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WN732
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:42 pm

Sounds like Boeing stock is going to go on sale. I think this is a good move on the part of the FAA. The 777X is a much larger change to the 777 family than the 737MAX was to the NG. It should be treated as a new model entirely.
 
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keesje
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:00 pm

Emirates Tim Clark was dismissed last month when he mentioned 2025 for EIS and warned Boeing they could reject 777-9's. viewtopic.php?t=1461129 He knew more apparently.
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FluidFlow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:04 pm

astuteman wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
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..


I love the way you make these sound like different things.
Executives AND middle management are all part of the management structure of the business.

Just to remind you - the MAX screw up actually happened.

I don't know about the business you work or have worked in, but I can tell you without equivocation that in the two large companies that I have worked in, after a screw up as big as the MAX, top level management would have insisted that processes were put in place to stop it happening again, and would have measured the performance of the line management expected to implement them. Boeing management, as a group, just don't seem able to fall on their sword the way that a truly repentant company would.

Like Airbus, many years ago my business ended up swallowing many tens of millions in fines, and a load of goodwill, over an international bribery allegation.
Since then God help the individual who breaks ANY of the code of conduct rules, no matter how trivial.
It is ZERO tolerance. None.
The world HAS to see that there's no chance whatsoever of it happening again.

So thanks for the parsing of management roles.
No excuse.
for either not following procedures, or insufficient oversight.
Not at any level.
Not after the MAX :shakehead:

Rgds


The problem lies somewhere else though. The oversight over the executives is not existent because up to now the company performed up to the expectations. Returns were good and stock prices are high so why change the executives that ensured this state?

They made no mistake in the eyes of the oversight body? No real blame was attended by the congress, all was done properly besides a few black sheeps in the company. Do you see the pattern? The systemic rot in the company is not because of bad executives and top management. They did their job and provided massive returns and huge gains on stocks and the board believes they can do it again. Congress saw no fault at the executive level, because all that was done was within the freedom given to Boeing by the FAA (as by the congress).

This is no wrong doing of the executive levels. The problem stems from engineering and lower management levels (below executive). They had all the freedoms, all they had to do was to deliver an error free product. The fact that they couldn't was just bad engineering in the first place.

Now how could this have been prevented? If there would have been actual rules and regulations that would have been enforced top management would have had no choice but to make sure the company is fit for the task. But there was no reason to do this so why doing it? The market is no pony farm, if you do not have to do something you just don't do it.

Now fast forward to the 777X. The company has no structure to deal with actual rules and regulation because they were eroded over years of bad oversight (from outside the company). Do you think management can turn the company around in 1-2 years? That is a full 180 in regards to following the regulations. As I said, the only way to do this is cull the engineers and management levels that have this oversight structure deeply integrated in their way of building aircraft. They need to go because they are probably not able to change the way they work. This call has to come from the top. If the management than cant provide returns (financial) they have to go because they did not make the shareholders happy.

At the moment they have to put people with a different mentality regarding rules and regulations in place. If they can't do that then I agree and top execs have to go too but even the new ones have to cull the middle levels because all the mistakes originated at that level.
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:15 pm

The middle level management, engineers and senior level mechanics are their capital as these are the experienced people that know how it is done. They already lured too many into voluntary early retirement for short sighted financial reasons.
The board needs to be better qualified to deal with and plan the core business and plan long term again. It will be about investing not harvesting. Where does Boeing want to be in 10 or 20 years?
Even with -hopefully- Boeing's homework being done it will be a challenging competition with new entrants and radically different manufacturing and materials.
Last edited by Noshow on Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:35 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
astuteman wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
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..


I love the way you make these sound like different things.
Executives AND middle management are all part of the management structure of the business.

Just to remind you - the MAX screw up actually happened.

I don't know about the business you work or have worked in, but I can tell you without equivocation that in the two large companies that I have worked in, after a screw up as big as the MAX, top level management would have insisted that processes were put in place to stop it happening again, and would have measured the performance of the line management expected to implement them. Boeing management, as a group, just don't seem able to fall on their sword the way that a truly repentant company would.

Like Airbus, many years ago my business ended up swallowing many tens of millions in fines, and a load of goodwill, over an international bribery allegation.
Since then God help the individual who breaks ANY of the code of conduct rules, no matter how trivial.
It is ZERO tolerance. None.
The world HAS to see that there's no chance whatsoever of it happening again.

So thanks for the parsing of management roles.
No excuse.
for either not following procedures, or insufficient oversight.
Not at any level.
Not after the MAX :shakehead:

Rgds


The problem lies somewhere else though. The oversight over the executives is not existent because up to now the company performed up to the expectations. Returns were good and stock prices are high so why change the executives that ensured this state?

They made no mistake in the eyes of the oversight body? No real blame was attended by the congress, all was done properly besides a few black sheeps in the company. Do you see the pattern? The systemic rot in the company is not because of bad executives and top management. They did their job and provided massive returns and huge gains on stocks and the board believes they can do it again. Congress saw no fault at the executive level, because all that was done was within the freedom given to Boeing by the FAA (as by the congress).

This is no wrong doing of the executive levels. The problem stems from engineering and lower management levels (below executive). They had all the freedoms, all they had to do was to deliver an error free product. The fact that they couldn't was just bad engineering in the first place.

Now how could this have been prevented? If there would have been actual rules and regulations that would have been enforced top management would have had no choice but to make sure the company is fit for the task. But there was no reason to do this so why doing it? The market is no pony farm, if you do not have to do something you just don't do it.

Now fast forward to the 777X. The company has no structure to deal with actual rules and regulation because they were eroded over years of bad oversight (from outside the company). Do you think management can turn the company around in 1-2 years? That is a full 180 in regards to following the regulations. As I said, the only way to do this is cull the engineers and management levels that have this oversight structure deeply integrated in their way of building aircraft. They need to go because they are probably not able to change the way they work. This call has to come from the top. If the management than cant provide returns (financial) they have to go because they did not make the shareholders happy.

At the moment they have to put people with a different mentality regarding rules and regulations in place. If they can't do that then I agree and top execs have to go too but even the new ones have to cull the middle levels because all the mistakes originated at that level.


Upper management defines the project conditions and budgets, so they are to blame. If the order is to make it as cheap as possible and cut as many corners as possible you while ignoring nay voices warning against that decision, you end where Boeing is. The mid level managers and engineers are the core value of the company, as they have the skills to built a new plane, they need to conditions to do that correctly.
 
SteelChair
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:59 pm

Wouldn't it be great to see Richard Anderson brought in to clean up the mess at Boeing?
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:09 pm

Boeing may have had all of that 'safety first' in the books, company policy, and public face. But the underlying culture was: support the profits for the next quarter on Wall Street (actually institutional investors - often those people who manage your and my pension). An odd article in Clean Technica had an insightful discussion that 'safety as our highest priority' is utterly wrong. To paraphrase what was said and apply it to aviation: the plane would be so heavy and so safe it might never get off the ground, or if it did it might have a range of only a thousand miles, and would cost $1 per AVM in Y. Safety is of course a very high priority, but it is also to be weighed against the mission - getting us to where we want to go. About 40K people die on the roads every year, but that is in the process of providing extraordinary mobility.

