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Was Boeing Better Managed In The Old Days?  
User currently offlinealberchico From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7410 times:

The 707 project was launched in 1952, the dash 80 flew in 1954 and the redesigned version known as the 707 entered service in late 1958. Despite being a radically advanced aircraft for its time, they tested it and got it into service with a respectable amount of time, compared to the 787.

The Boeing 747 was launched in 1966 and put into service only 4 years later despite also being a huge technological leap foward.

But now we have the endless delays of the 787 and have to wonder, what did Boeing have in the old days that the company lacks now?

Better management ?
Better engineers ?
Better leaders ?


short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
62 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29686 posts, RR: 84
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7392 times:
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A mix of all three, I imagine.

Phil Condit was focused on growing Boeing through acquisitions, taking over McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell and Hughes Space & Communications.

Much has been said, I imagine somewhat unfairly, of the quality of McDonnell Douglas management and their impact on Boeing once they started filling executive and management roles.

Boeing also performed a voluntary purge of much of their senior engineering staff to reduce labor and benefit costs. I expect this took a fair bit of "institutional knowledge" out of the company.

I still think Boeing's board made a mistake in not making James Bell the permanent Chairman and CEO, and not the interim one between Stonecipher and McNerney. Yes, he was the CFO, but he seems to have a solid head on his shoulders and he might helped Boeing avoid some of the problems they have been plagued with.

As for Mulally, let us not forget he was the man behind the decision to outsource so much of the 787's design and production. Then again, with his knowledge of it, he also might have been able to stem the disaster if he'd been Chairman and CEO.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7366 times:

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
Despite being a radically advanced aircraft for its time, they tested it and got it into service with a respectable amount of time, compared to the 787.

The 707 was an order of magnitude less complex than the 787...it's not reasonable to design and build a 787 in the same time as a 707. Where Boeing failed was in accurately estimating the time to develop the 787, not in taking too long.

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
The Boeing 747 was launched in 1966 and put into service only 4 years later despite also being a huge technological leap foward.

And the 747 entry to service was probably one of the most disastrous in history for an ultimately successful airliner...it took a long time for the aircraft (especially the engines) to come up to where they had to be.

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
But now we have the endless delays of the 787 and have to wonder, what did Boeing have in the old days that the company lacks now?

Less complex projects.

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
Better management ?

Not really. If you read histories of Boeing, most of their major program leaps have looked pretty much like this in terms of issues and churn...the only thing new here in program terms is the wildly optimistic initial time estimate.

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
Better engineers ?

Not really clear.

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
Better leaders ?

Maybe, but leadership cults usually don't spring up until after the leader is gone so we might have to wait a while to figure it out.

Tom.


User currently offlinealberchico From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7343 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
The 707 was an order of magnitude less complex than the 787.

How so ?

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
And the 747 entry to service was probably one of the most disastrous in history

I think the Comet takes that distinction...

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
If you read histories of Boeing, most of their major program leaps have looked pretty much like this in terms of issues and churn.

But yet they accomplished things on time....



short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7323 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
And the 747 entry to service was probably one of the most disastrous in history for an ultimately successful airliner...it took a long time for the aircraft (especially the engines) to come up to where they had to be.

Boeing didn't build the engines. I can't recall many 747 introductory problems that weren't engine related.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2016 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7306 times:

I don't know if Boeing used to be better managed but the outsourcing has been a disaster. In the old days, everything was done with more direct oversight. Airbus has been doing that for years and Boeing though they could do the same thing but it turned out to be more difficult than they thought.

Other factors were that at the time the 707 was being developed, Douglas Aircraft was the leading civilian manufacturer. Boeing was playing catch up and was focused on that.

Boeing has always made most of its money from defense contracts. Adjusted for inflation, defense aerospace spending has declined somewhat. In addition, Boeing was distracted a few years ago during their defense acquisition scandal.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7278 times:

Quoting alberchico (Reply 3):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
The 707 was an order of magnitude less complex than the 787.

How so ?

The 707 was essentially a commercialized B-47. It didn't represent any technology, process, or business model that Boeing didn't already know, it just put what they had in a new product. The 787 introduced a whole slew of new technologies while changing all the processes and tools while rolling out a whole new business model.

