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ikolkyo
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:09 pm

I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.
 
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keesje
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:09 pm

Deny, dismiss certification issues (changed product rule certification base) and keep building awesome machines, don't talk about it, move forward & somehow they will make sure it goes away.

Nope.

Small positive: FAA not overpowered by Boeing, its supply chain and political supporters & slowly gaining credibility.
 
ILikeTrains
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:20 pm

Without trying to deflect the fact that Boeing definitely has to go soul searching and figure out how to make themselves engineering focused, the FAA is also working with an extremely bruised ego.
 
trex8
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:34 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.

Absolutely and the problem(s) need fixing, seems FAA has concerns about whether Boeing will/can fix it to their satisfaction. The days of B saying its fixed/will be fixed and take our word for it and all will be good real soon are gone. And they have no one to blame except theselves.
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:36 pm

trex8 wrote:
ikolkyo wrote:
I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.

Absolutely and the problem(s) need fixing, seems FAA has concerns about whether Boeing will/can fix it to their satisfaction. The days of B saying its fixed/will be fixed and take our word for it and all will be good real soon are gone. And they have no one to blame except theselves.


Don't disagree with anything said here, Boeing has zero credibility right now and now they have/had major issues with all of their current passenger aircraft programs. A horrible look for the company.
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:43 pm

To be fair they have more than zero credibility for sure. They got the MAX cleared by the FAA and EASA after these authorities test flew the mods that are still improved with the -10 and then finally implemented to the family.
 
Chemist
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:56 pm

Noshow wrote:
To be fair they have more than zero credibility for sure. They got the MAX cleared by the FAA and EASA after these authorities test flew the mods that are still improved with the -10 and then finally implemented to the family.


Call it "very low credibility", then.
It's going to take a long time for the FAA to trust much of what Boeing says again.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:44 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.


Sounds to me like the FAA wants major issues addressed before they allow Boeing to continue with certification. In other words, they want Boeing focused on fixing the problem now, not focused on continuing certification by "kicking issues down the road to be addressed later".
 
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BaconButty
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:56 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.


It's not one issue though. The project is riven with maturity issues. The letter can be read here. The uncommanded pitch incident is one bullet point of many. I mean, things like "incorrect reuse of 787 data" don't sound good. I'm not in the industry, so I don't know whether this is a chastened FAA being overly fastidious, or the FAA belatedly doing their job and exposing the current Boeing's genuine failings. Based on the letter, I'd go for the latter.
 
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REDHL
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:08 pm

Stitch wrote:
ikolkyo wrote:
I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.


Sounds to me like the FAA wants major issues addressed before they allow Boeing to continue with certification. In other words, they want Boeing focused on fixing the problem now, not focused on continuing certification by "kicking issues down the road to be addressed later".

:checkmark:

I can't agree with you more.

In addition, there's no need/rush to put the aircraft on service now, taking into consideration that although passenger traffic is recovery, it will take a while (at least, 2-3 years) for it to fully return to 2019 levels. Therefore, Boeing has all the time available to iron out those issues correctly.
Last edited by REDHL on Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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BaconButty
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:25 pm

Stitch wrote:
Sounds to me like the FAA wants major issues addressed before they allow Boeing to continue with certification. In other words, they want Boeing focused on fixing the problem now, not focused on continuing certification by "kicking issues down the road to be addressed later".


It's exactly what the FAA say in the letter linked above. Issue the TIA now, and there'll be a shed load of regression tasks to perform, and the FAA doesn't know if it'll have the bandwidth to support them. We've got a user @Kanban here, he'll love that I imagine. The Andon cord has just been pulled.
 
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zeke
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:25 am

“ the FAA warned Boeing it may have to increase the number of test flights planned and that certification realistically is now more than two years out, probably in late 2023.

That could push the jet’s entry into commercial service into early 2024, four years later than originally planned.”

“ The letter denies Boeing a specific approval for the 777-9X called “Type Inspection Authorization” readiness. Without this, Boeing cannot put FAA personnel on board flight tests and begin to collect certification data”

“The FAA and Boeing have been discussing the TIA readiness of the Boeing Model 777-9 in numerous meetings over the past nine months,” the letter reads, adding that despite Boeing’s assertion that proceeding with TIA “warrants consideration,” the FAA in contrast “considers that the aircraft is not yet ready.”

Looks like it will be a while before the FAA will ride along for TIA delaying certification

From https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... ification/
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:48 am

From Zeke's link:

In a statement Friday, Boeing said it “remains fully focused on safety as our highest priority throughout 777X development.”

The airplane is undergoing “a comprehensive test program to demonstrate its safety and reliability … to ensure we meet all applicable requirements,” Boeing added.

I wonder if stockholders (typically big investors) are going to be OK with the stream of pro-forma responses from Boeing about this situation along with the string of disappointments if not disgraces listed by Chemist.

I wonder if customers such as STC and AAB are going to be happy to accept another delay, or as the story suggests, they truly have no need for it till 2024 or later.

Maybe they will want to see an executive level shake up, along the lines suggested by Scott Hamilton:

With @Boeing 737 Max still having issues, 787 deliveries halted, 777X in trouble before this, customer relations still frayed, how long before there is an executive house cleaning at Boeing Commercial Airplanes? I don't think it will be long in coming. This can't go on.

Ref: https://twitter.com/LeehamNews/status/1 ... 8911503368

The problem with an executive level shake up is you can't be sure if doing it would make things better rather than worse.

One thing from the ST's piece for an internal review to study:

“The FAA and Boeing have been discussing the TIA readiness of the Boeing Model 777-9 in numerous meetings over the past nine months,” the letter reads, adding that despite Boeing’s assertion that proceeding with TIA “warrants consideration,” the FAA in contrast “considers that the aircraft is not yet ready.”

If this lack of readiness was not being conveyed accurately internally, one or more careers may be about to hit the skids. The bosses never wants to hear about your problems by reading about them in the newspaper.