There is a 'dance', a new generation plane must go further, fly faster, and do it all cheaper than the last generation. And it should be safer than the previous generation. In the early days of jet travel they had machines to sell life insurance should the planes crash, because of course planes crash - and with some frequency. Read Suter's book. He talks about how Boeing successfully kept making better and safer planes. To some degree Boeing wrote the book for the FAA on making jet planes safe as possible - while at the same time providing extraordinary mobility.

But sometime in the 80s greed became popular for industry, management actually edged out stockholders (read John Kenneth Gailbraith). If executives manage to improve the quarterlies, they suddenly got hundreds fold more per year than the workers over the previous 20s fold. This has led to disastrously destructive corporate results. And not just for Boeing.

I do not think that the current Boeing Board and Management can do the job. Past posts have resulted in warnings for me to be less provocative about how serious the situation is. There has been criminality, fatalities, and now almost all programs have been or are halted and delayed for years. It was obvious to me for at least the last five years that Boeing is in trouble.
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mzlin
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:09 pm

SEPilot wrote:
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.


Excellent summary. Lesson is: if you care about your legacy, don't acquire a former competitor where the management has a more aggressive culture and let them get their foot in the door. It's like letting the fox into the henhouse. I've seen it happen to other companies too.
 
texl1649
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:27 pm

seahawk wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
astuteman wrote:

I love the way you make these sound like different things.
Executives AND middle management are all part of the management structure of the business.

Just to remind you - the MAX screw up actually happened.

I don't know about the business you work or have worked in, but I can tell you without equivocation that in the two large companies that I have worked in, after a screw up as big as the MAX, top level management would have insisted that processes were put in place to stop it happening again, and would have measured the performance of the line management expected to implement them. Boeing management, as a group, just don't seem able to fall on their sword the way that a truly repentant company would.

Like Airbus, many years ago my business ended up swallowing many tens of millions in fines, and a load of goodwill, over an international bribery allegation.
Since then God help the individual who breaks ANY of the code of conduct rules, no matter how trivial.
It is ZERO tolerance. None.
The world HAS to see that there's no chance whatsoever of it happening again.

So thanks for the parsing of management roles.
No excuse.
for either not following procedures, or insufficient oversight.
Not at any level.
Not after the MAX :shakehead:

Rgds


The problem lies somewhere else though. The oversight over the executives is not existent because up to now the company performed up to the expectations. Returns were good and stock prices are high so why change the executives that ensured this state?

They made no mistake in the eyes of the oversight body? No real blame was attended by the congress, all was done properly besides a few black sheeps in the company. Do you see the pattern? The systemic rot in the company is not because of bad executives and top management. They did their job and provided massive returns and huge gains on stocks and the board believes they can do it again. Congress saw no fault at the executive level, because all that was done was within the freedom given to Boeing by the FAA (as by the congress).

This is no wrong doing of the executive levels. The problem stems from engineering and lower management levels (below executive). They had all the freedoms, all they had to do was to deliver an error free product. The fact that they couldn't was just bad engineering in the first place.

Now how could this have been prevented? If there would have been actual rules and regulations that would have been enforced top management would have had no choice but to make sure the company is fit for the task. But there was no reason to do this so why doing it? The market is no pony farm, if you do not have to do something you just don't do it.

Now fast forward to the 777X. The company has no structure to deal with actual rules and regulation because they were eroded over years of bad oversight (from outside the company). Do you think management can turn the company around in 1-2 years? That is a full 180 in regards to following the regulations. As I said, the only way to do this is cull the engineers and management levels that have this oversight structure deeply integrated in their way of building aircraft. They need to go because they are probably not able to change the way they work. This call has to come from the top. If the management than cant provide returns (financial) they have to go because they did not make the shareholders happy.

At the moment they have to put people with a different mentality regarding rules and regulations in place. If they can't do that then I agree and top execs have to go too but even the new ones have to cull the middle levels because all the mistakes originated at that level.


Upper management defines the project conditions and budgets, so they are to blame. If the order is to make it as cheap as possible and cut as many corners as possible you while ignoring nay voices warning against that decision, you end where Boeing is. The mid level managers and engineers are the core value of the company, as they have the skills to built a new plane, they need to conditions to do that correctly.


Correct. The board of directors remains the primary problem at Boeing, not the management or CEO. An institutional investor revolt is imho not unlikely this year; shareholders must hold the board accountable.

Boeing’s board is back on the hot seat ahead of the planemaker’s annual meeting Tuesday as investors ponder a new rebuke for company leadership.

A powerful pension fund, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, pledged to vote against Boeing’s three longest-serving outside board members, including Chairman Larry Kellner. Shareholder advisory firm Glass Lewis endorsed a shakeup, saying that “poor oversight” — including by directors — contributed to two deadly crashes and a 20-month grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max.

The jabs herald more turmoil for Boeing’s leadership, even if a mass shareholder revolt is unlikely. While the stock has rebounded from last year’s plunge caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the outlook for further gains is muddled. Investors want insight from Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun into how Boeing plans to shed its $64 billion debt load, return to profitability and prevent Airbus from converting its market lead into longer-term dominance.


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

Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:13 pm

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 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.

I think it's appropriate to criticize management. Keep in mind these people as a class grant themselves windfall bonuses of cash and stock when things go well, it's only fair that they take heat when things go off the rails like they are here.

IMO it's no exaggeration to say things are going off the rails if/when the regulator is calling you out for not following your own procedures.

I realize that Boeing is dealing with shifting goal posts but they have at least publicly said they accept the shifting goal posts and it's up to management to come up with plans that work within the new framework, rather than keep going down the old path and only reacting when "they get caught with their pants down" to use your phrase.

Yes, that takes time and money, but isn't it management's job to make schedules and budgets to coordinate people and other resources?

Chipmunk1973 wrote:
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.

Indeed. It does feel like a young driving student who shows up without passing the written test and with a dodgy car and saying, "Can't I have the learner's permit anyway?". Makes one want to ask the parents exactly what kind of kid are you raising? Hopefully both go away chastened and return with everything in good order.

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.

Supplier of the avionics = GE.

From the FG article:

Much of the letter’s focus rests on the 777-9’s CCS, which the letter says fails to meet “readiness requirements”. Boeing does not provide details. But in 2014 GE Aviation said it had been chosen by Boeing to provide the 777X’s CCS. GE Aviation did not respond to a request for comment.

“The CCS is a very complex and critical avionics system,” the FAA’s letter says. “It is an integrated modular avionics architecture that provides a set of shared computing, networking and input/output resources.” The CCS system on the 777-9 marks a “significant change from the baseline 777-300ER,” the letter adds.
It cites “lack of sufficient data” related to the CCS, and “lack of availability of [a] preliminary safety assessment for the FAA to review”. The agency cannot yet confirm the CCS “is mature and will provide only uncorrupted data”.

