merger was 14 years ago. Most of them are long gone.

The merger completed on Aug 1, 1997, which is 16 years ago...

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 23):
Now, maybe some of those ex MD who got the "MD cut" 'disease' are involved a lot with the 787....

The internal McD program TQMS was unofficially known as "Time to Quit and Move to Seattle."  

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-07-20 15:38:04 and read 3351 times.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 28):
But yet, we are lucky that we have not experienced a hull loss of a 787 in a revenue flight--so far. I think the airlines are being extra cautious on maintenance and operations on the 787, and once the issues are resolved the 787 will be a good airplane for the airlines that operate it.

I don't think that the 787 is as bad as you anti-Boeing people are making it out to be. It has its problems as all new aircraft have had, and I believe it is due to the internet and other media outlets that have made what will be the airplane of the future seem like it is a dangerous aircraft.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 17):
Regarding the 787: I think the FAA certification process needs to be looked at - nobody is mentioning their role in this.

I don't think that the FAA certification process is at fault and does not need to be looked at. They grounded it and made Boeing fix the problem.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: TheCheese
Posted 2013-07-20 16:17:14 and read 3244 times.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 15):
Very well written and insightful.


I would add one more wrinkle, and that is the merger with Mcdonnell, I think this was a major, and costly distraction that really hurt the DC10 program.

Thank you.

I would agree that the McDonnell merger was a costly distraction. From what I've read of it, my impression was that MCD thought that they were merging with a company of comparable resources and technology, but instead found Douglas to be out-of-date with regard to technology, and with almost no financial resources to speak of.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: TheCheese
Posted 2013-07-20 16:26:18 and read 3220 times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
Very interesting post, but I see parallels:

The 787 program was also attempted "on the cheap", with rigorous cost-cutting reaching even the point of the elimination of exactly the most critical department at Boeing for a more-electric plane and aggressive outsourcing being used as a tool to save loads of money on design and production.

It has all blown up in Boeing's face on almost every level already, notably including the financial level, but the impetus was pretty similar.

The engineering departments were also starved of competent people and of engineering resources, just for a harebrained management idea that turned a challenging but doable basic idea into a big mess.

Boeing may not have been quite on the brink as Douglas may have been back then, but the mindset and at least some of the mechanisms at work do in fact correspond there.

Thanks!

I see your point; whereas Douglas was forced through their financial circumstances to cut every corner and pinch every penny to build the DC10, in a number of ways Boeing voluntarily did the very same thing, in the name of being 'cost effective' and other such management programs.

Having thought about it some more overnight, I also think that perhaps the 787 suffered a little from what I call "the Alan Mulally Effect" where everyone is so focused on the positive things going on with the project that they start to overlook the signs of negative issues and problems, until the negatives pile up to the point where they overwhelm the positives.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: TheCheese
Posted 2013-07-20 16:42:49 and read 3193 times.

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 19):
The main difference between the DC10 introduction (as well as all other new aircraft intros prior to the 787) is the lack of internet and social media appetite for information, misinformation and conjecture, and in many cases hysteria. During the DC10 days aircraft aficionados and spotters sat around coffee shops and at airports spotting, doing their commentary and conjecture, and it took days and weeks for information to circulate that wasn't in the daily papers or news. Fanboys still had their favourites but they were limited in how they could run down the "enemy" and promote their aircraft. There was a totally different perspective on things.

Now it is entirely different. A one month delay in first flight at Bombardier is micro scrutinized when previously it would have been par for the course in a new aircraft. The Boeing screw-up with the handling of the 787 intial-rollout etc. has only fueled the skepticism and atmosphere now present. The internet gives everyone a voice no matter how education and experienced they are, and unfortunately as well how uneducated and unexperienced. It also has opened up the opportunities for the misguided, misinformed and malevalent.

I completely agree. When the DC10 (or, for that matter, any aircraft designed and built before, say, 1995) was in the design stages, the only people who were intimately concerned with the precise timetable were those that had a direct stake in it; i.e. the manufacturer and the airlines, and even they understood that there may be up to a year or so between when a manufacturer says the aircraft will be ready, and when it is actually ready for training and then service.

Now, with 21st Century communications technology, we know many of the intimacies of why a particular aircraft project is behind schedule and can follow along practically in real time. We get a sense that we're entitled to know information that as little as 15 years ago would've been considered proprietary and possibly "company-only" knowledge, because we have that rapid access to the Internet.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: mandala499
Posted 2013-07-20 21:46:21 and read 2963 times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 24):
Wasn't Harry Stonecipher indeed one of the main drivers behind the harebrained 787 design and manufacturing scheme?