I of course don't know this to be true, but the status shown by the FAA letter seems to be at odds with what little Boeing has been willing to say about it above (ref: official statement earlier in this post).
 
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PixelPilot
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:51 am

Chemist wrote:
Noshow wrote:
To be fair they have more than zero credibility for sure. They got the MAX cleared by the FAA and EASA after these authorities test flew the mods that are still improved with the -10 and then finally implemented to the family.


Call it "very low credibility", then.
It's going to take a long time for the FAA to trust much of what Boeing says again.


I actually hope they never trust Boeing, Airbus or any other manufacturer for that matter and keep looking at their asses like there's no tomorrow.
 
astuteman
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:13 am

Chemist wrote:
Noshow wrote:
To be fair they have more than zero credibility for sure. They got the MAX cleared by the FAA and EASA after these authorities test flew the mods that are still improved with the -10 and then finally implemented to the family.


Call it "very low credibility", then.
It's going to take a long time for the FAA to trust much of what Boeing says again.


Reading the letter, I think point 2 stood out for me straight away.

Lack of availability of Preliminary Safety Assessment for the FAA to review. Boeing does not meet its own process (TIA requirements for Boeing ODA projects: D950-11761-1)


This is probably not a good time to be deviating from your own documented processes ....

Point 6 is not great either

A significant supplier finding for inadequate peer review of the safety analysis resulting in inconsistencies within and across safety reports and incorrect reuse of 787 data ....

One wonders what part this factor played in the MAX grounding...

Rgds
 
Chemist
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:28 am

It seems that Boeing is a long way from cleaning its house, even given the MAX fiasco.
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:08 am

It hurts to watch this.
 
BEG2IAH
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:46 am

There is not a program that hasn't had serious issues at Boeing. And just when one thinks that they turned things around, new setbacks pop up. At what point will BoD do something? This looks like a systemic issue down the management lines. It's unbelievable how many bad news are coming from Boeing on a weekly basis. Sickening and embarrassing.
 
Flying-Tiger
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:59 am

BEG2IAH wrote:
There is not a program that hasn't had serious issues at Boeing. And just when one thinks that they turned things around, new setbacks pop up. At what point will BoD do something? This looks like a systemic issue down the management lines. It's unbelievable how many bad news are coming from Boeing on a weekly basis. Sickening and embarrassing.


Without a change in shareholder structure and shareholders looking for a long-term value proposition and not short-term gains an exchange of the board won´t change anything down the line.

If one considers that this was supposed to be a derivate development only and we´re now approach 10 years between launch and service entry... anyone willing to make a guess what this may mean for a 777X-F development?
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:12 am

What is left to be built at Everett until the X is certified?
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:32 am

Flying-Tiger wrote:
BEG2IAH wrote:
There is not a program that hasn't had serious issues at Boeing. And just when one thinks that they turned things around, new setbacks pop up. At what point will BoD do something? This looks like a systemic issue down the management lines. It's unbelievable how many bad news are coming from Boeing on a weekly basis. Sickening and embarrassing.


Without a change in shareholder structure and shareholders looking for a long-term value proposition and not short-term gains an exchange of the board won´t change anything down the line.

If one considers that this was supposed to be a derivate development only and we´re now approach 10 years between launch and service entry... anyone willing to make a guess what this may mean for a 777X-F development?


I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X. What they definitely lack is transparency but the issue (from what I understand) is that the goal posts were shifted due to the MAX fiasco. The 777X was in development before the MAX crashes, all the processes and designs were made and the ship was sailing. Then the destination was changed but turning a tanker takes time. So Boeing got caught with their pants down because now they have to redesign stuff and even worse, actually produce evidence that what they did was conform. That means going back to the beginning and do the paperwork properly. That is a painful job that takes time and especially if personnel changed it means that some work might have to be redone.

We can see from the critizism of the FAA that a lot of stuff is missing or was not properly done because the initial plan of Boeing never included that stuff because it was not needed (because the FAA just took Boeings word) but now the FAA actually demands the paperwork.
 
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RobK
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:35 am

Noshow wrote:
What is left to be built at Everett until the X is certified?


A handful of 747Fs.
767 tankers and freighters.
777 freighters.

787s finished some months ago but plenty still sitting about up there and in various storage locations waiting for the airlines to take delivery of them.
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:45 am

Does it make sense to keep the 777F line at low rate without the 777-9 at high rate? Hopefully. Could more 777-300ER be built to keep waiting 777-9-customers happy?
 
xwb777
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:56 am

Sorry to say this.. Boeing is cursed! Its not getting it right with the MAX, Dreamliner and the B777X!
 
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scbriml
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:05 am

FluidFlow wrote:
I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X.


Why?

They're supposed to be leaders. They get paid the big bucks and they get the fat bonuses when things go well. They take the blame when things go wrong. It's their job. IMHO, many of the issues in Boeing's recent history can be attributed to "company culture". It's management that define and set a company's culture.

What we're reading about here seems to be a failure by Boeing to follow their own processes and procedures. The same with the MAX electrical issue. Repeated instances of FOD left in completed planes (even ones delivered to USAF). It's very sloppy and indicative of a poor culture - pure speculation on my part, but it might be that the 'grunts in the trenches' are scared/worried/pressured not to raise issues up the chain of command.

Pre-MAX, Boeing might have gotten away with it, not now.
 
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RobK
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:06 am

Noshow wrote:
Does it make sense to keep the 777F line at low rate without the 777-9 at high rate? Hopefully. Could more 777-300ER be built to keep waiting 777-9-customers happy?


No-one wants 777s right now. The deserts are full of them, along with brand new (smaller) 787s. I doubt STC, U-turn and other customers would lose any sleep if Boeing said we're cancelling the program, here's your money back. Probably doing them a favour.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:12 am

scbriml wrote:
They're supposed to be leaders. They get paid the big bucks and they get the fat bonuses when things go well. They take the blame when things go wrong.

.....and yet still somehow get the fat bonuses.