It notes that Boeing’s proposed modifications to the 777-9’s design include “firmware and hardware changes to the actuator controls electrics of the flight control system”. Boeing chief executive David Calhoun disclosed in January that Boeing was making those types of design changes. The FAA still has “concern” about the modifications, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) “has not yet agreed on a way forward on the Model 777-9”, the letter says. “Boeing needs to ensure the changes do not introduce new, inadvertent failures.”

It adds that “design maturity is in question, as design changes are on-going and potentially significant”. The letter asks Boeing’s Organisation Designation Authorization office – the company’s self-certification unit – to “close these gaps” before requesting that the FAA issue the Type Inspection Authorization.

Ref: https://www.flightglobal.com/airframers ... 42.article

CCS is the Common Core System ( ref: https://www.aviationtoday.com/2014/12/2 ... eing-777x/ ) ( https://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/1 ... 11028.html ) which is based on the one in the 787.

Boeing must have some interesting questions to be asking of GE, given that the contract was awarded in 2014 yet FAA says the design maturity is at question. It could be that Boeing didn't provide GE enough information to start early enough, or it could be that GE didn't staff up the program quick enough or provide enough experienced people who could create the kind of designs that would meet targets. It does seem to have have eerie parallels to MCAS, which was implemented by Rockwell Collins, where Boeing doesn't seem to have a tight grip on what its subcontractors are doing and is willing to portray the situation as being OK without actually having spent the effort to verify that things were indeed OK.

I agree with the general opinion here that this is inexcusable after the MAX tragedy. Boeing and GE should know that FAA will be on its highest alert and their work needs to be at the highest level to pass muster. FAA is clearly annoyed that Boeing has been asking for over nine months for TIA clearance without doing the work to support granting it.

seahawk wrote:
Upper management defines the project conditions and budgets, so they are to blame. If the order is to make it as cheap as possible and cut as many corners as possible you while ignoring nay voices warning against that decision, you end where Boeing is. The mid level managers and engineers are the core value of the company, as they have the skills to built a new plane, they need to conditions to do that correctly.

Seems like some unfair generalizations are being made. In my experience you can find plenty of mid level managers that have the same traits as you say upper management has, after all that's where upper managers come from. Technical work is very demanding, if you don't stay fully engaged you lose your grip quite easily. In my experience there's a lot of middle level managers who lose their grip early and become not much more than cogs in the machine, careerists and self-preservationists.

One big problem for Boeing is what they really need now is some people who excel at troubleshooting i.e. they know how both management and engineering mindsets operate, can gain the trust of both enough to get access to the information needed to determine the true state of affairs and have the intelligence to understand it all while seeing through any smoke screens being raised by the various self serving careerists they will encounter. Then of course you need upper management willing to hear bad news and willing to implement corrective measures. I wish them luck finding some of these people, they are as rare as unicorns. Without these kinds of troubleshooters what you end up doing is more of the same and hoping that things will eventually sort themselves out. If you understand the rules of entropy you understand this is about as likely as a monkey walking up to a piano and playing Beethoven.
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Noshow
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:31 pm

Is the management style the same at the military, space and the commercial divisions?
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:48 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
At least 10 years from launch to EIS - for a derivative. Seems a long time to me.


Must raise serious questions in the minds of those who ordered it given we know it's overweight and not a lot of data coming out re fuel efficiency. I smell more trouble for the order book... to what degree are airlines permitted to walk away given the lengthy delays? What kind of deposits / penalties are at play, I wonder.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:08 pm

SteelChair wrote:
Wouldn't it be great to see Richard Anderson brought in to clean up the mess at Boeing?


Totally agree. Richard Anderson would not tolerate or accept the pathetic excuses being thrown around like popcorn at Boeing these days. With RA leading the company, many mid and upper management heads would roll and their replacements as well as those retained would be held to the very highest levels of accountability.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:51 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
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.


The job of Executive Management is to manage THE WHOLE DAMN COMPANY. They get paid the exorbitant amounts for this responsibility. Rot starts at the top, and this is a great example of a company whose rot stems from upper management. Not only have they allowed numerous programs to have major problems or become failures, they've been unable to straighten things out. The entire executive management team needs to be fired and replaced.
Last edited by Chemist on Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
Seems like some unfair generalizations are being made. In my experience you can find plenty of mid level managers that have the same traits as you say upper management has, after all that's where upper managers come from. Technical work is very demanding, if you don't stay fully engaged you lose your grip quite easily. In my experience there's a lot of middle level managers who lose their grip early and become not much more than cogs in the machine, careerists and self-preservationists.

One big problem for Boeing is what they really need now is some people who excel at troubleshooting i.e. they know how both management and engineering mindsets operate, can gain the trust of both enough to get access to the information needed to determine the true state of affairs and have the intelligence to understand it all while seeing through any smoke screens being raised by the various self serving careerists they will encounter. Then of course you need upper management willing to hear bad news and willing to implement corrective measures. I wish them luck finding some of these people, they are as rare as unicorns. Without these kinds of troubleshooters what you end up doing is more of the same and hoping that things will eventually sort themselves out. If you understand the rules of entropy you understand this is about as likely as a monkey walking up to a piano and playing Beethoven.


Normally I would agree, but we have seen similar behaviour with the 737MAX and also on the 787 production line with quality control being handled very loosely. So we have seen this corner cutting in the development teams but also on the running production line, which imho means that it is not a problem of the mid level management but something either ignored or supported by the upper level management. The reaction from Boring for me looks like this corner cutting is actively encouraged at Boeing and such must start at the top.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:07 pm

seahawk wrote:
Normally I would agree, but we have seen similar behaviour with the 737MAX and also on the 787 production line with quality control being handled very loosely. So we have seen this corner cutting in the development teams but also on the running production line, which imho means that it is not a problem of the mid level management but something either ignored or supported by the upper level management. The reaction from Boring for me looks like this corner cutting is actively encouraged at Boeing and such must start at the top.

I don't think your premise is proved just because the same thing has happened to varying degrees on various programs. That which you attribute to cost cutting can also be explained by incompetence, laziness, etc. We don't have enough data to support any one theory, IMO. My posts include 'IMO' a lot because I am just offering an opinion on what might be happening.

I'll remind everyone that pretty much every commercial engineering project everywhere is under schedule and budget pressure. I have yet to hear "take as much time as you need" or "spend as much as it takes" ever at a program level in over three decades of high tech work. I've occasionally seen the money flow almost without limit once a customer situation with a released product has gone open loop, but that's about it. In those situations the money flowed but time pressure was even more intense.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:39 pm

FluidFlow wrote:
The company has no structure to deal with actual rules and regulation because they were eroded over years of bad oversight (from outside the company). Do you think management can turn the company around in 1-2 years?


After something like the MAX? Damn right I do!
I'm finding this an utterly bizarre debate.
I'm going to stop this opinion tennis as we clearly live in parallel universes.

