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View Diary: Safety board may keep Boeing's heavily outsourced Dreamliner grounded for months (145 comments)

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  •  Mickey D (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego, greengemini, Mr Robert, BusyinCA

    I worked at a McDonnell-Douglas parts plant in Torrance, Ca. that made over 100,000 different parts.The place was shut down, everyone laid off and the machines shipped overseas. It wasn't long after that and the company went belly up. The WSJ called it a continuing series of management blunders. It sounds like Boeing hired these geniuses. I hope they turn things around. I get a retirement check from them every month. ;-)

    •  McDonnell Pre Outsourcing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grimjc, happymisanthropy, jakedog42

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:39:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A few old Boeing hands (6+ / 0-)

      claim that Boeing bought MD but MD took over Boeing....

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:48:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, as a former Boeing employee (6+ / 0-)

        I know that is true.

      •  very true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DixieDishrag

        If you compare how Boeing pre:MD worked with how Boeing post:MD worked, you couldn't help recognizing this. Boeing's 777 was clearly built by airplane nerds, even at the top management level. You could tell during the design and development process that Boeing top management along with customer top management were crawling all over the plane as part of the "Working Together" theme. The idea was the Boeing had an open design process that they were proud of and wanted to get customers (mainly United, but others as well) involved early.

        MD mainly handles guaranteed profit military contracts, which was more or less the way both sides handled things during the Cold War. They'd make a profit no matter what was built, how or how long it took or what it cost. The important thing was coalition building to develop a healthy political base for lobbying and diffusing blame and responsibility. You want to subcontract as much as you can. Project failures were essentially business opportunities for service, redesign and retrofit.

        Boeing tried to build the 777 the way they'd build a plane for the government, and they are paying the price. In the long run, I expect the 777 to be a success and to set the model for how jets will be built in the future.

        An awful lot of our future depends on new battery technology, not just for computers or cars, but for load balancing non-carbon consuming energy sources. If you think the 777 uses a lot of battery power now, remember, this was to eliminate engine "bleeds" use hydrocarbons for flying, not passenger PCs and A/C. I read a recent proposal to eliminate all the fuel burned when a jet taxis by using electric motors in the wheels. That would mean even more batteries. I'm anticipating that the battery problem will be solved, though it may take another decade. I'm expecting Boeing's battery problem to be solved well before then.

        They call it "bleeding edge" technology for a reason. The military can live on the bleeding edge because they have an "at all costs" mentality, but a private market requires a better understanding of how things are made and put together to work properly.

      •  We live in the Seattle area (0+ / 0-)

        and have a close friend who is a test flight engineer for Boeing. He says the same thing -- the merger resulted in decision-making being move into the hands of the same managers who drove M-D into the ground. Boeing used to be an engineering-centric company. Now the bean counters rule.

        The 99% believe corporations are not people. The 1% believe the 99% are not people.

        by DixieDishrag on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:38:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those geniuses (5+ / 0-)

      were the ones that bought Boeing with Boeing's money. Remember Stonecipher et al?

      MR. McDonnell started the ball rolling downhill when he bought Douglas, and thought that selling to airlines is like selling to the Pentagon. In fact McDonnell is a one trick pony, the F4 Phantom.

    •  Mickey D got run over by Boeing. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jakedog42, DixieDishrag, louisprandtl

      In commercial fix wing, that is.  And aerospace can't live by defense contract alone; not since the 1970s.  You can call it a continuing series of blunders, or flailing about, or trying whatever you can to find a market somewhere else in aerospace.  Getting people to buy things that fly and the services that use them is a crowded business.

      •  One of the reasons (3+ / 0-)

        MD went under is they only had two planes to offer while Boeing and Airbus has a bunch of different types for different markets. That and the fact that Sandy McDonnell thought he could sell a plane that cost 110 million to build for 100 million and make a profit. That making it up with volume thing didn't quite work out. Side note. My first job out of high school was working for Douglas Aircraft, crawling inside the wings of DC 8's sealing the fuel tanks.

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