Which, for all practical purposes, is why they've had incrementally less reason to care about when things go wrong. :irked:



xwb777 wrote:
Boeing is cursed!

Sure, and that curse is called Vulture Capitalistic greed.

This is what happens when you run a company solely for short-term stock price, and not for long-term success (or even survivability, at this rate)

The 2000-2010 years were devastating, as so much engineering/developmental talent was lost/let go; and now you have a company with so few people experienced in what it actually means to bring a design to fruition. All Boeing seems to know how to do, is stretch legacy models to their limit, while trying to wring blood from a stone.

Sound familiar? This is exactly how McDD met its fate. :(
 
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Chipmunk1973
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:23 am

I read the letter that was linked above and was somewhat gobsmacked.

Maybe not the perfect analogy, but it read like a learner driver trying to apply for their practical driving test without wanting to demonstrate proof of having completed and passed a theory test, even though having been asked to produce proof of it.

Furthermore, it was like the student driver saying, there’s also mechanical problems with the car but it should be fixed soon, but changing the date by which this will happen.

All hilarity aside, to me it suggests there is a lot of mis’ and devoid communication within Boeing. There is one lot asking for the TIA to further progression of certification and another lot saying “not everything is there yet”. Sort of like the old adage of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, and vice versa.

With issues around the early build of the 787 and tragic accidents with the 737MAX, it seems like someone in the project management office is not updating the “Lessons Learned” register, distributing that around, and people reading it.

It just seem like the the same mistakes being made over and over; what am I missing here? To paraphrase another old adage, “It is broke, but do we want to fix it?”.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:28 am

scbriml wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X.


Why?

They're supposed to be leaders. They get paid the big bucks and they get the fat bonuses when things go well. They take the blame when things go wrong. It's their job. IMHO, many of the issues in Boeing's recent history can be attributed to "company culture". It's management that define and set a company's culture.

What we're reading about here seems to be a failure by Boeing to follow their own processes and procedures. The same with the MAX electrical issue. Repeated instances of FOD left in completed planes (even ones delivered to USAF). It's very sloppy and indicative of a poor culture - pure speculation on my part, but it might be that the 'grunts in the trenches' are scared/worried/pressured not to raise issues up the chain of command.

Pre-MAX, Boeing might have gotten away with it, not now.



The management does follow the directions the board gives within the guidelines and rules set from the regulatory agencies. All the problems you list follow a long path of deregulation and for profit thinking.

Red-Tape has its purposes but we all know how "liked" it is. The company culture you criticize is the result of the economic evolution in the USA. You can not single out Boeing here just because they got caught. (It is actually not only in the US, just look at Volkswagen).

If you want companies to deliver safe products you need someone to enforce standards and that is a strong government setting the rules and enforcing it.

Management does its best to please their bosses. Now look who the Boeing management has to answer to. And look at the enforcement body that ensures safety. Then have a look who influences said enforcement body and tries to de-fund them and take their authority.

Management is the last ones to blame, it is the people above and their goal of maximising profits at all costs.
 
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VCVSpotter
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:27 am

A few more details regarding the flight itself (I will be referencing details from my personal spreadsheet tracking 777-9 testing, which is linked in my signature below). Note that the incident flight is highlighted in RED on my spreadsheet.

There was only one 777-9 testing on December 8, 2020: N779XX. It conducted two flights that day, BFI-GEG and GEG-BFI. The flight to either GEG or MWH is almost always just a direct ferry flight (as evidenced by the duration of just 39 minutes on December 8). The return flight on GEG-BFI that experienced the “uncommanded pitch event” was much longer, taking off at 1:53PM PST and returning to BFI at 4:40PM PST for a duration of 2hrs & 47min.

Based off of flights by N779XX in late November and early December, it appears that the flight was cut short by 1-1.5hrs (pure speculation). If the flight was indeed cut short, it almost certainly would’ve been after the “uncommanded pitch event.”

Boeing then likely pored over the flight test data over the next week (as evidenced by the lack of flights during what was a fast-paced testing schedule) to figure out what in the heck just happened. The next 777-9 test flight happened over 1 week later on December 16, 2020 with N779XX flying BFI-BFI.

My personal commentary on the whole incident:
I was really hoping that the 777-9 would be a different story compared to the 737MAX debacle (being the Boeing fanboy I am lol, I mean my signature even says I love the jet). Once again, we’re back to discussing the recent culture issue at Boeing and the litany of issues that it has produced. Without straying too far off topic because we all know what Boeing’s gotten wrong, I for one applaud the FAA for keeping a tight leash on Boeing. Boeing doesn’t need another MAX and the FAA’s stance of saying ‘NO’ to Boeing’s request for a TIA, even after “numerous meetings over the past nine months,” at least highlights a desperately needed change in the FAA’s culture; however, that sentence still bugs me. Boeing had numerous requests over nine months. It seems that Boeing’s still trying to push a product that isn’t a 100% ready yet and we all saw how that turned out. Even now, the FAA says the 777-9 isn’t ready for TIA. For Boeing to believe that it was ready nine months ago isn’t a flattering image to say the least. To paraphrase others on this thread, Boeing’s trying to run before they’ve learned how to walk. I definitely don’t claim to have all the answers, but there still seems to be a culture issue at Boeing that has persisted much past the 737MAX incidents (after which Boeing swore to fix their internal problems with a complete company rethink/revamp).
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:38 am

To me these issues look more like a strategy thing. The entire way they go must be corrected. They burn through their heritage programs but continuing this route they won't earn much even with best selling programs. This must convince even the stock crowd. The company is still great and could be turned around to perform as in the old days.
 
majano
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:06 am

VCVSpotter wrote:
A few more details regarding the flight itself (I will be referencing details from my personal spreadsheet tracking 777-9 testing, which is linked in my signature below). Note that the incident flight is highlighted in RED on my spreadsheet.