Quoting alberchico (Reply 3):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
And the 747 entry to service was probably one of the most disastrous in history

I think the Comet takes that distinction...

That's because you clipped the rest of the sentence:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
for an ultimately successful airliner.
Quoting alberchico (Reply 3):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
If you read histories of Boeing, most of their major program leaps have looked pretty much like this in terms of issues and churn.

But yet they accomplished things on time....

If the 787 estimate had been realistic from the get-go, it would have been "on time" too..."on time" would have just been a longer period. The 787 test program is delayed relative to Boeing's targets too...but compared to all other test programs in terms of absolute duration, it's pretty much right on track.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 5):
Boeing has always made most of its money from defense contracts.

That was only true up until the 707...Boeing's defence business withered considerably after they entered, then dominated, the commercial arena. They bought MD just to restore balance to their earnings by boosting defense income.

Tom.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3212 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7256 times:
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Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
what did Boeing have in the old days that the company lacks now?


experience... most of the know how guys have retired and not always voluntarily... the fresh from school managers are known for cutting corners and eliminating process checks and go - no go decisions... the Toyota production system cult may be partially to blame also. the outsourcing was pushed by the McD managers led by Stonecipher. we often joked that Boeing paid big bucks to be taken over by McD. And department managers that had no knowledge of their departments processes but had an MBA so they knew what should be.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 4):
I can't recall many 747 introductory problems that weren't engine related


there were many problems other than engines... the windshields usually delaminated after 3 flights, brake problems, bad axles, all the lighted switches in the cockpit would pop out and drop the bulbs on the floor if handled roughly, actuator problems on the movable wing components...


User currently offlinealberchico From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7256 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
The 707 was essentially a commercialized B-47

it was a clean sheet design that has little in common with the b-47

now this airplane really was a commercialized bomber:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/russia/images/tu-16-DNST9301202.JPG

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
The 787 introduced a whole slew of new technologies while changing all the processes and tools while rolling out a whole new business model.

so did the 707



short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7216 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 5):
Other factors were that at the time the 707 was being developed, Douglas Aircraft was the leading civilian manufacturer. Boeing was playing catch up and was focused on that.

Go back even further. Boeing's first 4-engine airliner to fly and go into service, the B-314 Clipper flying boat, was delivered to Pan Am more than a year late. The tail was a particular problem and went through 3 different designs.

Original single vertical tail.

http://home.comcast.net/~richhand2/images/LOTFC-p83single.jpg

2nd design - twin tail.

http://home.comcast.net/~richhand2/images/LOTFC-p84doubletail.jpg

Final design - triple tail



User currently offlinePM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6840 posts, RR: 64
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7196 times:

I'm in no position to comment on Boeing's management past, present or future but I do know a thing or two about management in general. And it isn't easy!

That is not to excuse obviously foolish decisions or dishonesty or plain incompetence but even good managers and successful companies are flying by the seat of their pants a good deal of the time. If you get it right, you're lauded. If you get it wrong, you're...

BP
General Motors
Swissair
Airbus (A380)
Rolls-Royce (RB211)
Pratt & Whitney (PW6000)
CO, DL, UA, US (Chapter 11)
etc.
etc.

My point is that these examples - and many more - have long and distinguished histories of enormous success but at one time or another their wheels have come off and they've run into the wall.

'Bad' management may play its part but I also think that good managers can be unlucky and bad managers can sometimes get away with it. I've known some terrible managers who always seem to dodge the bullet.

Boeing management can be critcised for making 'bad' decisions but in 99% of cases they must have taken these decisions in good faith and based upon the best information available. Their decisions only appear bad in retrospect.

If the 747 had not been a success we'd now be talking about Boeing's 'bad' management of the 1960s and 1970s.

I know that the 747 was (is!) a success but I suspect that the line is often a fine one.

I'm not one who is going to crucify management in Seattle or Chicago (or even Toulouse). I repeat, it's not easy.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7151 times:

Quoting alberchico (Reply 8):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
The 787 introduced a whole slew of new technologies while changing all the processes and tools while rolling out a whole new business model.

so did the 707

What technology, process, tool, or business model on the 707 was different than what Boeing had done before?