I'd suggest looking up the difference between responsibility and accountability if you ever feel like bridging the gap... :)

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

Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:52 pm

Chemist wrote:
The job of Executive Management is to manage THE WHOLE DAMN COMPANY. They get paid the exorbitant amounts for this responsibility. Rot starts at the top, and this is a great example of a company whose rot stems from upper management. Not only have they allowed numerous programs to have major problems or become failures, they've been unable to straighten things out. The entire executive management team needs to be fired and replaced.


Exactly! If my consulting staff screws up something on a project, my client will keep me accountable and wouldn't care less if one of my team members messed up, the other team member didn't catch the error, and so on up the chain. I'm the only one to blame as it is my job to manage the engagement and submit the best quality deliverable.

After all the disasters in the last several years, which include space program as well, I wouldn't give Boeing any benefit of the doubt and no excuses should be allowed. They used up all of them.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:11 pm

Revelation wrote:
seahawk wrote:
Normally I would agree, but we have seen similar behaviour with the 737MAX and also on the 787 production line with quality control being handled very loosely. So we have seen this corner cutting in the development teams but also on the running production line, which imho means that it is not a problem of the mid level management but something either ignored or supported by the upper level management. The reaction from Boring for me looks like this corner cutting is actively encouraged at Boeing and such must start at the top.

I don't think your premise is proved just because the same thing has happened to varying degrees on various programs. That which you attribute to cost cutting can also be explained by incompetence, laziness, etc. We don't have enough data to support any one theory, IMO. My posts include 'IMO' a lot because I am just offering an opinion on what might be happening.

I'll remind everyone that pretty much every commercial engineering project everywhere is under schedule and budget pressure. I have yet to hear "take as much time as you need" or "spend as much as it takes" ever at a program level in over three decades of high tech work. I've occasionally seen the money flow almost without limit once a customer situation with a released product has gone open loop, but that's about it. In those situations the money flowed but time pressure was even more intense.


Imo the things we are seeing point all in the same direction. Laziness could cause the production problems or the problems with the documentation, but it does not explain the reaction we have seen from Boeing after the problems of the MAX were found or now. And imho it looks like budget pressure trumps safety and quality concerns at Boeing. In my experience working for a regulator in the last 15 years, companies that have so many conflicts with a regulator in such a short time and affecting at least a whole commercial division, usually have a problem with the company culture and most often it is pressure to cut corners enforced by the higher management - often combined with extreme arrogance.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:38 pm

seahawk wrote:
Imo the things we are seeing point all in the same direction. Laziness could cause the production problems or the problems with the documentation, but it does not explain the reaction we have seen from Boeing after the problems of the MAX were found or now. And imho it looks like budget pressure trumps safety and quality concerns at Boeing. In my experience working for a regulator in the last 15 years, companies that have so many conflicts with a regulator in such a short time and affecting at least a whole commercial division, usually have a problem with the company culture and most often it is pressure to cut corners enforced by the higher management - often combined with extreme arrogance.

Regardless of whether or not we agree or disagree on the root causes, it's clear things are not going in the right direction. The regulator complaining that Boeing is not following its own processes should have caused heads to roll within Boeing management.

From the ST piece:

Won notes that Galantowicz conceded in a letter to the FAA earlier in May that the CCS has incomplete software and does not meet TIA requirements.

Citing a “lack of data” and the absence of a Preliminary Safety Assessment for the FAA to review, the agency’s letter declares that Boeing hasn’t even met its own process requirements.
...
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.”

It's troubling that Boeing felt there was a basis to go ahead with TIA approval while the FAA had no problems providing compelling reasons why there was no such basis. It reeks of Boeing putting pressure on the regulator to accept its short comings, and we all now how that went last time. One of the major themes of MCAS was that Boeing mis-characterized MCAS so it did not have to undergo a full safety analysis. This makes the absence of a Preliminary Safety Assessment for the 777's avionics package an obvious thing that FAA would object to.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:06 pm

Boeing has built many great airplanes and I have had the pleasure of flying on most of their jet plane. I must say I am saddened to see how Boeing management fail to understand the program execution is in trouble after the process of re-certifying the MAX. I thought they would be more hands on with the 777X. In hindsight the criticism of moving Boeing headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001, and the decoupling the executives from the engineering team will probably increase in strength after this delay and strong words from FAA. A CEO needs to be involved and hands on every aspect of the business.
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keesje
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:28 pm

The 777X certification strategy was way beyond the point of no return at the moment JATR grilled the Changed Product Rule certification application after the 737 crashes. So Boeing confirmed & promised improvement, but couldn't turn the 777x ship. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -approval/
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BEG2IAH
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:54 pm

Oykie wrote:
Boeing has built many great airplanes and I have had the pleasure of flying on most of their jet plane. I must say I am saddened to see how Boeing management fail to understand the program execution is in trouble after the process of re-certifying the MAX. I thought they would be more hands on with the 777X. In hindsight the criticism of moving Boeing headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001, and the decoupling the executives from the engineering team will probably increase in strength after this delay and strong words from FAA. A CEO needs to be involved and hands on every aspect of the business.


It also seems that Boeing has not learned its lessons from the B787 supply chain/outsourcing debacle. That strategy just doesn't work without good controls. The Starliner is a another great example of what not to do.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:21 pm

Noshow wrote:
Is the management style the same at the military, space and the commercial divisions?


I'm not sure, but there are somewhat similar problems going on both in the military divisions (KC-46 Pegasus) and space (CST-100 Starliner).

If anything, it would point to the real issue being at the top of the management chain.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:30 pm

I know that everyone wants to grab their "torches & pitchforks" and head to Boeing's Chicago headquarters looking for heads to roll. But let's tame down the rhetoric a bit and examine where the B777X program might be going.

If this program flops, it will not be Boeing's first failed derivative program. The B767-400 was supposed to be Boeing's answer to Airbus' A330, but only a small number were sold to only 2 operators. The B757-300 was an attempt to meet the needs of the European holiday charter market, but it too sold in small numbers to few customers. The B747-8 was supposed to be Boeing's answer to Airbus' A380 and a follow-on to the B747-400 & 400F, but again, sales were weak. Yet, somehow Boeing survived these failed programs.

If you look at the B777X customer list you find the largest one, Emirates has had a case of "buyer's remorse" about this upcoming new aircraft for a few years. Also, given the weak government responses in controlling the pandemic in some of their key markets, I believe Emirates will be significantly downsizing until things return to normal, which may take several years. I think Qatar is basically in the same situation as Emirates, although the egotistical al-Baker would never admit it. Another major B777X customer, Cathay Pacific is getting slammed on two fronts - The pandemic & the PRC's increasing political takeover of Hong Kong. It appears to me that only European stalwarts, Lufthansa and British Airways might be willing to wait things out.