There was only one 777-9 testing on December 8, 2020: N779XX. It conducted two flights that day, BFI-GEG and GEG-BFI. The flight to either GEG or MWH is almost always just a direct ferry flight (as evidenced by the duration of just 39 minutes on December 8). The return flight on GEG-BFI that experienced the “uncommanded pitch event” was much longer, taking off at 1:53PM PST and returning to BFI at 4:40PM PST for a duration of 2hrs & 47min.

Based off of flights by N779XX in late November and early December, it appears that the flight was cut short by 1-1.5hrs (pure speculation). If the flight was indeed cut short, it almost certainly would’ve been after the “uncommanded pitch event.”

Boeing then likely pored over the flight test data over the next week (as evidenced by the lack of flights during what was a fast-paced testing schedule) to figure out what in the heck just happened. The next 777-9 test flight happened over 1 week later on December 16, 2020 with N779XX flying BFI-BFI.

My personal commentary on the whole incident:
I was really hoping that the 777-9 would be a different story compared to the 737MAX debacle (being the Boeing fanboy I am lol, I mean my signature even says I love the jet). Once again, we’re back to discussing the recent culture issue at Boeing and the litany of issues that it has produced. Without straying too far off topic because we all know what Boeing’s gotten wrong, I for one applaud the FAA for keeping a tight leash on Boeing. Boeing doesn’t need another MAX and the FAA’s stance of saying ‘NO’ to Boeing’s request for a TIA, even after “numerous meetings over the past nine months,” at least highlights a desperately needed change in the FAA’s culture; however, that sentence still bugs me. Boeing had numerous requests over nine months. It seems that Boeing’s still trying to push a product that isn’t a 100% ready yet and we all saw how that turned out. Even now, the FAA says the 777-9 isn’t ready for TIA. For Boeing to believe that it was ready nine months ago isn’t a flattering image to say the least. To paraphrase others on this thread, Boeing’s trying to run before they’ve learned how to walk. I definitely don’t claim to have all the answers, but there still seems to be a culture issue at Boeing that has persisted much past the 737MAX incidents (after which Boeing swore to fix their internal problems with a complete company rethink/revamp).

+1. Great post this from someone observing the flight test campaign closely.
 
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Faro
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:07 am

RobK wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Does it make sense to keep the 777F line at low rate without the 777-9 at high rate? Hopefully. Could more 777-300ER be built to keep waiting 777-9-customers happy?


No-one wants 777s right now. The deserts are full of them, along with brand new (smaller) 787s. I doubt STC, U-turn and other customers would lose any sleep if Boeing said we're cancelling the program, here's your money back. Probably doing them a favour.



That there is the hard-wired question running through all these unfavourable developments in the 777-9…what —if any— impact on a potential cancellation of the program?…overall program perspectives are not improving unfortunately…


Faro
 
Virtual737
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:09 am

I expect I'm being a little harsh, but reading "uncommanded pitch event" on a new model that Boeing believes is near ready for certification sends shivers.... everywhere.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:09 am

In turning down the 777X for TIA readiness, the FAA also cited a finding that the supplier of the avionics provided “inadequate peer review” in a safety analysis “resulting in inconsistencies … and incorrect reuse of 787 data.”


If the FAA catches this, it must have been blindingly obvious and the checks at Boeing must be either non-existent or it was pushed forward to the FAA intentionally.
 
texl1649
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:30 am

Noshow wrote:
What is left to be built at Everett until the X is certified?


They’re just building the 77x’ until it is certified in a few years, also. 21 and counting, never mind that it is also still being designed/fixed.
 
JonesNL
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:37 am

seahawk wrote:
In turning down the 777X for TIA readiness, the FAA also cited a finding that the supplier of the avionics provided “inadequate peer review” in a safety analysis “resulting in inconsistencies … and incorrect reuse of 787 data.”


If the FAA catches this, it must have been blindingly obvious and the checks at Boeing must be either non-existent or it was pushed forward to the FAA intentionally.


Each finding stinks more than the other. I just can’t understand that they could let this happen when they have lost so much due to mishaps with the Max. It seems not enough have been changed after Max within Boeing…
 
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keesje
Posts: 14926
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:50 am

This is where it went wrong, 2014 : https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424 ... 3968514184 Boeing was bruised by the 787 development drama and caught off guard by the NEO's runaway success and 777 customer's A350 desertions.

Congress, FAA, Boeing and its supply chain where working shoulder to shoulder to speed up, "streamline" FAA certification processes, delegate responsibilities, improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy to fight international competition. 2012-2018 FAA re-authorizations show the pressure applied on the FAA.

2014:
As required by Section 312 of the 2012 Act, FAA, in consultation with representatives of the aviation industry, made recommendations to the director of FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service regarding streamlining and reengineering the certification process.

These recommendations, which we found to be relevant, clear, and actionable, called for FAA to:

1. improve the effectiveness of its delegation programs,
2. update certification procedures to reflect a systems approach to safety,
3. review operational safety and rulemaking processes, and
4. implement efficiency reforms, among others. 20

In July 2013, FAA released its plan to implement these recommendations.The plan included 14 initiatives and programs that FAA either had under way or intended to start to improve efficiency and reduce costs related to certifications


https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-14-285t.pdf

Congress played a strong, decisive role in placing efficiency before safety, not with words but with actions. Most of the congress members, lobbyists active on this topic 2012-2018 are still in place but keep a low profile, suffer acute amnesia or demonstrate unparalleled moral flexibility blaming everyone but themselves for the current situation. The congress hearings of Boeing late 2019 showed a total absence of any self reflection or accountability. Attacking Muilenberg as loud as possible to deflect attention.

There was broad, unconditional industry support for the FAA streamlining and delegation of certification, up until 2018. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer ... .pdf&hl=en In my opinion it doesn't make sense to blame individuals, the road followed had broad political and industrial support. Lots people were ok looking just at stock value & free cash flow to conclude everything was just fine.
 
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MoKa777
Posts: 1133
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:47 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:21 am

xwb777 wrote:
Sorry to say this.. Boeing is cursed! Its not getting it right with the MAX, Dreamliner and the B777X!



