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787 Troubles Shine Spotllight On Vought  
User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11526 times:



Quote:
Vought Aircraft has entered damage control mode after executives acknowledged the company's high-risk status as one of six key structural producers on the Boeing 787 programme.

The company has admitted errors and welcomed outside intervention, with both steps apparently intended to save face in the glare of public scrutiny over supply chain and production problems on the 787 that contributed to the programme's six-month delay for first delivery.


http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...es-shine-spotllight-on-vought.html

Exactly what problems are Vought having?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30928 posts, RR: 87
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11456 times:
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Quoting EI321 (Thread starter):
Exactly what problems are Vought having?

This article from the 10th outlines many of them: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...echnology/2004005472_vought10.html


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21516 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11377 times:

From the second article, this was Boeing's biggest mistake:

"• When Vought took on the 787 work, it had to "reconstitute an engineering department" from disparate units that had been acquired separately, while at the same time "starting up a green field site in a remote location.""

Boeing is big enough that you have to wonder why they would choose a supplier who is ill-suited for the task.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRheinbote From Germany, joined May 2006, 1968 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 11206 times:

It's obvious from the photos available on Vought's website that the first sections they shipped to Boeing for LN001 had barely enough internal structure fitted to keep them from ovalizing. Only a handful of floor beams and frames, no stanchions, no floor grid, no lower deck, no brackets, let alone pre-stuffed systems.
http://www.vought.com/gallery/locati...southCarolina/sc_production_18.htm

Also, it seems sections 47 and 48 could not be made to fit properly. Have a look at the circumferential joint between the cutout for the stabilizer and the passenger door. The grey strip shows the waviness of the barrels to advantage. Pictures taken on 7/8/07 showed that this issue had not been fixed by then and had just been puttied over for the roll-out.
http://www.vought.com/gallery/locati.../southCarolina/sc_production19.jpg

The joint between sections 47 and 48 needs special care because it is in a highly loaded area, the sections are conical and the pressure bulkhead is nearby. I'd guess that in order to fix the joint, sections 47 and 48 had to be taken apart after the roll-out.

May be another simple 'out-of-round' issue with the lack of fasteners as the root cause, may as well be a design flaw. The latter would fit a rumor I heard that 'one major joint was flawed and had to be taken apart after roll-out...and may even require a redesign'. Would not be a showstopper tho, even if true.


User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1335 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10891 times:



Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 3):
Would not be a showstopper tho, even if true.

Even if it is not a showstopper - then how long time might it further delay the project if true?


User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10706 times:



Quoting Abba (Reply 4):
Even if it is not a showstopper - then how long time might it further delay the project if true?

Apparently they've known about for some time, so I'd imagine it's factored into the current schedule, with the six month delay.



Airliners.net Moderator Team
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21516 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10640 times:



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 5):
Apparently they've known about for some time, so I'd imagine it's factored into the current schedule, with the six month delay.

Yep, it's really hurting the rampup and launch of 787-10 more than the delivery of the first set of planes.

I wonder if Boeing is looking to a new supplier for rampup/787-10, to build the same sections as Vought? They could easily come online in 4 years. Maybe a Japanese company who's doing a much better job and has more resources could expand their role...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAlangirvan From New Zealand, joined Nov 2000, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10431 times:

Is Vought the only problem? Are barrel sections of the NG 777 candidates to be produced by the same method, if Vought can get it right?

User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2512 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10430 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 6):
wonder if Boeing is looking to a new supplier for rampup/787-10, to build the same sections as Vought? They could easily come online in 4 years. Maybe a Japanese company who's doing a much better job and has more resources could expand their role...