In my opinion the B777X program appears to be headed towards total program sales somewhere in the order of the B747-8 or the MD-11.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:44 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
I know that everyone wants to grab their "torches & pitchforks" and head to Boeing's Chicago headquarters looking for heads to roll. But let's tame down the rhetoric a bit and examine where the B777X program might be going.


It's not a matter of grabbing torches to burn down Boeing, or even about the B777X program's fate in isolation, but this is all about the myopic and unbelievably sloppy performance by Boeing. I like Boeing products a lot and that's another reason why I really don't like what I'm seeing now.
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:00 pm

Looking over the B779 BOE2 / Reg. N779XX flight KGEG to KBFI on Dec. 8, 2021 (alleged as the flight that had the “uncommanded pitch event”) performance data in Flightradar24, don’t see a particular flight anomaly in sudden (unusual) change of altitude and/or ground speed that would indicate an (abrupt) “uncommanded pitch” scenario. Anybody else see anything unusual? So, without being able to identify a UPE scenario flight performance metrics anomaly, what exactly was the root cause of this UPE, which is leading to (sadly) another delay in this aircraft TIA? According to the ST news article this event was a “nose of the aircraft pitched abruptly up or down without input from the pilots.” Given that (especially “abruptly), I would think an unusual change in altitude and/or ground speed would have resulted in the FR24 performance data.

Did other B779’s (BOE1, 3, and 4) test flights ever have a UPE? If not, why not, since this is being noted as a UPE (implying software related) and not a pilot induced pitch event.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:00 pm

Sounds to me that Boeing needs to incorporate Palantir Foundry into its production as Airbus did. Indeed Airbus' CEO Tom Enders once said that brining Palantir software into Airbus was "one of the best decisions of my career".

https://www.palantir.com/pt_media/airbu ... n-of-a350/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... -karp.html
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:27 pm

Oykie wrote:
In hindsight the criticism of moving Boeing headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001, and the decoupling the executives from the engineering team will probably increase in strength after this delay and strong words from FAA. A CEO needs to be involved and hands on every aspect of the business.


Well perhaps the closing of Boeing Commercial's HQ in Longacres and moving the executive teams for each program to Renton, Charleston and Everett to be "on-site" to the FALs will help strengthen the executive and management oversite of the various commercial programs.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:57 pm

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.


Based on that logic, I would argue that, actually, the goalposts were artificially moved closer for the 737MAX certification. Boeing screwed that up and, when the goalposts were moved back to their original position they still couldn't score.

Just because regulators gave a lot of leeway for the MAX certification doesn't mean expecting them to do the same for the 777X was the right thing to do.
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LightChop2Chop
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:09 pm

cat3appr50 wrote:
Looking over the B779 BOE2 / Reg. N779XX flight KGEG to KBFI on Dec. 8, 2021 .


Do you mean 2020?
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:46 am

WN732 wrote:
Sounds like Boeing stock is going to go on sale. I think this is a good move on the part of the FAA. The 777X is a much larger change to the 777 family than the 737MAX was to the NG. It should be treated as a new model entirely.


Try again :shakehead: . Boeing down 3.39% on June 28th and the Consortium (EADS) down 2.24%. Not much of a reaction. Once again hysterical predictions of imminent doom on Anet for Boeing are met with a yawn by the smart money.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 3:24 am

Jetport wrote:
WN732 wrote:
Sounds like Boeing stock is going to go on sale. I think this is a good move on the part of the FAA. The 777X is a much larger change to the 777 family than the 737MAX was to the NG. It should be treated as a new model entirely.


Try again :shakehead: . Boeing down 3.39% on June 28th and the Consortium (EADS) down 2.24%. Not much of a reaction. Once again hysterical predictions of imminent doom on Anet for Boeing are met with a yawn by the smart money.


Not quite. Just saying that things like this are a good time to buy since it will eventually go up. Boeing is not going anywhere. As they say, buy the dip.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:39 am

Revelation wrote:

Boeing must have some interesting questions to be asking of GE, given that the contract was awarded in 2014 yet FAA says the design maturity is at question. It could be that Boeing didn't provide GE enough information to start early enough, or it could be that GE didn't staff up the program quick enough or provide enough experienced people who could create the kind of designs that would meet targets. It does seem to have have eerie parallels to MCAS, which was implemented by Rockwell Collins, where Boeing doesn't seem to have a tight grip on what its subcontractors are doing and is willing to portray the situation as being OK without actually having spent the effort to verify that things were indeed OK.



Pretty harsh words. It is easy to see how after the 737 Max investigations that Boeing, GE and the FAA re-evaluated the certification basis and means-of-compliance as to what had been previously been negotiated. Boeing might have looked at its internal software development processes after 737 Max and found them insufficient. The assumptions about how much credit one could take for prior 787 certification would have been brought in question. In all likelihood, there were Non-Advocate Reviews which may have identified some changes to CCS. Boeing and GE are going to do that before the FAA even makes the request.

And if it is Level A software, the process for certification is very long as the safety-assurance is based upon the process. One can't test code after the code is written to ensure that it meets Level A requirements. That isn't how the process works.

Frankly, we don't know much except that the final version of the software isn't ready yet and Boeing/GE need to provide more data to the FAA to convince them that the airplane can meet the regulations. It should not take anyone by surprise that getting software right is taking longer than expected.

And let's not forget that it was late software changes to the MCAS during flight test that precipitated a poorly executed design. Poor execution of the software made that design unsafe more than anything else.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:50 am

LightChop2Chop wrote:
cat3appr50 wrote:
Looking over the B779 BOE2 / Reg. N779XX flight KGEG to KBFI on Dec. 8, 2021 .


Do you mean 2020?


Thx. Yes Dec 8, 2020
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:28 am

Keesje noted it up thread, but I am going to look at it from a different direction.

Each part on an airplane is certified, each system is certified. As everyone used to chime in about grandfathering allowing the skirting of new regs, well it does, but what the big difference is in that "the ACME gadget was first certified in 1967 for the 727, and then used on the 737-100. See the referenced reports of the revisions A-W over the years, where it has performed without issue. Revision X is enclosed showing how its use has been changed for the 77x." (Hopefully, you won't notice how I haven't really done a failure analysis)

To properly do failure analysis one must accurately model each device and how it performs. Having a gazillion black boxes basically corrupts that analysis with far more potential for error. Questions like "what is the interim value and how long is that value present" for like an electric actuator that only gives positive readings when the limit at each of it's travel is tripped."

Boeing and its suppliers may not have ever built up from true scratch, rather picking out the cert files dating back ages to cobble a good story together.

What the regulators want is to review a complete analysis by Boeing in accordance with the regulations. Boeing is still self certifying, but someone (the FAA) is doing a through review this time. I see that in Facilities Engineering for DOD, review cycles out the ying yang but in the end there are no unresolved comments and they let things proceed, never, ever taking responsibility. Why should they, the contract put the sole responsibility on the contractor and his engineers. If anything goes wrong during the next 50 years, the regulators are not in the least responsible, the Contractor is properly hung.

