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Boeing's Management Of The 787 Program  
User currently offlineTomB From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 79 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16345 times:

In January 2003, Boeing launched the Boeing 787 program with the stated goal of 1) rollout on July 8, 2007 (07/08/07), 2) first flight on August 27, 2007 and entry into service with ANA in May, 2008.

To reduce Boeing’s capital expenditures, Boeing subcontracted the engineering and production of the major subcomponents to Alenia, Spirit, Vought, Kawaski, Mitsubishi and Fuji. Each major subcontractor probably invested $500 million to $1 billion for their portion of the program. All of the subcontractors used CATIA V5 software so all the major subcomponents were supposed to join together without a problem.

In a fit of management and engineering hubris, Boeing decided in 2003 that they could 1) design and manufacturer the aircraft out of composites whereas all previous aircraft had been aluminum structures, 2) subcontract the engineering and production of major subcomponents to aerospace companies worldwide, and 3) flawlessly execute a design, flight test and production process that took them from initial design to a production rate of 7 aircraft per month in five years time.

Instead of excellence and perfection, the Boeing 787 program has suffered from multiple glitches. The early aircraft are 14,000 to 20,000 pounds overweight with the MTOW expected to increase from 476,000 lbs. to 500,000 lbs. to preserve early range estimates. The aircraft has failed a static test resulting in the redesign of the fuselage/wing mating area. The initial versions of the engines seriously missed their SFC targets requiring substantial redesign. The non-availability of titanium fasteners caused months of production delays and a year of rework to replace temporary fasteners. Flight control and braking software were a year or two behind schedule adding to the delays.

The major subcontractors had probably invested more than $5 Billion in total and probably dedicated more than 5,000 employees to the 787 program with the expectation that they would be hitting a steady production rate of 7 aircraft per month by early 2008. Instead, with all the problems, the subcontractors have slowed or even stopped production and laid off many of their employees. Just imagine all of the negotiated change orders between Boeing and the subcontractors to cover the subcontractors’ cost of the delays.

I would guess that Boeing has invested more than $5 Billion in just design, production equipment and work in progress on the 787 program and have probably dedicated more than 5,000 employees to the program.

As a result of all of the 787 program delays and problems, I estimate the Boeing has: 1)
paid billions to the airlines for late delivery penalties, 2) paid a billion or more to major subcontractors in advance payments for components not yet delivered (Vought, alone, had $420 Million of advance payments), 3) spent a billion or two just reengineering the 787 aircraft and 4) probably spent a billion on the rework of the first six airplanes to replace fasterners, repair fuselage/wing joints etc. I am sure Boeing could dispute my individual estimates, but the end result is many billion of dollars of cost overruns.

Even if you injected Scott Carson full of truth serum, he would never divulge the full extent of Boeing’s cost overruns on the 787 program. It is too embarrassing.

In any event, I am sure that the Boeing 787 program management will warrant a case study at the Harvard Business School and the University of Washington MBA Program.

Now that the program management of the Boeing 787 program has clearly failed, the question of the day is, using 20/20 hindsight, how should have Boeing managed the 787 program from inception?

Here are my ideas on how the Boeing 787 program should have been managed from inception:

January 2003 – Launch program.

Years 2003, 2004 and 2005 – Detailed design of the 787 PROTOTYPE using only Boeing engineers. Since this is Boeing’s first composite airliner, I think a prototype is a requisite to substantially reduce design risk.

Years 2003 – 2007 – Sell 787 delivery positions to airlines with a $500,000 non-refundable deposit.

Year 2006 – Fabrication and assembly of 787 prototype aircraft using only Boeing facilities.

Year 2007 – Flight testing and static testing of the 787 prototype aircraft.

Year 2008 – Begin offering sales contracts with firm performance guarantees. The price can be firmer as the prototypes have already flown and many of the unknown risks have already been removed from the program.

Years 2008 and 2009 – Detailed redesign of the 787 aircraft using all the lessons learned from the prototype aircraft to further optimize the design and performance.

Years 2008 and 2009 – Boeing begins building a 787 manufacturing facility in a right to work state in the southern United States. I would have Boeing build all the fuselage sections, because composite construction manufacturing is largely automated and is, therefore, capital intensive rather than labor intensive. I believe that all of the costs Boeing incur in managing subcontractors and moving fuselage sections around in the Dreamlifter could pay for a substantial portion of the direct labor at a Boeing owned manufacturing facility. I have not decided if the wings should be manufactured by Boeing or subcontracted to the Japanese.

Year 2010 – Commence production and assembly of the 787 aircraft. The Vice President of 787 manufacturing now only needs an electric golf cart to tour the entire 787 production line and to manage its operations.

Year 2011 – Flight testing and certification.

Year 2012 – Delivery and entry into service.

