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#4501126 - 12/21/19 12:35 PM Boeing’s Annus Horribilis  
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Boeing can't catch a break, and maybe doesn't deserve one.

Boeing crew capsule falters after launch from Cape Canaveral


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Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule flew into the wrong orbit soon after lifting off from Cape Canaveral on an unpiloted demonstration flight Friday morning, burning too much fuel and precluding the new commercial spaceship from docking with the International Space Station.


Quote
A 40-second burn by four of the Starliner’s orbital maneuvering and attitude control engines was planned around 31 minutes into the mission. The maneuver was programmed to raise the low point, or perigee, of the Starliner’s orbit above the atmosphere, preventing the capsule from plunging back to Earth before completing a single 90-minute lap around the planet.

But a mission clock on-board the spacecraft apparently had a wrong setting, leading the ship to mistakenly believe it was operating in a different phase of its mission.

“Once the vehicle thought it was at a different time in the mission — being autonomous, a lot of this runs on a timer — it began to do burns and attitude control,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s space and launch division.

According to Bridenstine, the spacecraft consumed more propellant than anticipated as it errantly fired its control thrusters. A joint team of NASA and Boeing flight controllers in Houston noticed the problem and tried to intervene, but the Starliner did not receive their manual commands to perform the orbit insertion burn in time.

“By the time we were able to get signals up to actually command it to do the orbital insertion burn, it was a bit too late,” Bridenstine said.


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#4501130 - 12/21/19 02:44 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Whoops.

#4501138 - 12/21/19 04:47 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Yesterday I heard that the 737 MAX won't fly again until June.

#4501150 - 12/21/19 06:23 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
Yesterday I heard that the 737 MAX won't fly again until June.



True, and they stopped production on them now to after making 400 more.


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#4501151 - 12/21/19 06:36 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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wasn't there a similar timer glitch on one of the Apollo missions?


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#4501157 - 12/21/19 07:35 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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And on the topic of timing ... I bought a good amount of Boeing at $355 thinking that they would have the problem solved somewhat quickly. My timing was off. Should have bought it in the $322 orbit.


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#4501289 - 12/23/19 01:49 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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I think the fundamental problem is that Boeing and Airbus have a near total monopoly on the civilian airliner market. That's not an ideal situation by any means.


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#4501306 - 12/23/19 04:22 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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I don't think the problem Boeing had with their Starliner is a major issue, but it certainly isn't good PR, and when you consider that they have had more money to develop it than SpaceX and are behind them in schedule and, apparently, functionality, it is even worse. Throw in the 737 MAX problems and Boeing is not having a good year.

Edit: and now there's this:

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/boeing-ceo-dennis-muilenburg-fired-143000499--abc-news-money.html

Last edited by Arthonon; 12/23/19 04:31 PM.

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#4501331 - 12/23/19 07:17 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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#4501356 - 12/23/19 10:42 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
I think the fundamental problem is that Boeing and Airbus have a near total monopoly on the civilian airliner market. That's not an ideal situation by any means.

I agree, but I can't help but notice that this kind of market concentration seems to be the case whenever you have an industry that is heavily regulated and at the same time extremely capital intensive. How many oil companies existed in the 1970s, how many today? How many independent car brands were there 1940, how many will still be there in 2040?
If you want to preserve a manufacturer for commercial airliners with medium and long range you either need a lot of subsidies or a lot of protectionist measures, both of which are incompatible with WTO principles. But you have to be a WTO member, minimum, to be able to see such commercial airliners to, well, airlines.

#4501358 - 12/23/19 11:22 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Every time I see photos of 737 MAX parked together, I think:

I want one! Give me one! You have so many!

Attached Files b7.jpgb7a.pngb7c.jpg
#4501365 - 12/24/19 12:34 AM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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I realize I may be reading too much into this, but I remember being concerned when Boeing announced it was moving its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago.
Suddenly the higher ups were 1700 miles away from their aircraft production center. How could they not become somewhat isolated from what is happening so far away?

They might as well be selling widgets at that point. Boeing has gone from being an aircraft company run by passionate aviation advocates to another corporation with top floor executives pushing a product manufactured in some factory thousands of miles away.

Boeing execs likely spend much more time following quarterly earnings than staying informed on what the plant manager, whose first name they would have known in the past, is dealing with on a daily basis. Are most of Boeing's engineers in Chicago or Seattle?
In my opinion Boeing's executive became more interested in quarterly sales margins than in the safety of the flying public. A corporate culture like that is likely to permeate many levels. The 737 fiasco exposed that corporate culture and showed the damage it can incur. Clearly they pushed sales as a priority over safety.
In congressional testimony earlier this month:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/11/poli...gher-crash-risk-faa-concluded/index.html
Quote
Whistleblowers at the hearing also raised concerns about the culture at Boeing and the FAA.