Stonecipher was indeed one of the main drivers... but he hasn't been there for long as far as I remember. However, interesting to note that the 787 is the first new type (not variant) Boeing conjured up, developed, and launched post merger.

Quoting cornutt (Reply 27):
The merger was 14 years ago. Most of them are long gone.

Most of them are long gone since 1997... but how many were there until let's say 2003 and 2007? Outside the airliner sector, the show's run by MD guys.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 30):
The internal McD program TQMS was unofficially known as "Time to Quit and Move to Seattle."

LOL! nice one!
One former MD engineer said, "I know a lot of proud Douglas engineers, but I never knew of a proud McDonnell-Douglas engineer." I guess we'll never know who the proud MD engineers are.. because they're now Boeing engineers!   

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 33):
I see your point; whereas Douglas was forced through their financial circumstances to cut every corner and pinch every penny to build the DC10, in a number of ways Boeing voluntarily did the very same thing, in the name of being 'cost effective' and other such management programs.

Innovation while penny pinching, is apparent in the 787... and also, MD-11 (albeit to a much lesser extent).

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 28):
and once the issues are resolved the 787 will be a good airplane for the airlines that operate it.

Without a doubt... the question is not if, but when... and the when seems perpetually pushed back at the moment... sadly. Its certified performance numbers are wonderful... huge leap... but it needs to stop having panicky problems so that the world can benefit from it.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: JRenavitz
Posted 2013-07-21 07:16:03 and read 2604 times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
The engineering departments were also starved of competent people and of engineering resources, just for a harebrained management idea that turned a challenging but doable basic idea into a big mess.

I'm not familiar with this impact on Boeing's EE department. Considering, however, the costs Boeing has and will incur on the 787 post-production it seems penny-wise, etc., etc., etc. Isn't there an axiom that goes in business one rises to his (her) highest level of incompetence - or, something like that.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: cornutt
Posted 2013-07-21 08:59:20 and read 2461 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 35):
Most of them are long gone since 1997... but how many were there until let's say 2003 and 2007? Outside the airliner sector, the show's run by MD guys.

Not that many... a lot of the McD guys in Long Beach retired in the first few years after the merger. Boeing had an aggressive program to reduce employment in the BCA operation that started shortly after the merger and lasted until about 2003. A lot of people were offered early retirement.

It is true that the Defense and Space operation was largely run by McDonnell guys after the merger (most of them are gone now). The effects there were different... not cost-cutting so much (with a few exceptions), but there were a lot of culture clashes. In addition, they were also trying to absorb the former Rockwell operations at the same time. It was rather chaotic for a while.

Topic: RE: DC-10 Teething Pains Versus 787
Username: Klaus
Posted 2013-07-21 09:22:16 and read 2392 times.

Quoting TheCheese (Reply 33):
Having thought about it some more overnight, I also think that perhaps the 787 suffered a little from what I call "the Alan Mulally Effect" where everyone is so focused on the positive things going on with the project that they start to overlook the signs of negative issues and problems, until the negatives pile up to the point where they overwhelm the positives.

Yes, that is a problem, particularly when competent engineers have been purged out by authoritarian management in top-down mode and only limp-necked yes-men have survived in the engineering hierarchy.

I'm sometimes jokingly called a cassandra when I feel forced to shoot down certain management ideas, but mostly it is accepted that my critiques are generally constructive and my reasoning against certain ideas has merit.

Some ideas just lack certain ingredients or refinements yet, often there are many additional factors to consider and sometimes the business case just goes away before you've got a realistic chance of getting it to market as a real, finished product including all realistic costs and timetables considered.

But other ideas can be made to work – but that takes a real collaboration between management and development, respecting the needs and limitations on either side. This doesn't work well if only one side is in charge and the other has no real input (this can go wrong towards the engineering side as well!).

Quoting JRenavitz (Reply 36):
I'm not familiar with this impact on Boeing's EE department.

We've discussed these issues in some of the other threads already:
Seattle Times - Electronics outsourcing weakened Boeing’s control over 787’s crucial systems
Seattle Times - Boeing 787’s problems blamed on outsourcing, lack of oversight

Quoting JRenavitz (Reply 36):
Considering, however, the costs Boeing has and will incur on the 787 post-production it seems penny-wise, etc., etc., etc. Isn't there an axiom that goes in business one rises to his (her) highest level of incompetence - or, something like that.

Ah, yes... the Peter Principle...!   

Since the ill-conceived start of the 787 project many corrections have been forced by circumstances and results already – I just hope that current management really tries to develop a consistent, long-term strategy out of the shortsighted mess they've waded into. And that the 787 doesn't need any further major interventions from here on out (and maybe the ET 787 fire has no causal connection to the 787 itself).

It's been rough sailing thus far – let's hope things are getting better.


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