Being "cursed" makes one the victim. A curse is also something the victim cannot control.

Sad to say but Boeing is not the victim and the problems they are facing are well within their control.
 
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seahawk
Posts: 10417
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:41 am

keesje wrote:
This is where it went wrong, 2014 : https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424 ... 3968514184 Boeing was bruised by the 787 development drama and caught off guard by the NEO's runaway success and 777 customer's A350 desertions.

Congress, FAA, Boeing and its supply chain where working shoulder to shoulder to speed up, "streamline" FAA certification processes, delegate responsibilities, improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy to fight international competition. 2012-2018 FAA re-authorizations show the pressure applied on the FAA.

2014:
As required by Section 312 of the 2012 Act, FAA, in consultation with representatives of the aviation industry, made recommendations to the director of FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service regarding streamlining and reengineering the certification process.

These recommendations, which we found to be relevant, clear, and actionable, called for FAA to:

1. improve the effectiveness of its delegation programs,
2. update certification procedures to reflect a systems approach to safety,
3. review operational safety and rulemaking processes, and
4. implement efficiency reforms, among others. 20

In July 2013, FAA released its plan to implement these recommendations.The plan included 14 initiatives and programs that FAA either had under way or intended to start to improve efficiency and reduce costs related to certifications


https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-14-285t.pdf

Congress played a strong, decisive role in placing efficiency before safety, not with words but with actions. Most of the congress members, lobbyists active on this topic 2012-2018 are still in place but keep a low profile, suffer acute amnesia or demonstrate unparalleled moral flexibility blaming everyone but themselves for the current situation. The congress hearings of Boeing late 2019 showed a total absence of any self reflection or accountability. Attacking Muilenberg as loud as possible to deflect attention.

There was broad, unconditional industry support for the FAA streamlining and delegation of certification, up until 2018. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer ... .pdf&hl=en In my opinion it doesn't make sense to blame individuals, the road followed had broad political and industrial support. Lots people were ok looking just at stock value & free cash flow to conclude everything was just fine.


Self certifying is not bad per se, if the it is taken seriously within the companies. You can see it as a more efficient way to achieve certification and detect problems early or you can use it to hide your failings and hope the regulator does not notice. The second option does usually not work out in the long run.
 
astuteman
Posts: 7577
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:50 am

FluidFlow wrote:
I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X. What they definitely lack is transparency but the issue (from what I understand) is that the goal posts were shifted due to the MAX fiasco. The 777X was in development before the MAX crashes, all the processes and designs were made and the ship was sailing. Then the destination was changed but turning a tanker takes time. So Boeing got caught with their pants down because now they have to redesign stuff and even worse, actually produce evidence that what they did was conform. That means going back to the beginning and do the paperwork properly. That is a painful job that takes time and especially if personnel changed it means that some work might have to be redone.

We can see from the criticism of the FAA that a lot of stuff is missing or was not properly done because the initial plan of Boeing never included that stuff because it was not needed (because the FAA just took Boeings word) but now the FAA actually demands the paperwork.


With the greatest of respect, I strongly disagree.

The reason I picked out the two points I did are that they are no-one else's fault but Boeing management..

1. Not following their own procedures
2. Inadequate peer review of the safety analysis.

I'm pretty sure the goalposts have moved as a result of the MAX, but these 2 are unforgiveable - in any business, but especially after the MAX fiasco

Just read them, and tell me again why its harsh to criticise Boeing's management..
There is no excuse.

Rgds
 
astuteman
Posts: 7577
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:53 am

seahawk wrote:
keesje wrote:
This is where it went wrong, 2014 : https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424 ... 3968514184 Boeing was bruised by the 787 development drama and caught off guard by the NEO's runaway success and 777 customer's A350 desertions.

Congress, FAA, Boeing and its supply chain where working shoulder to shoulder to speed up, "streamline" FAA certification processes, delegate responsibilities, improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy to fight international competition. 2012-2018 FAA re-authorizations show the pressure applied on the FAA.

2014:
As required by Section 312 of the 2012 Act, FAA, in consultation with representatives of the aviation industry, made recommendations to the director of FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service regarding streamlining and reengineering the certification process.

These recommendations, which we found to be relevant, clear, and actionable, called for FAA to:

1. improve the effectiveness of its delegation programs,
2. update certification procedures to reflect a systems approach to safety,
3. review operational safety and rulemaking processes, and
4. implement efficiency reforms, among others. 20

In July 2013, FAA released its plan to implement these recommendations.The plan included 14 initiatives and programs that FAA either had under way or intended to start to improve efficiency and reduce costs related to certifications


https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-14-285t.pdf

Congress played a strong, decisive role in placing efficiency before safety, not with words but with actions. Most of the congress members, lobbyists active on this topic 2012-2018 are still in place but keep a low profile, suffer acute amnesia or demonstrate unparalleled moral flexibility blaming everyone but themselves for the current situation. The congress hearings of Boeing late 2019 showed a total absence of any self reflection or accountability. Attacking Muilenberg as loud as possible to deflect attention.

There was broad, unconditional industry support for the FAA streamlining and delegation of certification, up until 2018. https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer ... .pdf&hl=en In my opinion it doesn't make sense to blame individuals, the road followed had broad political and industrial support. Lots people were ok looking just at stock value & free cash flow to conclude everything was just fine.


Self certifying is not bad per se, if the it is taken seriously within the companies. You can see it as a more efficient way to achieve certification and detect problems early or you can use it to hide your failings and hope the regulator does not notice. The second option does usually not work out in the long run.


A component of self-certifying is essential. It's the manufacturer who provides the safety cases for the various systems and their integration.
But governance, both internally, and externally, has to be able to deliver

Rgds
 
FluidFlow
Posts: 1381
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:10 pm

astuteman wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X. What they definitely lack is transparency but the issue (from what I understand) is that the goal posts were shifted due to the MAX fiasco. The 777X was in development before the MAX crashes, all the processes and designs were made and the ship was sailing. Then the destination was changed but turning a tanker takes time. So Boeing got caught with their pants down because now they have to redesign stuff and even worse, actually produce evidence that what they did was conform. That means going back to the beginning and do the paperwork properly. That is a painful job that takes time and especially if personnel changed it means that some work might have to be redone.