I'm wondering that myself. I would imagine there must be clauses in the contract between Boeing and Vought that would allow Boeing to terminte the agreement if Vought can't meet certain goals. I am quite frankly surprised that given their troubles, Boeing selected them in the 1st place. Either there just wasn't anyone else, or Vought came in with an unbeatable price proposal for their work - sometimes you get what you pay for. I can only hope that the situation can be rectified and that delays don't start to snowball.
 crossfingers 


User currently offlinePVG From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2004, 724 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10310 times:

Why doesn't Boeing just buy Vought? It seems that they need money. They already have the facilities. Seems like it would be a much easier solution to buy the company and run it yourself, rather than having to start with a new supplier from scratch.

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21516 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10191 times:



Quoting PVG (Reply 9):
Why doesn't Boeing just buy Vought? It seems that they need money. They already have the facilities. Seems like it would be a much easier solution to buy the company and run it yourself, rather than having to start with a new supplier from scratch.

That's one option, but it means absorbing the risk rather than sharing it.

I was more suggesting that Vought not be dropped, just they can't be expected to expand their output. So another supplier already on the team, like somebody in Japan, may be able to build more of the sections, and they would still be integrated once brought to the states.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10133 times:



Quoting Alangirvan (Reply 7):
Are barrel sections of the NG 777 candidates to be produced by the same method

No such aircraft is even sketched out.

NS


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21516 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9963 times:



Quoting Gigneil (Reply 11):
No such aircraft is even sketched out.

I would assume that a Y3 is sketched out at Boeing (not a 777NG), but the process may not be set. I doubt it will be simple to transport full barrels of a Y3 because of the size, at least by air. And the A380 convoys show how impractical it can be on the ground.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9112 times:

Everything Boeing has done in the last 10 years has always seemed bizarre. My questions include:

Why did Boeing move their headquarters to Chicago? They never really gave a decent answer why they thought this was necessary. I can't believe that they had any more problems selling aircraft from Seattle than Airbus has selling aircraft from Toulouse or Embraer has selling aircraft from Brazil.

Whose dippy idea was it to promote the Sonic Cruiser which they withdrew because none of the airlines wanted it? You would think somebody would ask the airlines what they were looking for before launching something as radical as the Sonic Cruiser.

Why did Boeing spend countless hours and PR to paint the A380 as a failure because nobody wanted large four-engined aircraft only to make a 180 degree turn later on and introduce the 747-8?

Why did Boeing spend billions on producing the enormously complicated 787 rather than just shortening the 777 fuselage by a few frames like Airbus did with the A319? The could have produced a 9-across long-distance aircraft with commonality to the existing 777's that the airlines would have bought in quantity.

Why did Boeing move so much production away from Seattle? I can understand that there are political reasons for sourcing from Japan and China because they are big markets. But what was gained by sourcing from Voight and Alenia? Italy is not much of a Boeing market.

Why did Boeing stage a huge roll-out ceremony for the 787 when the airplane was nothing but a bunch of pieces held together with masking tape and chewing gum? And why didn't the PR people who insisted on the roll-out on July 8, 2007 know that in the rest of the world this date is written 8/7/07 causing the whole gimmick to fall flat on its face anyway?

I am not a Boeing basher. My first airplane flight was on a 707 and I still feel a pang in my heart on the rare occasions I see a 727 fly by. I have always loved both those planes. But is there anybody in charge at Boeing?


User currently offlinePVG From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2004, 724 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9105 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 10):
That's one option, but it means absorbing the risk rather than sharing it.

I was more suggesting that Vought not be dropped, just they can't be expected to expand their output. So another supplier already on the team, like somebody in Japan, may be able to build more of the sections, and they would still be integrated once brought to the states.

Got it. But, with 700 orders and counting, what is the risk today? It is a very successful product. Seems to me that buying Vought is an opportunity, especially since Boeing can hold back money and strain their cash-flow.


User currently offlineM27 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8968 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
I am not a Boeing basher.

Good to know, cause you were sure fooling me!


User currently offlineElvis777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 360 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8772 times:

Howdy all,

nifty article that may add a bit more to the discussion.....