Quoting PM (Reply 10):
I know that the 747 was (is!) a success but I suspect that the line is often a fine one.

And yet the 747 came *far* closer to destroying Boeing that the 787 has any hope of getting. If you think the 787 is a disaster for Boeing, seeing what would have happened on a.net during the 747 era would have blown our minds.

Tom.


User currently offlinePM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6840 posts, RR: 64
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7141 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 11):
And yet the 747 came *far* closer to destroying Boeing that the 787 has any hope of getting. If you think the 787 is a disaster for Boeing, seeing what would have happened on a.net during the 747 era would have blown our minds.

  


User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2201 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7128 times:

The problems with the 787 are simple. An overly optimistic schedule doing something in a brand new way, and a series of diastrous marketing blunders. Couple that with people's expectation of an instant society where everything is easier and done faster, and a level of scrutiny on Anet and other places that is a billion times more detailed then previously, and instant news. The 707, 747 and other aircraft, you knew what the company told you. It took an awefully long time for information to leak out, and much of it was so after the fact that people didn't care. The point about the 747 and the lack of internet screaming about every bolt and nut, made me laugh. Some people would have coronary's if the 747 program was happening now. The A380 had a lot of scrutiny when it was coming together, but I think the 787 is under a much, much greater level even, with a much faster news cycle.

User currently offline707lvr From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 570 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7069 times:

Before and after Phil Condit, the scandals, the toxic merger, the move to Chicago .. I can't think of a single thing which is the same at Boeing as compared with the "old days." Boeing was a perfect example of a company-town company, traditional, stolid, churning out airplanes by sheer force of will (and massive hordes of soon-to-be-laid-off employees.) The engineers were originals: brilliant, the original geek prototype. Also, the company was the goose that laid the golden eggs in this community in every sense.

No one wants to graduate and "get on at Boeings," The Lazy B, and loaf for life anymore. While there has always been seething antagonism between labor and management (there must be something about airplanes!) it's more visceral now; either side would take down the company to win.

Even as crap as things are right now, the stock refuses to drop to $30 so we can load up. Again. For the umpteenth time.

They even closed the surplus store ferpetessake.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15476 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7039 times:

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
The 707 project was launched in 1952, the dash 80 flew in 1954 and the redesigned version known as the 707 entered service in late 1958.
Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
The Boeing 747 was launched in 1966 and put into service only 4 years later despite also being a huge technological leap foward

To frame the design, testing, and production of the 707 and 747 as being streamlined and painless is really revisionist history. The 747 in particularly stumbled out of the gates so to speak with finished planes leaving the factory without engines and an oil crunch a couple years after entering service. Unlike then, Boeing as a whole, is not really in any danger.

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 14):
the toxic merger,

I don't think that buying a multi-billion dollar defense business would qualify as toxic.

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 14):
No one wants to graduate and "get on at Boeings,"

You might be surprised.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4947 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7034 times:

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
But now we have the endless delays of the 787 and have to wonder, what did Boeing have in the old days that the company lacks now?

Better management ?
Better engineers ?
Better leaders ?

I will be the first to say that the current leaders have no clue what they are doing. Especially Jimmy Boy McNerney. Come on, they replaced Scott Carson, or made him retire. The very next day, they brought him in as a contractor, paying him even more money than he was making as CEO of Commercial Airplanes.

Management is a complete joke. They stand over the employees, and are walking the factories trying to nail someone. The company is not a fun place to work at anymore. The supervisors are walking around, looking for reasons to write people up. They watch the employees like hawks, timing their breaks, looking through their cars, and destroying morale. They are called walking "Nazis" in the factories. The relationship between the workers and management is beyond sick. The good old days of Boeing are gone. Back in the days, Boeing took good care of their "worker ants", and treated them with fullest respect. They treated the employees well, and got a good return for doing so. Now, nobody wants to go the extra mile, because it is so miserable.

Yeah, I know someone is going to say that they are lucky to have jobs... I don't disagree with you on that. But, it is always fun to go to work, and enjoy your job. Boeing has taken the enjoyment out of that, and it is very sad. I wish Mulally would have gotten McNerney's job. He would have had things running much better. Now, it is a nightmare. McNerney came from 3M. He knows tape and glue for sure. But, I think he has taped and glued enough of a mess with the 787.