We can see from the criticism of the FAA that a lot of stuff is missing or was not properly done because the initial plan of Boeing never included that stuff because it was not needed (because the FAA just took Boeings word) but now the FAA actually demands the paperwork.


With the greatest of respect, I strongly disagree.

The reason I picked out the two points I did are that they are no-one else's fault but Boeing management..

1. Not following their own procedures
2. Inadequate peer review of the safety analysis.

I'm pretty sure the goalposts have moved as a result of the MAX, but these 2 are unforgiveable - in any business, but especially after the MAX fiasco

Just read them, and tell me again why its harsh to criticise Boeing's management..
There is no excuse.

Rgds



Interesting that you pick these two. Both are engineering level processes that were not done or done properly. Now lets see what this means:

Nr. 1: The procedures were actually there, so management and QS implemented them but they were not followed by the lower level instances. What we can conclude: Either upper management did not enforce the rules because they never did and it was never a problem or upper management did not know the procedures were not followed because the engineers never did that and QS missed that. Now both seem to stem from an "easy" approach to quality control encouraged by a system that is geared towards lax controls and reduction of red tape.

Nr 2: It is not managements job to peer review this reports (as they do not have the qualification). This seems to stem from cost and time cutting, assuming that it was done properly and does not need the peer review. What is the reason for that? Either the FAA never demanded them peer reviews before as they just believed Boeing did it right (again not overseeing the process) or it was actually not done but should have been and someone in quality and process control missed it. Probably because so much stuff was not needed and Boeing was allowed to rubber stamp so many things in the process.

My conclusion is that it is not a executive problem but actually a middle management problem stemming from the low oversight that was granted for so long. What should happen is actually that the execs either cull the middle management/highest engineering level and replace it with fresh faces or resign, and the new execs have to cull the middle management/highest engineering levels and replace it with new ones.

The problem seems to be rooted deep in the way engineering and quality control work but not on the highest level (they just yes manned all the practices). It is like having a rotten department inherited from years of low oversight. To get things right the top has to weed out the bad and plant new stuff.

On top of that it is also necessary to empower the external oversight (FAA) to make sure the holes are found and the execs know where to cut off the bad limbs.

The board will cull the execs if they can not deliver financial return. But just replacing them and leaving the bad engineering will not heal the culture nor company, it will need actual change in how aircraft are designed and especially internally reviewed.
 
User avatar
JerseyFlyer
Posts: 1978
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:16 pm

At least 10 years from launch to EIS - for a derivative. Seems a long time to me.
 
User avatar
seahawk
Posts: 10417
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:24 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
astuteman wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X. What they definitely lack is transparency but the issue (from what I understand) is that the goal posts were shifted due to the MAX fiasco. The 777X was in development before the MAX crashes, all the processes and designs were made and the ship was sailing. Then the destination was changed but turning a tanker takes time. So Boeing got caught with their pants down because now they have to redesign stuff and even worse, actually produce evidence that what they did was conform. That means going back to the beginning and do the paperwork properly. That is a painful job that takes time and especially if personnel changed it means that some work might have to be redone.

We can see from the criticism of the FAA that a lot of stuff is missing or was not properly done because the initial plan of Boeing never included that stuff because it was not needed (because the FAA just took Boeings word) but now the FAA actually demands the paperwork.


With the greatest of respect, I strongly disagree.

The reason I picked out the two points I did are that they are no-one else's fault but Boeing management..

1. Not following their own procedures
2. Inadequate peer review of the safety analysis.

I'm pretty sure the goalposts have moved as a result of the MAX, but these 2 are unforgiveable - in any business, but especially after the MAX fiasco

Just read them, and tell me again why its harsh to criticise Boeing's management..
There is no excuse.

Rgds



Interesting that you pick these two. Both are engineering level processes that were not done or done properly. Now lets see what this means:

Nr. 1: The procedures were actually there, so management and QS implemented them but they were not followed by the lower level instances. What we can conclude: Either upper management did not enforce the rules because they never did and it was never a problem or upper management did not know the procedures were not followed because the engineers never did that and QS missed that. Now both seem to stem from an "easy" approach to quality control encouraged by a system that is geared towards lax controls and reduction of red tape.

Nr 2: It is not managements job to peer review this reports (as they do not have the qualification). This seems to stem from cost and time cutting, assuming that it was done properly and does not need the peer review. What is the reason for that? Either the FAA never demanded them peer reviews before as they just believed Boeing did it right (again not overseeing the process) or it was actually not done but should have been and someone in quality and process control missed it. Probably because so much stuff was not needed and Boeing was allowed to rubber stamp so many things in the process.

My conclusion is that it is not a executive problem but actually a middle management problem stemming from the low oversight that was granted for so long. What should happen is actually that the execs either cull the middle management/highest engineering level and replace it with fresh faces or resign, and the new execs have to cull the middle management/highest engineering levels and replace it with new ones.

The problem seems to be rooted deep in the way engineering and quality control work but not on the highest level (they just yes manned all the practices). It is like having a rotten department inherited from years of low oversight. To get things right the top has to weed out the bad and plant new stuff.

On top of that it is also necessary to empower the external oversight (FAA) to make sure the holes are found and the execs know where to cut off the bad limbs.

The board will cull the execs if they can not deliver financial return. But just replacing them and leaving the bad engineering will not heal the culture nor company, it will need actual change in how aircraft are designed and especially internally reviewed.


The job of the executive leadership is to mange the mid-level management. The upper level defines the company culture and how problems are reported, recognized and solved. If the 777X would be the first occurrence of such problems one could look at the program management, but we have seen this with the 737MAX, with the production lines of the 787 and now again with the 777X. That is something that starts at the top.
 