In summary, my program management and timeline would have resulted in delivery and EIS in early 2012 versus early 2011 for the current program. The insertion of the prototype aircraft into the programs gives Boeing more experience with composites and the opportunity to optimize design without the huge expense of parallel production. The more prudent and cautious development program greatly reduces Boeing’s overall risk. And the billions saved by not having to pay for late deliveries, rework and advances to subcontractors should be more than enough to pay for a Boeing owned facility to manufacture most of the 787 structural components in a right to work state.

A.netters – this is your opportunity to teach Boeing something about program management.

127 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16260 times:

I think Boeing did extensive market studies and talked to all its customers to determine what would be the right specifications for a 767 successor.

After doing so they probably found out the A330 came pretty close to those specifications and waiting until 2012 or offering something marginally better was no option.

I have the feeling a blame game has been started in the last few weeks. After foreign subcontractors now "management" are the ones to blame.

Everybody wants to blame others, while protecting core values and sacred cows such as free enterprise, capitalism, technological superioty, patriotism and optimism/wishfull thinking.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21472 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16250 times:

This is not how any modern airliner programs are run. This may be how things were done before the advent of computers, but not anymore. Prototyping is done virtually, and your lead times are way too long.

Even with your schedule, assuming nothing went wrong, what value is there in a 2012 EIS v. the current 2010 or early 2011 (depending on who you want to believe) EIS?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently onlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8942 posts, RR: 40
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 16219 times:

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
Instead, with all the problems, the subcontractors have slowed or even stopped production and laid off many of their employees. Just imagine all of the negotiated change orders between Boeing and the subcontractors to cover the subcontractors’ cost of the delays.

If Boeing's contract with their machinist is similar to what GM had with the UAW, they probably couldn't layoff those employees who weren't needed at the time, resulting in even greater cost overruns. In this sense, the outsourcing was positive. This might not even be allowed under Washington State's labor regulations for all I know.

Your plan seems to assume Boeing wouldn't have screwed up had it developed the bird entirely/mostly in-house. Airbus pretty much did that, and yet they still screwed up the wiring, and the issue lied with something that seems rather dumb, which applies to Boeing's blunders as well, at least from my non-expert point of view anyways. It's not dumb, just the nature of the program. Both programs are very complex and somethings will invariably be overlooked.

Boeing's management bit more than they could chew by expecting to build a flawless prototype, one that changed the engineering game, and in record time to boot. And then throw in a learning curve with managing their new outsourcing model and you've got yourself a perfect storm.

[Edited 2009-07-12 15:01:33]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineSphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 16121 times:



Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
Year 2006 – Fabrication and assembly of 787 prototype aircraft using only Boeing facilities.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
This is not how any modern airliner programs are run. This may be how things were done before the advent of computers, but not anymore. Prototyping is done virtually, and your lead times are way too long.

Even with your schedule, assuming nothing went wrong, what value is there in a 2012 EIS v. the current 2010 or early 2011 (depending on who you want to believe) EIS?

Ikramerica,
Per your profile you are old enough to have seen the old Fram oil filter commercials in their first run: "You can pay me now. Or pay me later". Your point about computer models is cogent - unless the actual article ventures into areas not anticipated by the models, and the controlling entity ends up building a prototype anyway while incomplete assemblies intended for early production sit on the factory floor, at the suppliers, etc. Then the total time to deliver exceeds the time to build a prototype and then manufacturing the first production article based on the lessons learned.

sPh


User currently offlineFBWless From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 16049 times:

Having been in a management position of a recent large project (outside the airline business), I can easily identify the same issues that are very common in a lot of other projects in the world.

These are:
- Top management not having correct information for basic decisions
- Poor quality control supervision of contractors and sub-contractors
- Engineering difficulties being downplayed by medium level management
- Supply chain being taken for granted


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21472 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15976 times:



Quoting Sphealey (Reply 4):
Per your profile you are old enough to have seen the old Fram oil filter commercials in their first run: "You can pay me now. Or pay me later". Your point about computer models is cogent - unless the actual article ventures into areas not anticipated by the models, and the controlling entity ends up building a prototype anyway while incomplete assemblies intended for early production sit on the factory floor, at the suppliers, etc. Then the total time to deliver exceeds the time to build a prototype and then manufacturing the first production article based on the lessons learned.

No, while there are valuable things to be learned from physical modeling, my statement wasn't that nothing can be learned, just that this is NOT how things are done anymore.

Advocating returning to the past v. fixing the techniques of today or tomorrow is now a solution. Taking 9 years to produce an aircraft is not a solution (and may be the longest time ever for a viable program?). Taking 5 years simply to test a prototype is not a solution.

The OP's schedule is an academic exercise, not something based in the state of the art. It might be somewhat interesting to think about, the reality that it would NEVER be done this way, and never will, makes it an exercise in futility.