With the current leadership, Boeing will continue to falter. No question about it.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 5):
I don't know if Boeing used to be better managed but the outsourcing has been a disaster. In the old days, everything was done with more direct oversight. Airbus has been doing that for years and Boeing though they could do the same thing but it turned out to be more difficult than they thought.

Outsourcing is 99.9% of this disaster. They need to outsource management! Interesting article below!

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...7_now_im_worried_about_boeing.html

[Edited 2010-08-27 23:18:03]


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8204 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7019 times:

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 13):
but I think the 787 is under a much, much greater level even, with a much faster news cycle.

Of course, but that doesn't excuse the now 3 years of delays. Recall, China was supposed to have 787s for the Beijing Olympics. Boeing f**/ed up big time.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
The 707 was an order of magnitude less complex than the 787...it's not reasonable to design and build a 787 in the same time as a 707. Where Boeing failed was in accurately estimating the time to develop the 787, not in taking too long.

Precisely. It's false to say "someone else" would have done this better or faster than Boeing. B and Airbus are the world's best large airline builders (to point out the obvious). Therefore, their skills are the best on the planet by default. It just took the world's best team a lot longer than C-level executives were willing to understand. Ultimately they didn't know the business as well as they thought they did.


User currently offlineyenne09 From Canada, joined Jun 2010, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6881 times:

The B747 came from a contest for the military scene won by the C5-Galaxy. So they made the 747 to do something with the airplane of that contest. Otherwise, Boeing came very close to bankruptcy because the 747 took so much time to take off.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29686 posts, RR: 84
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6833 times:
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Quoting yenne09 (Reply 18):
The B747 came from a contest for the military scene won by the C5-Galaxy. So they made the 747 to do something with the airplane of that contest. Otherwise, Boeing came very close to bankruptcy because the 747 took so much time to take off.

The 747 shares very little with the CLS-HX.

What really hurt Boeing was the first oil shock hurting travel and demand for aircraft and the cancellation of the 2707 program, which even with federal government investment, was still drawing hard on Boeing's own resources.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6792 times:

Quoting alberchico (Thread starter):
But now we have the endless delays of the 787 and have to wonder, what did Boeing have in the old days that the company lacks now?

It's a totally different era. There's really no basis for comparison. The folks who built the 707 were the children of the depression and of World War II. The ones building the 787 are the children of the junk bond era and the their peers have lead us right into the Great Financial Crisis and then gave us the widespread bail-outs so that none of them would be penalized for failure.

Quoting alberchico (Reply 8):
it was a clean sheet design that has little in common with the b-47

I don't think you really read what Tom was saying:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
It didn't represent any technology, process, or business model that Boeing didn't already know, it just put what they had in a new product.

  

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 13):
Couple that with people's expectation of an instant society where everything is easier and done faster

If you are saying the investment community insists on rediculous returns in short periods of time, I agree with this.

I don't agree that it's people's fault for believing what Boeing told them, it's Boeing's fault for trotting out the most optimistic scenario time and time again.

As was said in another thread, the last threads of Boeing's credibility are now gone.

The 787 will be delivered when it will be delivered, inshallah.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6680 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6782 times:

Quoting alberchico (Reply 3):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
And the 747 entry to service was probably one of the most disastrous in history

I think the Comet takes that distinction...
Quoting yenne09 (Reply 18):
The B747 came from a contest for the military scene won by the C5-Galaxy. So they made the 747 to do something with the airplane of that contest. Otherwise, Boeing came very close to bankruptcy because the 747 took so much time to take off.

This is totally, completely false. Boeing designed a TOTALLY DIFFERENT plane for the C-5 competition (that looked a lot like the Lockheed winner.) Pan Am wanted a much bigger plane, and Bill Allen was willing to build it. The fact that Boeing lost the contract gave them the resources for the 747; but none of the engineering leaders came from the C-5 team and the 747 drew NOTHING from the C-5 competition.