Boeing is looking at 5 years of certification effort realizing that they agreed to can all of this and start from scratch. How else to get accurate probability of error's.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:33 am

JetBuddy wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Is the management style the same at the military, space and the commercial divisions?


I'm not sure, but there are somewhat similar problems going on both in the military divisions (KC-46 Pegasus) and space (CST-100 Starliner).

If anything, it would point to the real issue being at the top of the management chain.


This.
If the problems were only Commercial Aircraft, then you might realistically think that the Division has leadership problems. But when it appears to be endemic across the entire company, that tells you something about the executive management.
 
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:37 am

JetBuddy wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Is the management style the same at the military, space and the commercial divisions?


I'm not sure, but there are somewhat similar problems going on both in the military divisions (KC-46 Pegasus) and space (CST-100 Starliner).

If anything, it would point to the real issue being at the top of the management chain.


This.
If the problems were only Commercial Aircraft, then you might realistically think that the Commercial Aircraft Division has leadership problems. But when it appears to be endemic across the entire company, that tells you something about the executive management and the Board of Directors.
 
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Re: Boeing delays first 777-9 delivery to 2023, takes $6.5bn charge

Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:27 am

Strato2 wrote:
Late 2023? That will make the 777X almost as late to the party as the 787. Inexcusable for a derivative aircraft. And what is the break even for the 777X with these new terrible numbers?


Is is a derivative aircraft?
1 New wings of plastic that fold.
2 New engines
3 New Flight Control Software
4 Really a new fuselage of new new alloys, new bigger windows and cutouts in the ribs to increase shoulder width.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:30 am

JayinKitsap wrote:

What the regulators want is to review a complete analysis by Boeing in accordance with the regulations. Boeing is still self certifying, but someone (the FAA) is doing a through review this time. I see that in Facilities Engineering for DOD, review cycles out the ying yang but in the end there are no unresolved comments and they let things proceed, never, ever taking responsibility. Why should they, the contract put the sole responsibility on the contractor and his engineers. If anything goes wrong during the next 50 years, the regulators are not in the least responsible, the Contractor is properly hung.



I need to correct an incorrect impression on this thread. For new and major derivative airplane programs (and I worked on five airplane programs), Boeing and the FAA negotiate the means-of-compliance to the regulations and whether finding compliance to a regulation is delegated to the applicant's designated representative or is retained by the FAA. If the finding of compliance is retained by the FAA, the certification documents must be provided to the FAA for review and acceptance. Generally, if the applicant has certificated something similar in the past, the FAA will delegate finding of compliance to the applicants' designated representative. The idea here is that the FAA's limited oversight resources should be focused on those areas that are novel or where the applicant may not have prior experience.

So unless you have the certification plan in front of you for the CCS, you really don't know how much of this has been delegated and how much has been retained. From the description of the issues, it has the appearance that the FAA has retained finding of compliance for the CCS.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 1:03 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Pretty harsh words. It is easy to see how after the 737 Max investigations that Boeing, GE and the FAA re-evaluated the certification basis and means-of-compliance as to what had been previously been negotiated. Boeing might have looked at its internal software development processes after 737 Max and found them insufficient. The assumptions about how much credit one could take for prior 787 certification would have been brought in question. In all likelihood, there were Non-Advocate Reviews which may have identified some changes to CCS. Boeing and GE are going to do that before the FAA even makes the request.

And if it is Level A software, the process for certification is very long as the safety-assurance is based upon the process. One can't test code after the code is written to ensure that it meets Level A requirements. That isn't how the process works.

Frankly, we don't know much except that the final version of the software isn't ready yet and Boeing/GE need to provide more data to the FAA to convince them that the airplane can meet the regulations. It should not take anyone by surprise that getting software right is taking longer than expected.


And let's not forget that it was late software changes to the MCAS during flight test that precipitated a poorly executed design. Poor execution of the software made that design unsafe more than anything else.

That's not what I take away from the FAA's writing.

They aren't saying data is missing, they are saying a Preliminary Safety Analysis is missing i.e. analysis not just data.

They are not just saying the software is late, they are saying the design lacks maturity. That is significant because software is an implementation of a design, and if the design is not mature then software is even further behind with regard to maturity.

Boeing is quite far away from something they can test, never mind sell. As for why this would be a surprise, remember (a) CCS is coming from the same vendor of 787's CCS so learning curve should not have been a problem, (b) the contract was awarded in 2014 so they've had a long time to consider what the FAA's actual requirements are, and (c) customers who put their money down in 2013 were told this bird was supposed to EIS in 2019, each slip gets measured relative to that date.

HugoJunkers wrote:
Strato2 wrote:
Late 2023? That will make the 777X almost as late to the party as the 787. Inexcusable for a derivative aircraft. And what is the break even for the 777X with these new terrible numbers?


Is is a derivative aircraft?
1 New wings of plastic that fold.
2 New engines
3 New Flight Control Software
4 Really a new fuselage of new new alloys, new bigger windows and cutouts in the ribs to increase shoulder width.

I would not limit (3) to new software, we are being told there is a new core computing system so new computer hardware and we're being told there are changes to the actuator hardware too.
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Rekoff
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:56 pm

Revelation wrote:
seahawk wrote:
Imo the things we are seeing point all in the same direction. Laziness could cause the production problems or the problems with the documentation, but it does not explain the reaction we have seen from Boeing after the problems of the MAX were found or now. And imho it looks like budget pressure trumps safety and quality concerns at Boeing. In my experience working for a regulator in the last 15 years, companies that have so many conflicts with a regulator in such a short time and affecting at least a whole commercial division, usually have a problem with the company culture and most often it is pressure to cut corners enforced by the higher management - often combined with extreme arrogance.

Regardless of whether or not we agree or disagree on the root causes, it's clear things are not going in the right direction. The regulator complaining that Boeing is not following its own processes should have caused heads to roll within Boeing management.

From the ST piece:

Won notes that Galantowicz conceded in a letter to the FAA earlier in May that the CCS has incomplete software and does not meet TIA requirements.

Citing a “lack of data” and the absence of a Preliminary Safety Assessment for the FAA to review, the agency’s letter declares that Boeing hasn’t even met its own process requirements.
...
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.”

It's troubling that Boeing felt there was a basis to go ahead with TIA approval while the FAA had no problems providing compelling reasons why there was no such basis. It reeks of Boeing putting pressure on the regulator to accept its short comings, and we all now how that went last time. One of the major themes of MCAS was that Boeing mis-characterized MCAS so it did not have to undergo a full safety analysis. This makes the absence of a Preliminary Safety Assessment for the 777's avionics package an obvious thing that FAA would object to.


I find it rather shocking they asked for TIA approval without preliminary safety assesment and WITH an "uncommanded pitch event" occurence, with dry eyes after the MAX disaster. Not just once but persisting for months. I cant believe i'm reading this. Do these people have no shame?

Speechless they are following the same path of the MAX, with similar results, yet persist. This company seems to lack talent, structure and a moral compass of any kind, and not just on the executive level.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:56 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Pretty harsh words. It is easy to see how after the 737 Max investigations that Boeing, GE and the FAA re-evaluated the certification basis and means-of-compliance as to what had been previously been negotiated. Boeing might have looked at its internal software development processes after 737 Max and found them insufficient. The assumptions about how much credit one could take for prior 787 certification would have been brought in question. In all likelihood, there were Non-Advocate Reviews which may have identified some changes to CCS. Boeing and GE are going to do that before the FAA even makes the request.

And if it is Level A software, the process for certification is very long as the safety-assurance is based upon the process. One can't test code after the code is written to ensure that it meets Level A requirements. That isn't how the process works.

Frankly, we don't know much except that the final version of the software isn't ready yet and Boeing/GE need to provide more data to the FAA to convince them that the airplane can meet the regulations. It should not take anyone by surprise that getting software right is taking longer than expected.


And let's not forget that it was late software changes to the MCAS during flight test that precipitated a poorly executed design. Poor execution of the software made that design unsafe more than anything else.

That's not what I take away from the FAA's writing.

They aren't saying data is missing, they are saying a Preliminary Safety Analysis is missing i.e. analysis not just data.

They are not just saying the software is late, they are saying the design lacks maturity. That is significant because software is an implementation of a design, and if the design is not mature then software is even further behind with regard to maturity.

Boeing is quite far away from something they can test, never mind sell. As for why this would be a surprise, remember (a) CCS is coming from the same vendor of 787's CCS so learning curve should not have been a problem, (b) the contract was awarded in 2014 so they've had a long time to consider what the FAA's actual requirements are, and (c) customers who put their money down in 2013 were told this bird was supposed to EIS in 2019, each slip gets measured relative to that date.

HugoJunkers wrote:
Strato2 wrote:
Late 2023? That will make the 777X almost as late to the party as the 787. Inexcusable for a derivative aircraft. And what is the break even for the 777X with these new terrible numbers?


Is is a derivative aircraft?
1 New wings of plastic that fold.
2 New engines
3 New Flight Control Software
4 Really a new fuselage of new new alloys, new bigger windows and cutouts in the ribs to increase shoulder width.

I would not limit (3) to new software, we are being told there is a new core computing system so new computer hardware and we're being told there are changes to the actuator hardware too.


You are focusing on the wrong things in this letter. What Boeing is requesting of the FAA is to start flight test under a phased TIA approach where flight testing would begin with a sub-set of the certification flight test plans (CFTPs) and which would progress as design changes were incorporated.

What the FAA is saying is that since Boeing will be pulling data from the CCS buss to support certification that Boeing needs to provide the justification for why the data on the CCS is valid. In the FAA's mind, it doesn't make sense to start a flight test program unless you can prove that the data one takes during the program has integrity. The FAA has linked completion of the CCS Development Assurance to flight test. Further, it appears that this is a fairly recent requirement from the FAA in that the letter that is referenced was written April 7, 2021.

Taking this one step further, what the FAA is asking of Boeing is to essentially provide the data required to certify the CCS before TIA, which could be construed as moving the goal post. Knowing how certification is parsed out among the technical disciplines, one could see how the E-UM at Boeing and the specific regulators at the FAA for this discipline would have put together a certification plan and schedule independent of the requirements from flight test.

Fundamentally when one looks at the details of the letter, it is apparent that the fall-out from the 737 Max investigations are the reasons for the delays, namely:
    - The CCS Development Assurance activity has not been completed (Item 1)
    - The Preliminary Safety Assessment has not been delivered (Item 2)
    - Supplier finding for inadequate peer review of safety analysis (Item 6)
    - Failure in process evident in un-commanded pitch event (Item 8)
    - Flight control changes to firmware and hardware identified post-737 MAX accident (Item 9)
    - Flight Deck and Auto Flight design changes (Item 11) (which may be related to the findings from the 737 Max accident)

All of this is to be expected after the 737 Max accident because both Boeing and the regulators--FAA and EASA both--realize that they need to go back through everything to make sure that the lessons learned from that accident are fully incorporated into the 777X program. And that takes time.

I don't concur with the general sentiment here that this is some failure of management or loss of technical expertise. It is the regulatory system working the way that it is supposed to in learning from past accidents and incidents to make the next airplane better.
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:45 pm

Pythagoras wrote:

You are focusing on the wrong things in this letter. What Boeing is requesting of the FAA is to start flight test under a phased TIA approach where flight testing would begin with a sub-set of the certification flight test plans (CFTPs) and which would progress as design changes were incorporated.

What the FAA is saying is that since Boeing will be pulling data from the CCS buss to support certification that Boeing needs to provide the justification for why the data on the CCS is valid. In the FAA's mind, it doesn't make sense to start a flight test program unless you can prove that the data one takes during the program has integrity. The FAA has linked completion of the CCS Development Assurance to flight test. Further, it appears that this is a fairly recent requirement from the FAA in that the letter that is referenced was written April 7, 2021.

Taking this one step further, what the FAA is asking of Boeing is to essentially provide the data required to certify the CCS before TIA, which could be construed as moving the goal post. Knowing how certification is parsed out among the technical disciplines, one could see how the E-UM at Boeing and the specific regulators at the FAA for this discipline would have put together a certification plan and schedule independent of the requirements from flight test.

Fundamentally when one looks at the details of the letter, it is apparent that the fall-out from the 737 Max investigations are the reasons for the delays, namely:
    - The CCS Development Assurance activity has not been completed (Item 1)
    - The Preliminary Safety Assessment has not been delivered (Item 2)
    - Supplier finding for inadequate peer review of safety analysis (Item 6)
    - Failure in process evident in un-commanded pitch event (Item 8)
    - Flight control changes to firmware and hardware identified post-737 MAX accident (Item 9)
    - Flight Deck and Auto Flight design changes (Item 11) (which may be related to the findings from the 737 Max accident)

All of this is to be expected after the 737 Max accident because both Boeing and the regulators--FAA and EASA both--realize that they need to go back through everything to make sure that the lessons learned from that accident are fully incorporated into the 777X program. And that takes time.

I don't concur with the general sentiment here that this is some failure of management or loss of technical expertise. It is the regulatory system working the way that it is supposed to in learning from past accidents and incidents to make the next airplane better.


The uncommanded pitch event might be a concern as an indication of systemic design problems, but we don't know the details here as to the circumstances. It has the appearance of an unforced error.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:16 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
All of this is to be expected after the 737 Max accident because both Boeing and the regulators--FAA and EASA both--realize that they need to go back through everything to make sure that the lessons learned from that accident are fully incorporated into the 777X program. And that takes time.

I was following (but not necessarily agreeing with) your logic up to this point. Why would Boeing be asking for permission for partial TIA (according to the letter, in repeated meeting across nine months) if they expect it could not be granted due to the shortcomings you list? One would think one huge lesson to be learned was to not pressure the regulator, no?