In the real world, the ER, rev 2.0, or other "second wave" production products take advantage of what was learned from the design and test program of the actual product, not a prototype. This was true of the 777 (IGW/ER coming out 2 years later), it's true of the A330 (much improved over the original production models), and will be true of the 787, both through the 787-9 program and improvements to later build 787-8s.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 15832 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 7):
Taking 9 years to produce an aircraft is not a solution (and may be the longest time ever for a viable program?). Taking 5 years simply to test a prototype is not a solution.

The OP's schedule is an academic exercise, not something based in the state of the art. It might be somewhat interesting to think about, the reality that it would NEVER be done this way, and never will, makes it an exercise in futility.

Yes, you make a few interesting points. However......it's now taken over 61/2 years to 'produce' an aircraft that wasn't flown mere days before it was finally supposed to make it's first flight; almost two years since it was scheduled to make it's first flight and yet, in your view, that is "state-of-the-art". That is the reality....and which hasn't gotten us very far!
I would thus say that the OP's points are something very much to think about and I certainly wouldn't be passing it off as "an exercise in futility". Indeed, one could surely argue that it is sheer futility to claim that something will NEVER be done in a particular way. Thus, what is your solution to get the thing in the air as, at this point, Boeing don't seem to have such?


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12333 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 15784 times:

Your key presumption is that Boeing could have done a prototype before doing the rest of the program, yet there's no proof of that. Time to market matters in the real world.

Time to market means you write plans more or less presuming that things go as planned, with some amount of contingency, and if things go wrong, you deal with that.

Should Boeing have planned in advance for fasteners to be late, or for workers to not know how to install fasteners, or for stress modeling to be inaccurate? If so, how much time should they have put into the schedule for these things?

It's easy to look back in hindsight, not at all possible to know the future. For every issue that ended up causing major difficulties, I bet there were dozens that could have, but did not.

It's all very disappointing, but it's good Boeing doesn't have 20+ planes needing to be reworked before the problem is fully understood and rectified.

What is more troubling to me is how it seems the bad news doesn't make it to the top where things can be dealt with. See FlightBlogger's blog for one accounting.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineScrubbsYWG From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 15676 times:



Quoting FBWless (Reply 5):
Having been in a management position of a recent large project (outside the airline business), I can easily identify the same issues that are very common in a lot of other projects in the world.

These are:
- Top management not having correct information for basic decisions
- Poor quality control supervision of contractors and sub-contractors
- Engineering difficulties being downplayed by medium level management
- Supply chain being taken for granted

I do generally agree with your points. I work in product development(on a much smaller scale than aircraft) but i do see the above points almost on a daily basis. I am fairly young in the engineering world, so i do not really know how it was done in the past. What i do hear is that, 1)lead times are too long(when IMO they are realistic) 2) we will figure it out as we go along 3)too expensive--let's find a cheaper option(usually costs more in the end though).

Like i said, i do not know how things were done in the past, but with concurrent engineering being pretty much the mainstream and not the exception, i cannot see a 9 year timeline for EIS on an initial project schedule.

However, i really do believe, if enough information does come to light in the coming years, that the 787 project would be a great case study for engineering students and MBA students. Many engineering students do not get large scale project management taught to them and they learn as they go when they start working. This is where experienced engineers acting as mentors comes into play. Of course, there are many higher ups in many companies that do not understand technological challenges and push other parts of the company to do stupid things(7/8/7 roll out anyone?). Sometimes, even to the judgment of the people that should be thought of as knowing best, is not accepted(challenger disaster). However, things like this are something most engineering students do not 'care' about while in school and therefore may not see the value of what they are learning.

Suffice it to say, the 787 program definitely could have been handled differently. While full scale prototyping likely was never an option, a slightly more conservative timeline would likely have been a good idea. Not making dumb decisions(rollout long before it should happened), understanding the challenges of outsourcing major components, and understanding the technology and your company's capability of that technology are all things i think were passed up, or at least not fully understood in the 787 project.

I for one am looking forward to an 'insiders' view of the 787 project if one ever comes to light. I see so many parallels in my job, and it would be a breath of fresh air to see what actually happened.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 15638 times:

A "fit of hubris" accurately describes what was going on. On the other hand, rosy promises did earn them a lot of sales. Boeing will eventually succeed with the program. The history books are not yet written. Maybe this is the bitter moment of anguish before a true roll-out of mature Boeing technology. Maybe we are witnessing a tough part of a successful story. But yes, certain minor players along the way did some terrible harm to the company, just out of laziness and cynicism. The Boeing company deserves better spokespeople to represent what it really stands for. This could have been spun as a brave company trying to drag technology forward by the ear... Something GM for example has been condemned for not doing.

User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4985 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days ago) and read 15532 times:



Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
I have not decided if the wings should be manufactured by Boeing or subcontracted to the Japanese.

Boeing has the talent already in place. This airplane would have flown long ago if it was controlled and built by Boeing employees.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15449 times:



Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
In a fit of management and engineering hubris, Boeing decided in 2003 that they could 1) design and manufacturer the aircraft out of composites whereas all previous aircraft had been aluminum structures

All previous aircraft since (at least) the 747 had composite secondary structure. They're had composite primary structure since the 777 (~15 years). Plus there's the military side, which has had all composite structure for about 20 years (B-2). The difference on the 787 is the amount of primary composite structure, not the idea of it.

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
2) subcontract the engineering and production of major subcomponents to aerospace companies worldwide

This has been done, successfully, on all current other programs. Again, it's the scale, not the concept, that was different on the 787.

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
3) flawlessly execute a design, flight test and production process that took them from initial design to a production rate of 7 aircraft per month in five years time.

This was, indeed, a bit nutty.

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
Flight control and braking software were a year or two behind schedule adding to the delays.

How could it add to the delays? The plane wasn't out of the factory for real until a few months ago. Nothing Boeing has released since then suggests that flight controls or brakes were the tall tent pole in the timeline.

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
Years 2003, 2004 and 2005 – Detailed design of the 787 PROTOTYPE using only Boeing engineers. Since this is Boeing’s first composite airliner, I think a prototype is a requisite to substantially reduce design risk.

Boeing didn't build a prototype 777 and that program worked out just fine. Even if, in hindsight, it would have been nice, there was absolutely zero chance you'd convince anyone on the program to build one in advance because they'd already executed a new airplane program successfully without one. "We want to do this, even though we didn't do it last time and didn't need it last time, because we think we're going to screw it up this time" isn't a very compelling sales pitch.

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
Years 2003 – 2007 – Sell 787 delivery positions to airlines with a $500,000 non-refundable deposit.

How would a dicated on delivery happening starting two years ago. Obviously, that didn't happen, but the order pattern would have been very different if they'd gone in with a 2012 EIS.

Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
The insertion of the prototype aircraft into the programs gives Boeing more experience with composites

Boeing has tons of experience with composites. What would they have learned from the prototype that they didn't already know?

Tom.,


User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5167 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15353 times:

The problem was that Boeing was doing 2 things it hadn't done before. First, it was building an airplane with far more composite material than any other commercial aircraft. Second, it outsourced far more assembly work than it had in the past.

That was biting off far more than Boeing could chew. Boeing should kept more work in-house and worked out the problems of going with a composite plane.

Then, when it started work on the composite successor for the 737 and 757, it could then increase the amount of outsourced work.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15234 times:



Quoting Ckfred (Reply 14):
First, it was building an airplane with far more composite material than any other commercial aircraft.

How was that a problem? I'm certainly not saying the 787 hasn't had problems, but how were the composites one of them?

The wing-body join problem seems to have been a bad design, which is somewhat material independant (if you use bad design tools, you'll get the wrong answer in CFRP, aluminum, or Play-Doh). And, other than that, I can't think of what else Boeing has come out with where the material was the problem.

Tom.


User currently offlineMaxter From Australia, joined May 2009, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 15029 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 11):
A "fit of hubris" accurately describes what was going on. On the other hand, rosy promises did earn them a lot of sales.

Quite... One wonders what the levels of excitement were like in the development labs, the howls of glee when their prime competitor appeared to falter at each step during the early gestation of the original A350... It would have been difficult not to develop a certain level of hubris.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 11):
Boeing will eventually succeed with the program.

Of this there is little doubt. Boeing is not in a financial crisis, as much as some would like to think or wish for. They will weather the storm and produce a fine aircraft, albeit a little less groundbreaking and dare I say it, profitable, than originally envisaged.

Cheers,



maxter
User currently offlineFaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14296 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 12):
Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
3) flawlessly execute a design, flight test and production process that took them from initial design to a production rate of 7 aircraft per month in five years time.

This was, indeed, a bit nutty

That says it in a nutshell. That and perhaps the scale of the engineering-related outsourcing on the first composite primary structure intensive airliner.

A "Can-do" management style can be a liability in technology-intensive fields. It would be nutty to expect the 787, with all its production and technological innovations, to experience trouble-free development and testing. It is nuttier to think that it can be done within the same timespan as classic airframes.

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineTonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1414 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14203 times:

I personally am DELIGHTED at the egg on the face for Boeing after the amount of jeering it gave to Airbus over the far less delayed and over costly A380 problem!

To have an aircraft that rolled out almost TWO YEARS AGO and still hasnt flown is an absolute disgrace. Clearly corners were cut at a very early and critical stage which has led to this mess but not enough people or being held responsible!



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14176 times:



Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
The aircraft has failed a static test resulting in the redesign of the fuselage/wing mating area.



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 14):
The wing-body join problem seems to have been a bad design, which is somewhat material independant (if you use bad design tools, you'll get the wrong answer in CFRP, aluminum, or Play-Doh). And, other than that, I can't think of what else Boeing has come out with where the material was the problem.

Correct. The wing/body mating did not fail in static testing. It was discovered in preflight inspections prior to the first flight, which they were trying to do in June.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 1):
I think Boeing did extensive market studies and talked to all its customers to determine what would be the right specifications for a 767 successor.

After doing so they probably found out the A330 came pretty close to those specifications and waiting until 2012 or offering something marginally better was no option.

I don't think the A330 is a B-767 replacement airplane, it is more of an A-340 replacement. Additionally, the B-787 is not "something marginally better" than the A-330. It will be far superior to a very good airplane.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 12):
The difference on the 787 is the amount of primary composite structure, not the idea of it.

Correct.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 13):
The problem was that Boeing was doing 2 things it hadn't done before. First, it was building an airplane with far more composite material than any other commercial aircraft. Second, it outsourced far more assembly work than it had in the past.

That was biting off far more than Boeing could chew. Boeing should kept more work in-house and worked out the problems of going with a composite plane.

Then, when it started work on the composite successor for the 737 and 757, it could then increase the amount of outsourced work.

Also correct.


User currently offlineCerecl From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14138 times:



Quoting Tonystan (Reply 17):
I personally am DELIGHTED at the egg on the face for Boeing after the amount of jeering it gave to Airbus over the far less delayed and over costly A380 problem!

To be fair Boeing did not try overtly to bash Airbus or revel in A380's problems. Some of its fanboys on this forum did that. It is also questionable to take joy from anyone's failure, be it Airbus or Boeing.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14049 times:



Quoting TomB (Thread starter):
Since this is Boeing's first composite airliner, I think a prototype is a requisite to substantially reduce design risk.



Quoting Sphealey (Reply 4):
Your point about computer models is cogent - unless the actual article ventures into areas not anticipated by the models, and the controlling entity ends up building a prototype anyway while incomplete assemblies intended for early production sit on the factory floor, at the suppliers, etc. Then the total time to deliver exceeds the time to build a prototype and then manufacturing the first production article based on the lessons learned.

I suppose in terms of desirability, not needing a prototype comes first, needing a planned one second, and the present "accidental" prototype system would come a rather not so good third.

And I guess it shows that hubris can work fine at first, but if it fails, the fall out can be unpleasant. It will be quite a while before the real cost of the almost systemic (as you have put it TomB) stuff up for the 787 compares with the more incidental stuff up (OK big stuff up, but BIG plane) for the A380.

Very stimulating opener TomB, and very constructive. It also make you wonder how many of those factors have been pulled out by Airbus (who are clearly watching even more carefully) and to what extent they can avoid similar lines of stuff up. In theory those associated with outsourcing should not be a problem for Airbus as this is more or less how they did it before - famous last words???? But they have plenty of different versions of Scylla and Charybdis to avoid.

Quoting Maxter (Reply 15):
Boeing is not in a financial crisis, as much as some would like to think or wish for.

Well no, and in spite of its "best" efforts neither is Airbus, due largely due to the "competing" 73x and 32x respectively.

But oh "how much better could either be were their troubles of 2005-2009 away" to bowdlerize a traditional love ditty.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13930 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
I don't think the A330 is a B-767 replacement airplane, it is more of an A-340 replacement. Additionally, the B-787 is not "something marginally better" than the A-330. It will be far superior to a very good airplane.

Incorrect. The A340 was is for long haul thin routes, point to point bypassing hubs. (sounds familiar  scratchchin  ) The A330 (-300) for medium routes.

The A330s replaced 767s everywhere. We agree the 787 was designed to outperform the A330 in many areas (maintenance, price). Comfort was promoted early on as big advantage. Fuel consumption comes down mostly to the engine, not the airframe.

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 19):
To be fair Boeing did not try overtly to bash Airbus or revel in A380's problems. Some of its fanboys on this forum did that. It is also questionable to take joy from anyone's failure, be it Airbus or Boeing.

I think that is true. I can not remembering Boeing bashing the A380. They just said the 747-8i fitted the market requirements better.


User currently offlineAirFRNT From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 42
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13879 times:



Quoting Keesje (Reply 1):
After doing so they probably found out the A330 came pretty close to those specifications and waiting until 2012 or offering something marginally better was no option.

The 787 has many problems. The market sizing and conception of the plane is not one of them. The A380 on the other hand.....

Quoting Keesje (Reply 1):

I have the feeling a blame game has been started in the last few weeks. After foreign subcontractors now "management" are the ones to blame.

Management is certainly to blame for this. In particular, the loss of Alan Mullaly has been devastating for Boeing, and the new Management does not understand the proccess of risk mitigation acceptably.


User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4488 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13826 times:



Quoting Tonystan (Reply 17):
I personally am DELIGHTED at the egg on the face for Boeing after the amount of jeering it gave to Airbus over the far less delayed and over costly A380 problem!

What in the world are you talking about? Boeing said zilch about A380 delays. The only people that bashed the A380 program delays were overzealous, hypersensitive "aviation enthusiasts" with too much emotional attachment on this site.

Ironically it is the same type of person on the other side of the pond bashing Boeing for the 787.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineAirFrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 42
Reply 24, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13756 times:



Quoting Tonystan (Reply 17):
I personally am DELIGHTED at the egg on the face for Boeing after the amount of jeering it gave to Airbus over the far less delayed and over costly A380 problem!

You seem to be confusing rational discussion of the A380's texas size hole - there is no market for it - with the kind of pointless vitriol that is frequently unloaded by Aviation enthusiasts with no factual basis. The first is what Boeing pointed out, the second is quoted post.


25 Manfredj : It's a huge problem. Composites react differently than metals, decay different than metals, and now we see in the final stages before first flight wh
26 EPA001 : Off-topic: This is highly unlikely. It will be better in some aspects, probably the most in the engine department which is not a quality of the airfr
27 Njxc500 : I agree with you completely. In my opinion the A380 blazed one big trail, that was size, and it's now the leader and has taken over for the 747. The
28 RedFlyer : The way I see it, the 787's problems are attributable primarily to Boeing management, not the airplane's concept or engineering design. There's defini
29 Zeke : Only about 10% of the total structure. I would not use the B2 as a good example. From the initial design requirement of the Advanced Technology Bombe
30 Starrion : Speaking of management, when should we hear about the new timeline? Rumor was that they would announce it a week or more ahead of the conference on 7/
31 Astuteman : That may depend on your definition of "far superior", of course. It should be better, shouldn't it.. Which is your opinion, and nothing more, of cour
32 BestWestern : Get a life. Agree 100% The Anti A380 rhetoric was far far worse than the current anti 787 bashing.
33 Post contains links BestWestern : The management of the 787 program was slipping from very early on. In a 2005 thread Are The 787 Key Delivery Milestones Slipping? (by BestWestern Dec
34 PW100 : It most certainly is. Not so much of who is wrong or right, as nobody knows the future, and hindsight is always 20/20. But it does offer nice insight
35 Glideslope : Very easy. Never should have let Allen go. Never should have let Mike run the show. Should have fired Scott Carson 2 years ago. If Pat can't pull it
36 JBirdAV8r : I don't agree. Although that is certainly a subjective claim to make, I think we can both agree that this silly, emotional fanboyism, be it in favor
37 Zeke : That is false, from what I have read, about US$7 billion (2005 dollars) will come from the US and Japanese governments.
38 RedFlyer : Depends. If Shanahan has gotten the program to within 90% of where it should be, the Fat Lady won't yet be singing. If, on the other hand, there's st
39 StressedOut : What? Alan Mullaly is a nice guy and probably overall a good manager but he and the other early managers on the 787 program are absolutely responsibl
40 Zeke : What he should have said, for the minority percentage of the total 787 project costs that Boeing funds, Boeing has funded their share mainly from int
41 Ken777 : When looking at the 787 program I can't help but compare it to the original 747 program. The 747 program used a lot of manual engineering while the 78
42 RedFlyer : Entirely correct. However, and not to split hairs, the risk that Boeing is exposed to may be considerably more than the capital they've invested prop
43 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : IIRC, Boeing complamented Airbus the day of the A-380 roll out. correct Oh Keesje....... Fuel comsumption comes down to weather (winds), weight (airf
44 NorCal : What many ignore is that Boeing could have moved to a state like Texas or South Carolina and realized the EXACT same tax benefits the Washington gave
45 Glideslope : Zeke, relax dude. Please notice the word "mostly" used in context. You make it sound like I claimed only Flight Simmers use "joysticks."
46 Astuteman : I really hate to break this to you, my friend, but the A350XWB isn't an A330 replacement... It's perhaps surprising that even more people ignore the
47 Tdscanuck : I don' t think it's at crisis levels, but Boeing's annual report for last year shows that they burned a *lot* (about 50%) of their cash reserves. I'm
48 NorCal : Double standards?!?!? On A-net?!?!?!? Never!!!! I hope everyone can agree that the subsidy issue isn't black and white, there are rivers of gray.
49 Astuteman : I'll definitely go with that! Most of the issues that we come across in life, including engineering ones, I would characterise similarly. I guess hum
50 Baroque : Certainly is an interesting and amusing read. I vaguely wondered whether to "phish" (seems the appropriate way to spell it) out an old thread for con
51 Maxter : Actually there are quite a few user id's, nicknames or whatever you may wish to call them, missing from that era... quite a few of the more vociferous
52 BrouAviation : True. It's so typical. I've spoken to lots of Boeing people in the higher positions for my work, and I NEVER heard any bad word from them on Airbus p
53 Burkhard : Looking forward to the numbers to compare a 2011 deliverd A332 to a 2011 delivered B788 after 3 years of operation. What technology has Boeing built
54 Astuteman : That's certainly not the case on here. As far as I can see, neither the Boeing nor Airbus employees bad-mouth each other. They're almost certainly fa