Peace

Elvis777

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...zes%20787%20production%20oversight


Oh yeah I am not a Boeing basher either  Smile



Leper,Unevolved, Misplaced and Unrepentant SportsFanatic and a ZOMBIE as well
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8734 times:

Sorry. I am not a Boeing basher or any other basher.

I am just old enough to remember when the only planes in the sky were Boeing, Douglas or Lockheed and the only cars in the road were GM and Ford. My first trip to Europe as a child was on TWA and Pan Am. Age tells.

I realize the the US could not expect to dominate the world forever, but I would have thought that we could have given the Europeans and Asians more of a run for their money than we did.


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1260 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8670 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing move their headquarters to Chicago? They never really gave a decent answer why they thought this was necessary. I can't believe that they had any more problems selling aircraft from Seattle than Airbus has selling aircraft from Toulouse or Embraer has selling aircraft from Brazil.

I personally disagree with the move, but its important to remember commercial aircraft are only part of Boeing's product portfolio.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
You would think somebody would ask the airlines what they were looking for before launching something as radical as the Sonic Cruiser.

They did ask, and many airlines were interested. In fact, the way Boeing developed SC technology so it could be leveraged on the 787 is fairly impressive and shows they were concerned that rising fuel prices could hurt the SC market. Also, they never actually launched the SC.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing spend billions on producing the enormously complicated 787 rather than just shortening the 777 fuselage by a few frames like Airbus did with the A319? The could have produced a 9-across long-distance aircraft with commonality to the existing 777's that the airlines would have bought in quantity.

Airlines had no interest in a shorter 777, which was proposed on several ocassions. An airplane that cost nearly as much to buy and operate as a 777-200 but seats fewer passengers was not going to do well. And this was long before the 787 was on the drawing board. Simply put, the 767 had been loosing market share to the A330 for years, and Boeing needed an aircraft that would dramatically improve on existing offerings to regain its place in this market. A shrink 777 simply would not have had the economics to do it, and from the sales record of the 787, I can't see anyone thinking its launch was a strategic mistake.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing move so much production away from Seattle? I can understand that there are political reasons for sourcing from Japan and China because they are big markets.

In theory, this would result in lower production costs. Outsourcing production is common in many industries and very benneficial, but with a project like an airliner it is a logistical nightmare. Obviously Boeing has some holes in the current setup, but it is too soon to declare the plan a success or failure.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing stage a huge roll-out ceremony for the 787 when the airplane was nothing but a bunch of pieces held together with masking tape and chewing gum? And why didn't the PR people who insisted on the roll-out on July 8, 2007 know that in the rest of the world this date is written 8/7/07 causing the whole gimmick to fall flat on its face anyway?

The ceremony was in the works long before the extent of the problems was apparent--reschedualing it was not an option.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineIwok From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8628 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Everything Boeing has done in the last 10 years has always seemed bizarre.

Lets see what these are...

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing move their headquarters to Chicago?

What's so bizarre about it? Probably got some good tax concessions, and Chicago has a larger management talent pool.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Whose dippy idea was it to promote the Sonic Cruiser which they withdrew because none of the airlines wanted it?

At the time, labor costs were the number issue at airlines, hence the SC made sense. Now that fuel costs have taken center stage, the 787 is more relevant. So both were good ideas, but the 787 is right for the time.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing spend countless hours and PR to paint the A380 as a failure because nobody wanted large four-engined aircraft only to make a 180 degree turn later on and introduce the 747-8?

Please point out one source where B spent real resources to call the 380 a failure because it had 4-engines. (there are none) From the late 90's everyone knew a 747 derivative was coming, so I wouldn't call it a 180 degree turn.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing spend billions on producing the enormously complicated 787 rather than just shortening the 777 fuselage by a few frames like Airbus did with the A319?