FluidFlow
Posts: 1381
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:54 pm

seahawk wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
astuteman wrote:

With the greatest of respect, I strongly disagree.

The reason I picked out the two points I did are that they are no-one else's fault but Boeing management..

1. Not following their own procedures
2. Inadequate peer review of the safety analysis.

I'm pretty sure the goalposts have moved as a result of the MAX, but these 2 are unforgiveable - in any business, but especially after the MAX fiasco

Just read them, and tell me again why its harsh to criticise Boeing's management..
There is no excuse.

Rgds


The Problem is it is not the executives that are on top but the board and this only demands return on investment within the given rule set and the rule set is made by the FAA and DC.

Return was very good and the rule set did not demand any real oversight.


Interesting that you pick these two. Both are engineering level processes that were not done or done properly. Now lets see what this means:

Nr. 1: The procedures were actually there, so management and QS implemented them but they were not followed by the lower level instances. What we can conclude: Either upper management did not enforce the rules because they never did and it was never a problem or upper management did not know the procedures were not followed because the engineers never did that and QS missed that. Now both seem to stem from an "easy" approach to quality control encouraged by a system that is geared towards lax controls and reduction of red tape.

Nr 2: It is not managements job to peer review this reports (as they do not have the qualification). This seems to stem from cost and time cutting, assuming that it was done properly and does not need the peer review. What is the reason for that? Either the FAA never demanded them peer reviews before as they just believed Boeing did it right (again not overseeing the process) or it was actually not done but should have been and someone in quality and process control missed it. Probably because so much stuff was not needed and Boeing was allowed to rubber stamp so many things in the process.

My conclusion is that it is not a executive problem but actually a middle management problem stemming from the low oversight that was granted for so long. What should happen is actually that the execs either cull the middle management/highest engineering level and replace it with fresh faces or resign, and the new execs have to cull the middle management/highest engineering levels and replace it with new ones.

The problem seems to be rooted deep in the way engineering and quality control work but not on the highest level (they just yes manned all the practices). It is like having a rotten department inherited from years of low oversight. To get things right the top has to weed out the bad and plant new stuff.

On top of that it is also necessary to empower the external oversight (FAA) to make sure the holes are found and the execs know where to cut off the bad limbs.

The board will cull the execs if they can not deliver financial return. But just replacing them and leaving the bad engineering will not heal the culture nor company, it will need actual change in how aircraft are designed and especially internally reviewed.


The job of the executive leadership is to mange the mid-level management. The upper level defines the company culture and how problems are reported, recognized and solved. If the 777X would be the first occurrence of such problems one could look at the program management, but we have seen this with the 737MAX, with the production lines of the 787 and now again with the 777X. That is something that starts at the top.
 
User avatar
scbriml
Posts: 20745
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:14 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
astuteman wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
I think it is a bit harsh to criticize management for the setbacks of the 777X. What they definitely lack is transparency but the issue (from what I understand) is that the goal posts were shifted due to the MAX fiasco. The 777X was in development before the MAX crashes, all the processes and designs were made and the ship was sailing. Then the destination was changed but turning a tanker takes time. So Boeing got caught with their pants down because now they have to redesign stuff and even worse, actually produce evidence that what they did was conform. That means going back to the beginning and do the paperwork properly. That is a painful job that takes time and especially if personnel changed it means that some work might have to be redone.

We can see from the criticism of the FAA that a lot of stuff is missing or was not properly done because the initial plan of Boeing never included that stuff because it was not needed (because the FAA just took Boeings word) but now the FAA actually demands the paperwork.


With the greatest of respect, I strongly disagree.

The reason I picked out the two points I did are that they are no-one else's fault but Boeing management..

1. Not following their own procedures
2. Inadequate peer review of the safety analysis.

I'm pretty sure the goalposts have moved as a result of the MAX, but these 2 are unforgiveable - in any business, but especially after the MAX fiasco

Just read them, and tell me again why its harsh to criticise Boeing's management..
There is no excuse.

Rgds



Interesting that you pick these two. Both are engineering level processes that were not done or done properly. Now lets see what this means:

Nr. 1: The procedures were actually there, so management and QS implemented them but they were not followed by the lower level instances. What we can conclude: Either upper management did not enforce the rules because they never did and it was never a problem or upper management did not know the procedures were not followed because the engineers never did that and QS missed that. Now both seem to stem from an "easy" approach to quality control encouraged by a system that is geared towards lax controls and reduction of red tape.

Nr 2: It is not managements job to peer review this reports (as they do not have the qualification). This seems to stem from cost and time cutting, assuming that it was done properly and does not need the peer review. What is the reason for that? Either the FAA never demanded them peer reviews before as they just believed Boeing did it right (again not overseeing the process) or it was actually not done but should have been and someone in quality and process control missed it. Probably because so much stuff was not needed and Boeing was allowed to rubber stamp so many things in the process.

My conclusion is that it is not a executive problem but actually a middle management problem stemming from the low oversight that was granted for so long. What should happen is actually that the execs either cull the middle management/highest engineering level and replace it with fresh faces or resign, and the new execs have to cull the middle management/highest engineering levels and replace it with new ones.

The problem seems to be rooted deep in the way engineering and quality control work but not on the highest level (they just yes manned all the practices). It is like having a rotten department inherited from years of low oversight. To get things right the top has to weed out the bad and plant new stuff.

On top of that it is also necessary to empower the external oversight (FAA) to make sure the holes are found and the execs know where to cut off the bad limbs.

The board will cull the execs if they can not deliver financial return. But just replacing them and leaving the bad engineering will not heal the culture nor company, it will need actual change in how aircraft are designed and especially internally reviewed.


It feels like you're defending the indefensible.

The clue is in the name - management. That and the pay.
 
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Dutchy
Posts: 12940
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:25 pm

REDHL wrote:
Stitch wrote:
ikolkyo wrote:
I feel like this defeats the purpose of flight testing, you flight test to catch these issues and it was caught. I understand the FAA wants to be extra careful and such after the MAX disaster but my goodness.