Pythagoras wrote:
I don't concur with the general sentiment here that this is some failure of management or loss of technical expertise. It is the regulatory system working the way that it is supposed to in learning from past accidents and incidents to make the next airplane better.

Personally, I doubt Sir Tim Clark will be so magnanimous.
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 9:21 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
All of this is to be expected after the 737 Max accident because both Boeing and the regulators--FAA and EASA both--realize that they need to go back through everything to make sure that the lessons learned from that accident are fully incorporated into the 777X program. And that takes time.

I was following (but not necessarily agreeing with) your logic up to this point. Why would Boeing be asking for permission for partial TIA (according to the letter, in repeated meeting across nine months) if they expect it could not be granted due to the shortcomings you list? One would think one huge lesson to be learned was to not pressure the regulator, no?

Pythagoras wrote:
I don't concur with the general sentiment here that this is some failure of management or loss of technical expertise. It is the regulatory system working the way that it is supposed to in learning from past accidents and incidents to make the next airplane better.

Personally, I doubt Sir Tim Clark will be so magnanimous.


All that Sir Tim Clark wants is a clear answer to when his airplane is going to be ready.

The issue here is that Boeing can't provide firm answers because the FAA is subjective in its evaluation, which probably is the reason why they have been meeting for nine months. Specifically, from the letter:

"The technical data required for type certification has not reached the point where it appears the aircraft type design is mature and can be expected to meet the applicable regulations."


The FAA here is stating that only the FAA can decide what is sufficiently mature design, and furthermore the FAA is laying out a firm ground rule that the entire airplane--structures, flight controls, environmental control system, cabin systems, fire protection, etc. to be coupled and inextricably intertwined. Sorry Boeing, you can't proceed because you don't have mature design.

To borrow from Justice Potter Stewart concerning his views of obscenity, "I can't tell you what mature type design is but I know it when I see it."

Remember that TIA is granted when the regulators have sufficient evidence that the type design is capable of meeting the regulations.

Partial TIA, or a better description is phased TIA, allows the FAA to board the airplane and Boeing to begin the certification testing that is ready to be done--aero-performance, stability-and-control, loads validation, etc--that has nothing to do with any of the issues listed in the letter. As of right now, there is a legion of flight-test engineers biding time until the CCS team can gather the data that shows to the FAA that data pulled from the buss during flight test has integrity and will not be corrupted.

Not my area of expertise but it does seem a bit of a busy-work exercise that the FAA is asking for. Boeing wouldn't be putting pilots and flight test engineers on board if there wasn't confidence in the CCS network. Should data corruption occur in the CCS it would be evident in erroneous data, which would impose costs on Boeing to re-do the tests. It is not an FAA responsibility to make sure Boeing minimizes its flight test costs.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:00 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
Not my area of expertise but it does seem a bit of a busy-work exercise that the FAA is asking for. Boeing wouldn't be putting pilots and flight test engineers on board if there wasn't confidence in the CCS network. Should data corruption occur in the CCS it would be evident in erroneous data, which would impose costs on Boeing to re-do the tests. It is not an FAA responsibility to make sure Boeing minimizes its flight test costs.

And in turn FAA won't be putting its engineers on board till they are confident in the CCS network. The whole idea is to have an independent cross check of what Boeing is doing rather than saying Boeing is confident therefore we are confident.

It seems the uncommanded pitch event and the failure to follow all recommendations of the resulting root cause analysis has FAA in a position where it is not seeing the evidence it needs to have confidence.

It seems they are saying they have more issues with the airplane's maturity beyond just that of the CCA's data integrity.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Pythagoras
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Tue Jun 29, 2021 11:19 pm

Revelation wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
Not my area of expertise but it does seem a bit of a busy-work exercise that the FAA is asking for. Boeing wouldn't be putting pilots and flight test engineers on board if there wasn't confidence in the CCS network. Should data corruption occur in the CCS it would be evident in erroneous data, which would impose costs on Boeing to re-do the tests. It is not an FAA responsibility to make sure Boeing minimizes its flight test costs.

And in turn FAA won't be putting its engineers on board till they are confident in the CCS network. The whole idea is to have an independent cross check of what Boeing is doing rather than saying Boeing is confident therefore we are confident.

It seems the uncommanded pitch event and the failure to follow all recommendations of the resulting root cause analysis has FAA in a position where it is not seeing the evidence it needs to have confidence.

It seems they are saying they have more issues with the airplane's maturity beyond just that of the CCA's data integrity.


Again not my area of expertise, but the FAA has in the past permitted software under development, also known as "red label" software to be loaded and used in flight test while undergoing the process of certification.

From the Seattle Times, Computer With Wings -- Boeing's Ultracomplex 777 Flies Into Debate Over Technology Hazards, Jun 5, 1995, Byron Acohido

Boeing agreed that the actual flight tests would be conducted with a "black-label" fly-by-wire system, an industry term signifying that hardware and software in the system was finished and ready for production, and that no more changes would be made.

A system still in development and testing is called "red label." "Black-label freeze" is time at which all systems must be complete so that conclusive tests can be run to see how everything works together.

...

In a March 1993, barely a month into the development schedule, John Miller, Boeing's 777 division airworthiness chief engineer, wrote a letter to the FAA saying red-label computers would have to be used for flight tests still more than a year away.

This was an important change in the original plan. It meant time-consuming software-verification tests would be pushed into the closing stages of the project, with delivery deadlines looming.

The FAA ruled Boeing's rationale for allowing flight-testing to proceed with red-label systems was sound.


https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19950605&slug=2124705

From a Boeing perspective, the position that the FAA is taking on CCS could be taken as breaking with precedent. However, I will agree that it was poor configuration control in flight test that was the root cause of the 737 Max accidents. I do not disparage the FAA from being overly strict on making sure that the airplane configuration is well-established before proceeding. Fundamentally though, I would like to restate that this is not as bad a situation as what is being talked up here and in the press as well.

A guess on my part is that the uncommanded pitch-up is an auto flight issue, which would be unrelated to the CCS issues.
 
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armagnac2010
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Wed Jun 30, 2021 12:12 am

Boeing had a decent, redundant flight control systems architecture on the basic 777.

A decision was made to change it and go for a simplified architecture on the 777X.

It caused concerns.

Then came the 737Max fiasco, showing Boeing lost its vista.

Concerns are bigger and bigger.

Flight test event.

It is likely hardware and firmware changes at actuator level are unlikely to be sufficient to certify the system.

Unless proper decisions are made quickly, the program is at risk. Bear in mind it took nearly 2 years for Boeing to add a simple AOA crosscheck on the Max.
 
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zeke
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Re: Boeing 777X Testing/Production Thread - 2021

Thu Jul 01, 2021 12:40 am

The letter from the FAA to Boeing outlining the anticipated certification timeframe, on the last page the FAA states “the Model 777-9 amended type certification (ATC) date is realistically going to be mid to late 2023 (>2 years from now).”

https://twitter.com/davidshepardson/sta ... 14720?s=21
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