What would a shortened 777 have produced? A very heavy and uncompetitive airframe like the SP.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing move so much production away from Seattle? I can understand that there are political reasons for sourcing from Japan and China because they are big markets. But what was gained by sourcing from Voight and Alenia? Italy is not much of a Boeing market.

The "political reason" for having the Japanese heavies involved is that they kick a$s and do a great job on many other Boeing products.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
Why did Boeing stage a huge roll-out ceremony for the 787 when the airplane was nothing but a bunch of pieces held together with masking tape and chewing gum?

Because that's what a rollout ceremony is: a dog and pony show. Just ask Airbus.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
And why didn't the PR people who insisted on the roll-out on July 8, 2007 know that in the rest of the world this date is written 8/7/07 causing the whole gimmick to fall flat on its face anyway?

Because the rollout was done in a little country called the U S A where Boeing is headquartered and which understands the date configuration.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 13):
I am not a Boeing basher.

Really  scratchchin 

Quoting PVG (Reply 14):
Seems to me that buying Vought is an opportunity, especially since Boeing can hold back money and strain their cash-flow.

Vought would indeed be a good purchase, but I'd suggest that they by only the units that are involved with the 787 as opposed to the whole company.

iwok


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4763 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8596 times:
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are there problems with Alenia too or only Vought?
its a joint Vought-Alenia share so it may not be possible to drop Vought if Alenia are doing fine.


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8580 times:

It's not really a question of being a Boeing basher either. I have the utmost respect for the engineers and machinists in Seattle.

The problems with Voight stem from the MBA's who are more interested in their stock options. I have no doubt that the experienced personnel in Seattle were perfectly capable of designing and manufacturing the 787 competently. But the finance guys figured on their spreadsheets that by using a subcontractor they could increase profits by 3.24796% or some such similar number and the decision was made to make the fuselage sections at Voight. Now they have problems and the resulting expenses and delays will probably more than cancel out the extra profit earned by using the subcontractor in the first place.

I am not a Boeing basher, but when I hear the word "Boeing" I think of the airplane manufacturer located at "Boeing Field" in Seattle, not a bunch of low-bid contractors with cash-flow problems.


User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 8873 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8526 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 18):

I am new on this site also and I agree with Eghansen also, in our time we have watched this self destruction of the US manufacturing superiority due to greed of the US companies and their executives trying to bleed every dime out of anything they make, and we all know we do not make much anymore here in the US. A company like Boeing to outsource so much of this aircraft is stupid in my opinion, how are you going to control quality?, I think that question is already answered with this aircraft. The auto industry and now the aircraft industry going down the tubes, lets hope not.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4319 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8428 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 6):
I wonder if Boeing is looking to a new supplier for rampup/787-10, to build the same sections as Vought?

I wonder if Vought is one of the vendors Bair alluded to a few weeks ago when he said (in his first public comments since being whacked as head of the 787 program) that some vendors were not up to the task and won't be used again in the future.

Quoting Elvis777 (Reply 17):
Howdy all,

nifty article that may add a bit more to the discussion.....

Peace

Elvis777

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...sight

I wonder if the Tom Captain in the article is the same "Captain X" that used to lurk in these forums. He wouldn't be so dumb as to use his real name as part of his A.Net user ID, would he?



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1260 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8429 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 22):
I am not a Boeing basher, but when I hear the word "Boeing" I think of the airplane manufacturer located at "Boeing Field" in Seattle, not a bunch of low-bid contractors with cash-flow problems.

For better or worse, modern economic realities--as well as the huge scale of developing modern jets--make that view out of date. The 787 has had problems, but your criticism doesn't make sense.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
25 Eghansen : I don't know enough about Boeing to know what their financial position was. It is likely that they did not have the capital to produce a new aircraft
26 WingedMigrator : The immediate concern is the ramp-up in the first half of 2008. Boeing needs to ramp up to about 6 per month, and fast. The planned ramp-up numbers a
27 Wjcandee : The issues mentioned by Vought are threefold: (1) Engineering dept reconstitution to share in the engineering/process work; (2) greenfield facility de
28 WarRI1 : In my humble opinion, you are correct in what you have said about the mindset of the people running Boeing and the state of mind of these people with
29 Tdscanuck : Because the McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing merger had to be seen as a merger of equals, not a takeover. Put the headquarters in Seattle...Boeing takeover.
30 WarRI1 : I would question the part about the largest manufacturer, I know we are the largest importer, In my lifetime the outsourcing as in the case of the 78
31 Eghansen : I can't answer for the in-house reasoning used by Boeing at the time, but considering the resulting company is called "Boeing Aircraft" and all its p
32 Stitch : To get away from the unions at Commercial Aircraft who kept picketing HQ. The CEO of AA said he wanted the first three years of production to keep it
33 Dw747400 : The simple fact is a short 777 could not compete with the A330-200, which is an overall lighter frame and better optimized in the market. I'm sorry,
34 Suprazachair : Outsourcing is the economic reality of today's world. Like it or not, its here and its not going anywhere. It sucks, but what are you gonna do about i
35 Post contains links PlaneInsomniac : Not to be a smart aleck, but which metric are you using for this statement? As far as I know, according to the WTO, Germany has been the largest expo
36 Wjcandee : Well, remember that it's not all about exports; gross domestic product is going to include stuff produced and consumed in the same country, and the U
37 PlaneInsomniac : Granted, the US certainly has the world's largest GDP, unless you consider the EU a single entity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_
38 Post contains links Stitch : In a small blurb in this morning's Seattle Times, Boeing and Torray noted they are considering increasing CFRP production by 40% - sufficient to build
39 OldAeroGuy : Do mean decisions like developing the 773ER/2LR/F? Actually, its called The Boeing Company. Stitch is correct. A 777-100 would have been a poor compe
40 Trex8 : hey guys, lets give him some slack, not everyone here is an expert like some of you or is this forum only for the cognoscenti?
41 WarRI1 : I would say that we got to where we are because of the insatiable demand for cheap products in the US, everyone wants to make a ton of money and then
42 Parapente : Boeing will get this aircraft right. They always have done.And what an aircraft it will be! By the way you moaner's over the pond- I wish we Brits sti
43 Stratofortress : Dear Mr. Eghansen: Seeing that you just joined recently, here is a small piece of advice, that may enable you to keep some credibility. Do some resear
44 Threepoint : Indeed, many of today's product labels proudly claim "Designed in Canada" with cheerful little maple leaves that all but obscure the small print: 'Fa
45 Rwessel : 2003 (newest I have handy) industrial output/manufacturing numbers: #1 US: $2,271B / 1,523B #2 Japan: 1,307B / 894B #3 China: 893B / 889B #4 Germany:
46 Tdscanuck : Actual manufacturing output. For a huge internal market like the US, that is a *very* different thing than export output. Bingo. Thank you for nailin
47 WarRI1 : Ok, I cannot dispute the figures given in reply 46, they are after all trade figures put out by industry and the government and we know that we can b
48 OldAeroGuy : Please do a little research on the world wide content of Boeing airplanes prior to the 787. Major components such as 767 body sections (Japan), 767 f
49 Trex8 : isn't something like about 20% of the 777 airframe from overseas and about half that on the 767
50 SEPilot : What planet do you come from? You should ask why Boeing spent more than their net worth at the time developing the 707 instead of just putting turbop
51 WarRI1 : Well, I learn something everyday on this site, as I said I am not an expert and do not pretend to be, I said what I thought was fairly accurate and y
52 ER757 : That's a bit harsh, don't you think? I liked your very logical explanation after this line, but hey, give the poor guy a break, OK?
53 SEPilot : OK; Eghansen, I apologize.
54 WarRI1 : I have learned something today, I went on the Boeing site and clicked on (suppliers) and lo and behold, a wealth of information and very interesting a
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