Sounds to me like the FAA wants major issues addressed before they allow Boeing to continue with certification. In other words, they want Boeing focused on fixing the problem now, not focused on continuing certification by "kicking issues down the road to be addressed later".

:checkmark:

I can't agree with you more.

In addition, there's no need/rush to put the aircraft on service now, taking into consideration that although passenger traffic is recovery, it will take a while (at least, 2-3 years) for it to fully return to 2019 levels. Therefore, Boeing has all the time available to iron out those issues correctly.


Yes and no. I see your point, but you see pressure mounting from customers like Emirates. And if they can't fulfill their end of the contract, deliver the aircraft on time, they will have to compensate the airlines in question at one point or another. This is a setback for them, no matter how you want to frame it.
 
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SEPilot
Posts: 5767
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:21 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:27 pm

The problem is that the government by itself has zero expertise in airliner design. And engineering schools don’t either. The only ones who really do are those that have actually done it. And now their is only one source of such people in the US, and that is Boeing.

I was a machine tool designer for most of my career, designing high precision automatic grinding machines. In fact, every Boeing airliner built since the late eighties had landing gear struts with their bores ground on machines I designed. I did not learn to design grinding machines in school, I learned from my fellow engineers and managers. No school exists that could teach it. And that applies even more to such a complex product as an airliner.

Back in the early days of aviation there were several competing manufacturers of airliners. Flying at that time was much more dangerous, and all manufacturers understood that killing passengers was bad for business, and they developed a culture that if they could see a way to make their planes safer they did it, and cost was strictly secondy. Regulators drew on the experience of the companies involved, and in fact followed rather than led them as they realized that the companies had far more expertise than they could ever hope to have. Regulation of airliner design was largely a PR exercise. Safety improvement came about because the manufacturers, wanting to improve their competitive position as well as inspiring more people to fly, decided it was in their interests to find the true cause of any accident and work to prevent a similar event from recurring. This had to be led by the government, but the real expertise and drive to make it work originated from the manufacturers.

But then in the sixties the first fly landed in the ointment. A company that had only built military planes acquired the most venerable name in the business, that being when McDonnell acquired Douglas. It was billed as a merger, but it was a takeover; McDonnell people were firmly in charge. And they had the military mindset; they started with a list of requirements, and when you met them you were done. And this was to have disastrous consequences for the first plane they designed after the takeover, most notably in the running of hydraulic lines. How to run the lines for the leading edge slats? Why, the easiest and cheapest way is along the leading edge. What if an engine departs? Don’t worry about it, no regulation prohibits it. If that happens with slats extended, what happens to them, and how is the pilot to know? Again, no regulation calls for them to worry about it. I believe both Boeing and Lockheed run their hydraulic lines along the main spar and bring them straight out to the slat actuators, and have locking devices to keep the slats from retracting if a line is severed. And then there is the routing of lines to the tail. The DC-10 routes them from all three systems all together; it is easier and cheaper than separating them. I believe other manufacturers separate them. This renders them vulnerable to a catastrophic event such as a buckling floor or an uncontained engine failure.

The next fly was the exit of Lockheed and Convair from the airliner business, as well as the failure of lesser names such as Martin from ever entering the jet age, and the failure of all of the foreign players, although several of them did combine efforts to create Airbus. So now there were only three players, shaking the foundation of the system which had always been rooted in competition plus a shared interest in advancing safety. By now safety had been so far advanced that flying on a scheduled airline was by far the safest way to travel, and with the introduction of CRM was made much safer still.

But then the worst event in the history of the airliner manufacturing industry occurred. McDonnell-Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing’s money. And the old McDonnell crew who had thoroughly wrecked the legacy of Donald Douglas were now in the driver’s seat of Boeing. I personally believe that that is why the 787 was such a mess, and also the MAX and now the 777X disasters. And now the driving force to correct the problems is gone, namely competition. Nobody is going to even try to build airliners to compete with Boeing, the costs and risks are just too high. And the idea of just one source to obtain them in the free world is unacceptable. And while the Chinese potentially have the money to launch a competitor, the only expertise they have is stolen, and especially after what is coming out about the Wuhan lab, anyone who trusts them is a fool. I would never board a Chinese built airliner and I suspect that there are enough others that share my feelings to discourage any Western airline from buying them. Russia does (or did) have the expertise, but never were able to produce a competitive product either economically or in safety. With their internal problems, which include not having the money, the idea that they could produce a competitive airliner is very remote.

So now that Boeing management seems to have so thoroughly corrupted itself, what is the solution? I wish I knew. The Boeing that rose to the top of the heap against formidable competition was a company motivated to excel in performance and safety, with profit a result of achieving those goals rather than the primary goal. In the classic capitalist model there would arise a new company with those goals and put Boeing out of business. But in this case that scenario is remote, to say the least. The fact that we have elevated the safety record to almost unbelievable levels makes the prospect of launching a competitor all the more daunting. The first crash of a competing airliner, no matter the cause, if it occurs early in its life, would likely doom the effort. I surely hope that someone or some group arises within Boeing to restore thei sense of purpose that made them great. But I know of no company where this has happened. But in Boeing’s case it needs to.

As an aside, the best corporate manager I ever worked for used to say that first rate people hired first rate people, but second rate people hired third rate people. This explains why Alan Mulally was passed over for CEO and instead went to perform an industrial miracle at Ford, rescuing them from almost certain bankruptcy. But that was the result of one extraordinarily perceptive hereditary leader, Bill Ford, having the humility and perception to realize he was not up to the task in front of him and having the courage to go out and find someone who was. This partially explains why it is so hard for a company that has started to descend from excellence to mediocracy to arrest that decline and restore excellence.
 
Noshow
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:40 pm

They would need some pretty brutal turnaround plan it seems as every program ran into hot water including the cash cows. They do something wrong today that they did right before.

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Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos