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Why Is Boeing Confident On 787  
User currently offlineSJCRRPAX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10615 times:

I am just curious on peoples thoughts on why Boeing is confident on B787. It seems to me they are using a lot of new ideas on one model of plane. Seems kind of risky to me, shouldn't they first try this stuff on a military freighter or something? Is it because most of the ideas have been tried before or do they have a great test program? I'm thinking if the B787 becomes another Comet, Osprey or F111 the company would be ruined as a civilian aircraft producer.

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31414 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10617 times:
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Quoting SJCRRPAX (Thread starter):
I am just curious on peoples thoughts on why Boeing is confident on B787.

With over 400 orders and more coming every month, why shouldn't they be?

Yes, the program had it's risks, but Boeing feels they have successfully managed them and, based on the strong orders, so do the airlines.


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4871 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10577 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Yes, the program had it's risks, but Boeing feels they have successfully managed them and, based on the strong orders, so do the airlines.

I don't think you can use the fact that there are orders to explain Boeing succesfully managing the program quite yet, still too early. I'm sure it will be very highly unlikely they will botch it up but it certainly isn't impossible either.


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10541 times:

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Thread starter):
Seems kind of risky to me, shouldn't they first try this stuff on a military freighter or something? Is it because most of the ideas have been tried before or do they have a great test program?

Boeing has a lot of experience with the various bits and pieces of this tech.. just not all on one plane... but they've done their homework.. why shouldn't they feel confident.. They (like Airbus) have smart people. They trust their smart people have done their jobs...



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User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8976 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10533 times:

There are plenty of military aircraft made of composites. The Premier IA bizjet is the first civilian composite aircraft (AFAIK), and they have been flying for a while.

Composites are not new. There are many industries that already make use of them.

[Edited 2006-11-23 20:45:28]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineBongo From Colombia, joined Oct 2003, 1863 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10508 times:

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Thread starter):
why Boeing is confident on B787

Simply: otherwise they don´t produce it and/or sell it !



MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
User currently offlineTonytifao From Brazil, joined Mar 2005, 1035 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10417 times:

When will the first 787 take flight for tests?

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10380 times:

I'd say the 432 orders to-date, with more certain to come, without a single plane having even rolled off the line yet is probably adding to their confidence!  Smile

User currently offlineZmatt1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10333 times:
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Boeing has been "all in" with new technology and rolled the dice before. 707 and 747 for example.




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User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10283 times:

Why are they so confident? Because its a damn good aircraft built by damn good people, thats why!

The 777 programs results are enough to prove that Boeing can put its money where its mouth is - worlds biggest twin, on time, better performing than expected with no problem.

Boeing has a history of good results, thats why they can be so confident.

Oh, and most of the techniques have been tried on Boeing military aircraft, they arent doing this blind.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31414 posts, RR: 85
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 10173 times:
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Quoting Trex8 (Reply 2):
I don't think you can use the fact that there are orders to explain Boeing successfully managing the program quite yet, still too early. I'm sure it will be very highly unlikely they will botch it up but it certainly isn't impossible either.

I wasn't. I used the word "feels" so as to not be making a definitive statement on the program's success, since I'm not privy to the future.  Wink


User currently offlineBrendows From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 10049 times:

Quoting Tonytifao (Reply 7):
When will the first 787 take flight for tests?

From what I know sometime during August 2007.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9817 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 9876 times:

Quoting Zmatt1 (Reply 9):
Boeing has been "all in" with new technology and rolled the dice before. 707 and 747 for example.

I was thinking the same thing. The 787 isn't as risky as those planes, but still a good risk. Boeing bet the whole company on the success of the 707 and 747. If either of those planes had failed, then Boeing would likely not exist today.



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User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4871 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 9744 times:
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the risks with the 707 and 747 are somewhat different, they were not really a technological breakthrough but were from a business viewpoint high risk. the 787 is primarily a technological risk.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31414 posts, RR: 85
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 9648 times:
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Quoting Trex8 (Reply 14):
the risks with the 707 and 747 are somewhat different, they were not really a technological breakthrough but were from a business viewpoint high risk. the 787 is primarily a technological risk.

True, but much of that technology is being driven by a desire to re-define the business of making aircraft to make it cheaper and quicker. If a CFRP airframe cost significantly more and/or took significantly longer to build then an Al/Al-Li one, it might not have been undertaken even if it truly does end up some 20% more efficient then the 767s and A300s (and less-so the A332s) it replaces.


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6965 posts, RR: 76
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 9499 times:

I wonder what the lightning strike properties of the 787 is like with all that composite... and I'm still curious on repairing skin damage...

Just layman's curiousity which I'm sure time will answer...

Mandala499



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User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9223 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 13):
I was thinking the same thing. The 787 isn't as risky as those planes, but still a good risk. Boeing bet the whole company on the success of the 707 and 747. If either of those planes had failed, then Boeing would likely not exist today.

Boeing has a history of taking dramatic steps with game changing A/C, meaning new classes of A/C (707. 747, 777), as opposed to applying improved technology to known classes of A/C in order improve on the class.

I am not an engineer, but I suspect the leap they took with this composite design was a highly researched and estimated risk, and I suspect they make various practical tests and trials as the project progresses, ahead of production, so that the snags are discovered and are solved during research, so hopefully not during production.

I would venture to say that their biggest risk with the project is actually the amount of outsourcing to so many different suppliers. It seems to me they might have less control over that network of suppliers than they do over their development of the barrel composite construction. To my way of thinking, it's the suppliers who are potentially the wild cards.

What I'd like to know is (and this may show my lack of knowledge in this area), is that with SO MUCH outsourcing, I wonder if there is lower profit potential for Boeing because so many suppliers have to be paid for their contribution to the project, and they all take a profit percentage, I would imagine.

In other words, if Boeing beats Airbus in a few years in annual sales based on value (when a large portion of those sales is the 787), are they in fact making as much money as they seem when they have to pay out so much more per aircraft for value-added outsourcing and component manufactoring which they did not do themselves?



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User currently offlineSirOmega From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8699 times:

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 17):

What I'd like to know is (and this may show my lack of knowledge in this area), is that with SO MUCH outsourcing, I wonder if there is lower profit potential for Boeing because so many suppliers have to be paid for their contribution to the project, and they all take a profit percentage, I would imagine.

I believe Boeing made a lot of risk sharing agreements with their suppliers. The suppliers would share more of the risk of this plane, but also share more of the reward (profit). Boeing may make less per frame than normal, but given the amount they sold so far, and the fact that Airbus isnt exactly executing on the A350, they dont have much to worry about.


User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8616 times:

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 17):
I wonder if there is lower profit potential for Boeing because so many suppliers have to be paid for their contribution to the project

I would imagine not. The cost of the parts from outside suppliers is factored into the cost to build the plane, as it would if it were all done in house. Generally, outsourcing makes the cost cheaper. They purposely pick suppliers who are able to do it cheaper than "the next guy" for whatever reason.



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User currently offlineBingo From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 359 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8545 times:

The same reason Airbus is so confident about their planes. Some really smart guys/gals (engineers as they are often known) said..."Hey you know something... I’m pretty sure we can do this...." So long as the guys in suits don’t mess it up, I think Boeing and Airbus will keep this one-up-man-ship going for years to come. All the while they will keep amazing us civil aviation geeks with their new ideas...I don’t wish for failure for either company. In the end, I prefer a yoke over a joystick...but regardless so long as it stays up in the air...its pretty amazing that we all have had the chance to defy the laws of gravity. I couldn’t think of a better law to defy…
www.StopWithtTheaAirbusVsBoeingFights.com
Cheers,
Bingo


User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8383 times:

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 14):
the risks with the 707 and 747 are somewhat different, they were not really a technological breakthrough but were from a business viewpoint high risk. the 787 is primarily a technological risk.

The 707 was just as big a technological risk, and 747 comes close. Look at the comet that came out not much before 707 - it was a technological failure.

They've tested all of the technology. It's not like when they put it together, that will be the first time they see if all the new technology works. It is all tested independently, the composites, everything, on a smaller scale. If it is good enough, then they proceed.

Boeing wouldn't put the plane together - sell nearly 500 of them (probably 500 by the time it flies) and spend nearly 10 billion USD on it if they hadn't tested all the new technologies and knew they worked.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8477 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8362 times:

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 14):
the risks with the 707 and 747 are somewhat different, they were not really a technological breakthrough

I think that the 747 was a significant engineering breakthrough, even if there were no new technologies on par with composites. This is especially true when you consider that the computer you surf the internet with is far more powerful than the few that Boeing would have had when developing the 747. It was drafting boards and slide rulers. Compare that situation to the massive computer systems available to Airbus during the 380 development (even if they failed to use the same software) and the 747 development is pretty impressive.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 17):
In other words, if Boeing beats Airbus in a few years in annual sales based on value (when a large portion of those sales is the 787), are they in fact making as much money as they seem when they have to pay out so much more per aircraft for value-added outsourcing and component manufactoring which they did not do themselves?

While Boeing will get a smaller slice of the gross margins they will also have reduced costs that fits between gross margin and profits. Amortizing R&D costs will be significantly reduced as will the interest costs related to R&D as well as all of the factories (plus depreciation on the factories).

In other words, I don't think Boeing will be hurting at all with their smaller slice of the pie.


User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 8122 times:

Boeing has a long history of making military aircraft and that carriers over into the commercial operation. And I mean that by how secret they are keeping things. It's just what they are used to and how they choose to run their business. Now here's the main part that it seems as though almost EVERYONE on this site seems to forget. The only info Boeing releases to the public is the info they WANT to release. Most people on this site live and die by sales numbers and info in press releases on their website, guess what... there's A LOT more to it than that. ABSOLUTELY NO airline, cargo carrier, leasing company etc. go to the Boeing website to get info. They send reps. to the company and have private meetings where they get the real info. The website is for the PUBLIC. Now of course many people on here will disagree with me because they know SO MUCH about the inner workings of Boeing (now if you actually DO work for Boeing, that wasn't directed at you). My roommate spent all summer working closely with Boeing in Seattle so I'm getting this info from him first hand.


Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineAirFRNT From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2829 posts, RR: 42
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7997 times:

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Thread starter):


I am just curious on peoples thoughts on why Boeing is confident on B787. It seems to me they are using a lot of new ideas on one model of plane. Seems kind of risky to me, shouldn't they first try this stuff on a military freighter or something? Is it because most of the ideas have been tried before or do they have a great test program? I'm thinking if the B787 becomes another Comet, Osprey or F111 the company would be ruined as a civilian aircraft producer.

What you need to remember is that there are two categories of risk on a project. One type of risk is engineering risk, where the properties of a particular system are not well enough understood/unsuitably designed (over or under build) or too complex to make the system behave properly. Good examples of this would be something akin to the Comet, but also perhaps engineering failures like the weight problems on the 346. Prior to the 707 Boeing also had their fair share of these types of problems.

The entire certification process that both Airbus and Boeing used grew out of the need for standardized testing for planes build during World War II. Boeing took that system and ran with it applying it to the 707 in particular. That system is designed to look for any kind of engineering fault, exposed it immediately prior to a plane going into proudction.

The second category is production problems. Production problems are a much greater risk to the company because they completely idle the company's production systems at enormous loss of face and capital.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 17):

I would venture to say that their biggest risk with the project is actually the amount of outsourcing to so many different suppliers. It seems to me they might have less control over that network of suppliers than they do over their development of the barrel composite construction. To my way of thinking, it's the suppliers who are potentially the wild cards.

There are a lot of risks here. Boeing has the longest civil aviation track record of any current airplane company. That gives them a enormous edge when it comes to engineering risk assessments, but also can leave them blind to problems that come from changing the current system. Boeing learned that when the 737 and 747 lines had to idle back in the 90s because of a really bad production snafu.

As far as the entire system goes however, just like standardization brought advantages to mass producing airlines, Boeing has a enormous history of successfully integrating in diverse teams. In a very real sese, this is also a change forced by the military, since Boeing has experience integrating these systems because of their Prime contractor status of very complex engineering projects like the Space Shuttle.

The last thing that is a positive from this is that I have personally found that sometimes risk sharing partners are much more agile in responses to changing circumstances (esp if the circumstances indicate opportunity) simply because it is in their best interest to improve on their systems, or numbers of units sold, or operating efficiency so they can prosper doing business. In the long run, agile production systems should be much better at improvement then monolithic large systems.


User currently offlineGlideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7163 times:

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Thread starter):
I am just curious on peoples thoughts on why Boeing is confident on B787. It seems to me they are using a lot of new ideas on one model of plane. Seems kind of risky to me, shouldn't they first try this stuff on a military freighter or something? Is it because most of the ideas have been tried before or do they have a great test program? I'm thinking if the B787 becomes another Comet, Osprey or F111 the company would be ruined as a civilian aircraft producer.

Simple. It's Boeing.



To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
25 Kwcarolma : For me, Boeing's confident in B787 comes with a solid reason which's already proven to be successful 10 years ago. Remember the philosophy employed by
26 SSTsomeday : Thanks very much to all who answered my question about profit sharing when outsourcing. Since it was a diversion from the thread topic, I decided to
27 CPHGuard : I surely hope and beleive that the 787 will be a milestone in civil aviation. That said, i do beleive that there have been, and still are a lot of ris
28 Cubastar : I thought that it was a PanAm 707 that lost control for some reason while crossing the Atlantic. Supposedly during the dive and subsequent pullout th
29 Stitch : They may read it, but I'd be shocked (and, frankly, dismayed) if they gave it anything near the weight some folks on this forum do. Many companies ha
30 Post contains links 787engineer : Well for one thing, if Boeing doesn't seem confident in the success of the 787, how can they expect the customers to be? Airbus was very confident on
31 RoseFlyer : I think one thing to note is that Boeing is promoting how far advanced the 787 and how radically different it is with all of its new technology so tha
32 PlanenutzTB : I'm sure the experts here will correct me if I'm wrong, but while it seems there is a lot of new technology used in the 787, it is actually old techn
33 Cobra27 : Who said that Boeing ever felt confident about 787. The only guy who must feel confident in aviation is Big Mouth
34 Gearup : You are quite correct, there is not much on the 787 that Boeing has not done before (if any). Of course making it successful in a commercial aircraft
35 AA777223 : I am somewhat curious of some of the parallels that are being drawn here. I see the allusion to the 707 as the first highly successful passenger jet
36 AndesSMF : Boeing did indeed bet the farm on both 707 and 747. One thing to remember, Boeing bit the bullet and made the 707 slightly wider than the DC-8, thereb
37 SSTsomeday : I suspect he doesn't write it himself, but some peon does who reports to him, and he approves it. It seems aimed at the Aviation press, perhaps indiv
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