55 BrouAviation : Well, it's a sort of up-and-down going curve. In the eighties, Boeing people used to throw eggs to Airbus by saying they were just another prestige-p
56 Post contains links Keesje : I think it was the other way around. However I have not seen Boeing comment on the A380 other then business like. I have never. And I took a long loo
57 Osteogenesis : It is really funny when you read it know. The 787 was like a religion back then to many people. Lets hope she flies soon and delivers at least a part
58 BrouAviation : As a journalist, student Aviation Engineering and (thus) regular visitor of both companies, I have heard and spoken many CEO's and chairmen of variou
59 Faro : In accounting terms cash burn does not necessarily equate to expenses. With projects in development like the 787 cash disbursements are transformed i
60 Keesje : Maybe I gave you a class in recent yrs What about "777 beats A340". My computer screen tends to freeze when I google these words. What about Boeing o
61 Cerecl : 787-8 targets A332, while 787-9 targets A333. Keesje was correct in saying that while 787 family has been wildly successful, A330 family's sale has n
62 Post contains images EPA001 : There are multiple studies available showing the (in the B787's case "expected") economical qualities of both airliners as they perform today. The A3
63 Post contains links Icareflies : Sorry all if it's been posted already but I did not find any comment on this: Blog: Seattle Post-Intelligencer 07/10/2009 Author: Andrea James A promi
64 EPA001 : Exactly my point. She can still turn out to be very good (my hope), but right now cheer leading her blindly is uncalled for and unfounded.
65 AirFrnt : But isn't Aboulafia the anti-christ? I thought we could not take anything he said seriously. And yes, I agree with absolutely everything he says abou
66 Post contains links Revelation : From the Randy (Classic), a Boeing VP:
67 Baroque : At least one disappeared and came back but seems to have gone again. Not sure he will be thrilled at his posts in that thread mind you, but I still t
68 BrouAviation : Could be? Are you teaching in Amsterdam, Delft, Enschede or maybe Deventer? Well, in this case I stand corrected. I have not read this letter until n
69 Astuteman : Does that surprise us? Quote - "I've never heard Boeing say anything bad about Airbus". Isn't this what Airbus are accused of saying about the 787? O
70 BrouAviation : Well: In the quote you are referring to, I'm talking abou the meetings and conversations I have had with people from Boeing. And I have never heard a
71 BestWestern : How can a 16 - 20 year old engineering student interview many CEO's and chairmen?
72 BrouAviation : Hah, can I consider that as a compliment?
73 Racko : Less chuckling, more engineering. Then we might actually see it fly one day.
74 Astuteman : That would probably be as imprudent as quoting behaviours from the 1980's when your profile suggest you weren't actually there to see them..... It's
75 BrouAviation : That's were I read books and forums for. Limiting knowledge of history to your own lifetime is of course unreasonable. Guess this is a matter of opin
76 Mariner : The Boeing people had no need to bash Airbus. Richard Aboulafia (see #63) was doing the heavy lifting for them. He was relentlessly and very vocally
77 Post contains links Stitch : I haven't read any of the posts on this thread, and I won't be starting now, so if this is a re-post, kindly flag it for deletion. However, I thought
78 EPA001 : BrouAviation: I admire your drive and I like your optimism, but it sound to me as also being quite naive. I am not trying to bash you on this, please
79 PW100 : Quote of the week!
80 BrouAviation : Thank you for this nice and informative and most important: non-cynical reply. Much appreciated. I don't need or want to be touched with silk gloves,
81 Astuteman : No. They're not right. Boeing didn't have a different philosophy. They were (and are) playing catch-up with the A330 (and hopefully overtake, of cour
82 Tdscanuck : The list is missing drag reduction, which is a biggie (for the 787 and the A350) vs. their current generation competitors. This goes straight to inst
83 Baroque : Why so? According to Aus Av, Auf 2007, p 24, Welsh Louis graciously wrote in a letter to Boeing's McNerney. "Today is a great day in aviation history
84 Tdscanuck : That was Airbus complimenting Boeing on the rollout of the 787...that I get. I also get Boeing complementing Airbus on the rollout of the A380. What
85 Post contains images Astuteman : Is this the "piece of magic" you were looking for?   FWIW, when I look at the configurations of the 787-8 and A330-200 specifically, it's difficult
86 Baroque : I will leave Keesje to tell us what he really meant, but I think he meant to reverse everything which would substitute 787 for A380. The possible add
87 Flighty : They both have reasons to be humble!
88 Post contains links Swallow : We were told that the 787 would have better drag because it had no rivets. TC called it 'as smooth as a coffee pot', when he visited Seattle. Given h
89 Post contains links TomB : In a Seattle Times forum, a Boeing design engineer named Obzerver had some very balanced views on Boeing's latest problem with the fuselage/wing joint
90 Post contains images Revelation : Mulally even gave Forgeard and Leahy a nice tour of a brand new 777-200LR in Paris: Forgeard returned the favor by giving the Boeing entourage a tour
91 SunriseValley : I got some real bad vibes when I listened to Mike Bair on the first ?? webcast. I have been around bullshixxers in business for more than 50-years and
92 StressedOut : I agree 100%. I don't think he did the 787 program any favors.
93 Baroque : Loverly. Allowing them all to live happily ever after by the seaside - ooops, not where Toulouse is, until Global warming strikes at bit more! Then a
94 BrouAviation : I do partly agree on what you state, still one thing just doesn't fit. If both companies had sort of similar predictions on the future, why did compa
95 Racko : If you see the market for 1 VLA and your competitor is already going for it, it makes whole lot of sense to not also go for it, because at the end of
96 EPA001 : Yes and No. Yes, they are developing the B747-8i almost simultaneously. No, because the outsourcing is mostly a financial risk sharing operation. Eve
97 Astuteman : I think there may be a number of reasons for that, some of which are based on product lifecycle, which to some extent I have covered earlier, some of
98 BrouAviation : It's not true, as Boeing studied the VLA market at the same moment as Airbus did, so theoretically both could have decided to start such a project. O
99 MSNDC9 : Nothing more amusing than a bunch of bloggers criticizing people they can't even hold a stick to. Not saying Boeing hasn't made mistakes, but this thr
100 Astuteman : Again, I just don't accept that that's necessarily the whole picture. I think Boeing were faced with a choice of having ideally launch 2 projects aro
101 BrouAviation : Huh? I think you misunderstood me. I never said Airbus existed in the sixties. The creation of the first 747 in the sixties was done in a very short
102 Astuteman : At least a misunderstand is better than a blatant misquote Have you the remotest idea of the difference between developing a complex product in today
103 Racko : Uhm, wasn't that development philosophy kind of what they were aiming for with the 787? 1 new model and 1 facelift didn't work, I don't really see ho
104 EPA001 : With such remarks you are not giving credit to Astuteman where it is due. It shows however that you have a more Boeing biased opinion (intended or no
105 Aircellist : Welsh Louis? Is that the cousin of Jacques Gallois, the former CEO of Générale Électrique?
106 PlaneInsomniac : Welcome to A.net! As a matter of fact, this is exactly what this forum is all about. If you don't like that, why did you even bother joining?
107 Tarheelwings : While I may not share MSNDC9's opinion fully, I can understand his frustration at reading this thread and realizing that for the most part, it's beco
108 BrouAviation : Yes I have. Have you any idea of how an enormous and ambitious - and with an unpredictable future, the 747 project was back in 1965? Not only the com
109 PlaneInsomniac : As a matter of fact, in my memory, the anti-A380 tirades on this forum were much, much worse than anything that is being written about the 787. (Opin
110 Post contains images EPA001 : I for one agree with this. Yes, the mods are doing a good job. I think we do not always realize that this must be quite a task for them since sometim
111 MSNDC9 : I never said I didn't like the nature of the board, but if you're deriding people you don't even know for decision processes you can only speculate a
112 Astuteman : On the basis that I've spent 30 years solid working on equally complex and ambitious programmes (possibly more so), then I'd say it's a racing certai
113 Astuteman : Perhaps the best way to express that is to actually look at the data? Boeing Deliveries 1999 - 620 2000 - 491 2001 - 527 2002 - 381 2003 - 281 2004 -
114 GDB : I've been on this forum since 2001, I can confirm that that anti A380 stuff on here was much, much worse. And it did not start when that project had i
115 Post contains images Keesje : I guess resources? Boeing predicted a market for 1000 new VLA for the next 20 yrs for yrs until their latest outlook. I think they will. Lets not for
116 BrouAviation : Sure. I took the A330, which you described as going 'strongly', as an example. Would you please comment on that? Next to that, not that I don't belie
117 Astuteman : No No. Yes.
118 BrouAviation : Point made. End of discussion.
119 Astuteman : I would agree with you my friend, that the point has, indeed, been made. And as you say
120 Babybus : Just a question. Has any airliner to date been as so heavily delayed to its customers as the 787? When you think of previous Boeings and all the old U
121 EPA001 : Concorde took 7 years of flight testing if I am not mistaken. But I do not know if that long test period was previously communicated to Air France an
122 EPA001 : You are stubborn Brou. Check how many large airliners in the history of aviation have reached or exceeded 1,000 copies ordered. That tells it all. Th
123 MSNDC9 : That's completely false. It been since about 2006 they've been using a 400 number.
124 BrouAviation : I didn't deny that?! I only stated that the A330 has been sold over 1000 times since the start of the program. And that makes 65 average par year, so
125 Baroque : Presumably he is. Galloises are quite widely distributed. Is Jacques noted for his gracious letters? I know his brother Jacques Jesuisjuste is a rott
126 Post contains images Cerecl : It is not that your English isn't good. It is actually quite the opposite, so much so that you seem to be a little too focused and may have missed th
127 GDB : This is true, however whatever the first two airframes are/were called, they were not 'prototypes' as we now understand them. More like Technology De
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