As to the present predicament, I attribute it mostly to the Peter Principle, which says that in any hierarchical organization people tend to rise to their level of incompetence and remain there. What to do about it? If I knew that I would be making millions as a management consultant (assuming I could get victims of the Peter Principle to listen.) What F9Animal describes is to me a classic case of terminal Peteritis; I did not realize that it had gotten this bad. The only consolation is that it seems to be a universal problem and is likely also affecting Airbus. The other consolation is that it is hugely expensive to enter the airliner business, but sooner or later some young (as yet Peter unaflicted) company will arise and wipe both Boeing's and Airbus's clocks simply by being efficient and well-run. The most likely candidate, from what I can see, is Comac. But we will see.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3212 posts, RR: 26
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6671 times:
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Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
I don't think that buying a multi-billion dollar defense business would qualify as toxic.



Yes it was toxic... from Stonecipher to Albaugh in the front offices and Mcdonnell on the Board... the McD culture forced experienced managers out. even today with the 747-8 shuffle ( http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/fl...to-right-its-jumbo-747-8f-set.html ), look at the inexperience of the commercial management team. McD was mismanaged yet when Condit bought it he took the worst managers to run the combined company. today managers are hired with no shop experience and try to manage complex organizations without comprehension. Yes some processes have drastically improved, like putting the engineers close to the line, however a room full of inexperience can reach dumb conclusions, especially when promotion depends on sucking up rather than competence

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 21):
This is totally, completely false. Boeing designed a TOTALLY DIFFERENT plane for the C-5 competition (that looked a lot like the Lockheed winner.) Pan Am wanted a much bigger plane, and Bill Allen was willing to build it. The fact that Boeing lost the contract gave them the resources for the 747; but none of the engineering leaders came from the C-5 team and the 747 drew NOTHING from the C-5 competition.


The only problem I have with absolutes IN BOLD, is that they are frequently emotional responses. while the stuctures were vastly different, there were lessons learned that appeared, or were not repeated, in the 747. I don't know how many A.Net "authorities" were actually there, I was, and the development engineers moved from one program to the 747.

What people fail to realize is even if the products (say B-47/B52/707) look very different there are many common engineering problems that must be solved. Using lessons learned and sometimes discarded for one application are still available to be used for other applications.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6680 posts, RR: 46
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6605 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 22):


The only problem I have with absolutes IN BOLD, is that they are frequently emotional responses.

I apologize if I misspoke. Much of my information (but not all) comes from Joe Sutter's book 747; I always am interested in information from people (like yourself) that were actually there. What gets me somewhat steamed is people who assert that the 747 was just a warmed over version of the C-5 competition aircraft, hence my emphasis. I am well aware that there was much "crosstalk" between the military and civilian engineers; I had gathered from Joe Sutter's book, however, that comparatively few engineers for the 747 were drawn from the C-5; but I was not there, and I do not recall a specific statement one way or the other. What was clear was that the 747 was definitely the second string program; all of the "stars" were on the SST.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2201 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6551 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 13):
Couple that with people's expectation of an instant society where everything is easier and done faster

If you are saying the investment community insists on rediculous returns in short periods of time, I agree with this.

Exactly - the investors, shareholders, board members and management. Starting an internet company and selling it a very short period of time later for a bazillion dollars, puts pressure on the solid and slower traditional stocks and companies. But moreso management at companies that pressure products and services into the marketplace rather than taking time to do it right. The pressure at Boeing to get the 787 out the door probably led to the rollout of the empty shell, the push on to do the stuffing on the floor rather than at the original suppliers, and so and so on. Mind you the delay on the engines may have made the whole thing a mute point and we would still be at the point we are now.


25 Post contains links and images Revelation : That book was a great read. Another one in the same line is: Legend & Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People. It really brought home to me th
26 SEPilot : Thanks for posting this; I just ordered a copy.
27 BMI727 : No it didn't. The biggest thing derived from that was the engines, where the 747 got the JT9D which lost the competition. If you want to know where t
28 glideslope : Yes sir. Take a look at FORD. When Allen left the 787 problems began. Scott Carson, and Mike Bair ROFLOL. Letting Allan go was the largest mistake Bo
29 F9Animal : You seriously have a way with words! I think your view is very interesting, and very eye opening. Not to mention, very educated! I had to google some
30 kanban : Sorry I was a little testy... too used to people who have never been in the trenches casting blame.. Yes you are right that the rising stars left, an
31 SSTsomeday : Well, Boeing is tacking two new challenges, in my view (though this is not in defense of Boeing.) Yes - I think they lost a lot of control over the ti
32 SEPilot : Well, since I made some of them up, I guess that's a tribute to Google!
33 Post contains images F9Animal : Which I think you too hit it straight on. The supervisors are miserable too, and they seem as though they are being programed to make life miserable.
34 Post contains images F9Animal : Wow, I just realized I wrote a novel!!!!
35 kanban : I'd question your source here... the unions (both mechanics and SPEEA) have strict limitations on this.. however salaried workers might be affected.
36 tdscanuck : No, when Alan left the 787 problems began to *surface*. The die was case for the 787 problems well before Alan left. Alan was the CEO who bought off
37 RoseFlyer : There were almost 20 fatal crashes with 707s in their first year of service. Certification requirements were far less strict in the 707 and 747 era. T
38 macsog6 : Having worked for the Lazy B on occasion, I think the 757/767 being concurrently developed followed by the 777, gave Boeing a bit of a false sense of
39 planemaker : I think it would have to be a lot later... and not because the management would be any significantly better. When you get to a certain size, manageme
40 FLALEFTY : That pretty much sums it up! If Boeing gets the 787 series technically and operationally right, it will be selling for another 2 decades or more. Get
41 JayinKitsap : Alan Mulally is a very good senior manager, as can be shown by his success at Ford, a full turnaround of the company at the time the auto industry was
42 Post contains links Viscount724 : Where do you come up with that number which is incorrect by a factor of 10?. There were TWO fatal 707 accidents during the first year of service, and
43 tdscanuck : Because they said "almost"...although I'm not really sure what an "almost fatal" accident is. It's either fatal or it's not. Tom.
44 Post contains images Viscount724 : I expect "almost" was intended to modify "20", not "fatal", but even so, 2 certainly couldn't be defined as "almost 20".
45 Post contains links and images Revelation : That's really not the impression I get from the book: The B-47 had a production run of over 2,000 frames (mind boggling in today's context) not to me
46 SEPilot : My understanding is that Boeing had wanted to get into the civil transportation business from the beginning; they certainly tried hard. The 247 was t
47 Revelation : Agreed. I agree with what you are saying. I didn't mean to leave people with the impression that it solely was a tax avoidance project (and given how
48 SEPilot : I believe that you are correct in that the 707 did not start as a "bet the business" proposition (whereas the 747 arguably did) but it did end up tha
49 RayChuang : In my opinion, the 747 was NOT a well-managed program. At the time the 747 first flew in 1969, the plane still had significant issues, notably with th
50 SEPilot : But how was that the fault of Boeing's management of the program? For that matter, since the JT9D was so much of a technological leap over anything P
51 homsar : Wasn't the 747 the first commercial airplane designed before its requisite engine was available and tested?
52 SEPilot : The 777, A380, and 787 all were designed before their engines were ready. In fact, on most airliners the engine development and airframe development
53 RoseFlyer : Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was thinking during the 1960s, so more than just a couple of years. The 777 in that time has had none. I have
54 Revelation : And the original engines for the A340 (IAE SuperFan) never did become available....
55 Viscount724 : Per Aviation-Safety.net data, in the 1960s there were 28 707 hull losses, of which 5 were non-fatal. In the 1970s there were 43 707 hull losses, of w
56 homsar : They all came after the 747. I guess, to clarify, I should have said/asked whether the 747 was the first commercial airplane designed for which no en
57 SEPilot : Sorry, I misunderstood your question. I thought you were asking if the 747 was the only one which was designed before its engine. But you are probabl
58 N174UA : I read a book called "Flying High" by Eugene Rogers about a year ago. It starts at the beginning and goes through the 777. Fascinating, and it's amazi
59 Post contains links kanban : an interesting view pont... matches my experience before I retired and comments from some friends that haven't retired yet.. http://airinsight.wordpre
60 PM : Fascinating - but depressing. Thanks for sharing this.
61 cpd : Never a good idea. Unhappy workers are almost always unproductive workers. Happy workers are the ones who will always generally go the extra mile and
62 SEPilot : I can attest to this from personal experience. When I was working for the grinding machine company I was for many years the second shift engineering
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