One of the whistleblowers, Ed Pierson, is a former Boeing employee who worked on the 737 MAX program and said he urged managers to shut down the production line because of mistakes and cut corners, but that his recommendations fell on deaf ears.
He said pressure to produce planes and issues with obtaining parts meant the employees assembling the planes were overworked and at risk of making mistakes.
"I formally warned Boeing leadership in writing on multiple occasions -- specifically, once before the Lion Air crash and again before the Ethiopian Airlines crash about potential airplane risk due to the unstable operating environment within the factory," he said. "Those warnings were ignored."


The Air Force initially refused to accept its first Boeing KC-46A tankers:

Air Force Halts Tanker Deliveries After Finding Planes Are Full of Trash

Quote
The Seattle Times reported late last week the Air Force had discovered unwanted tools, bits of debris, and other garbage in various locations of KC-46A tankers. According to the Times, Air Force pilots at Boeing for training refused to fly the aircraft as a result, citing safety concerns. “This is a big deal," a Boeing memo was quoted as saying.


That does not mean that the same culture exists in the Starliner program, but I would say that Boeing does not deserve the benefit of the doubt at this time. There should be no doubt.

#4501820 - 12/28/19 09:23 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: Docjonel]  
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Originally Posted by Docjonel
I realize I may be reading too much into this, but I remember being concerned when Boeing announced it was moving its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago.
Suddenly the higher ups were 1700 miles away from their aircraft production center. How could they not become somewhat isolated from what is happening so far away?

They might as well be selling widgets at that point. Boeing has gone from being an aircraft company run by passionate aviation advocates to another corporation with top floor executives pushing a product manufactured in some factory thousands of miles away.

Boeing execs likely spend much more time following quarterly earnings than staying informed on what the plant manager, whose first name they would have known in the past, is dealing with on a daily basis. Are most of Boeing's engineers in Chicago or Seattle?
In my opinion Boeing's executive became more interested in quarterly sales margins than in the safety of the flying public. A corporate culture like that is likely to permeate many levels. The 737 fiasco exposed that corporate culture and showed the damage it can incur. Clearly they pushed sales as a priority over safety.
In congressional testimony earlier this month:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/11/poli...gher-crash-risk-faa-concluded/index.html
Quote
Whistleblowers at the hearing also raised concerns about the culture at Boeing and the FAA.

One of the whistleblowers, Ed Pierson, is a former Boeing employee who worked on the 737 MAX program and said he urged managers to shut down the production line because of mistakes and cut corners, but that his recommendations fell on deaf ears.
He said pressure to produce planes and issues with obtaining parts meant the employees assembling the planes were overworked and at risk of making mistakes.
"I formally warned Boeing leadership in writing on multiple occasions -- specifically, once before the Lion Air crash and again before the Ethiopian Airlines crash about potential airplane risk due to the unstable operating environment within the factory," he said. "Those warnings were ignored."


The Air Force initially refused to accept its first Boeing KC-46A tankers:

Air Force Halts Tanker Deliveries After Finding Planes Are Full of Trash

Quote
The Seattle Times reported late last week the Air Force had discovered unwanted tools, bits of debris, and other garbage in various locations of KC-46A tankers. According to the Times, Air Force pilots at Boeing for training refused to fly the aircraft as a result, citing safety concerns. “This is a big deal," a Boeing memo was quoted as saying.


That does not mean that the same culture exists in the Starliner program, but I would say that Boeing does not deserve the benefit of the doubt at this time. There should be no doubt.


This. The very problem is that the admins have forgotten they are working in a security-critical business. The widgets they sell are potentially deadly for hundreds of people at a time, so they’d better work! Boeing’s company culture seems to have deteriorated gradually since the merger with McD. The last proper plane Boeing made was the 777 in the 90s, when they actually went out and asked the airlines what they wanted in a long-range twin jet. It resulted inwhat is undoubtedly the best intercontinental passenger jet on the market. And now look at Boeing. They can’t even deliver a tanker derived from a 40-year-old design of their own without severe quality control issues. Shame, really.


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#4501832 - 12/29/19 12:47 AM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Last month I bought Lockheed Martin ...... skipped on BA all the drama kind of turned me away from it


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#4501845 - 12/29/19 09:01 AM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Part of the problem is that the FAA needs to be reformed to take a deeper and more critical look at the planes it is certifying.

Right now Boeing has two new models in the works, based on old planes:
The 777-9 and 737 MAX-10.

Both of these needs to be vetted in a whole new way, given the revelations about Boeings practices with the MAX-8. Nothing that comes from Boeing in the form of documentation can be trusted right now.

#4501886 - 12/29/19 09:38 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Here's a good article that details how the McDonnell Douglas takeover resulted in MD's execrable business practices and attitudes subverting Boeing's successful engineering focused tradition. It also points to the separation of Boeing's executives from its production line, ie. the move from Seattle to Chicago, as part of that process that led to Boeing losing its way.

The Long-Forgotten Flight That Sent Boeing Off Course

Quote
“If in fact there’s a reverse takeover, with the McDonnell ethos permeating Boeing, then Boeing is doomed to mediocrity,” the business scholar Jim Collins told me back in 2000. “There’s one thing that made Boeing really great all the way along. They always understood that they were an engineering-driven company, not a financially driven company . If they’re no longer honoring that as their central mission, then over time they’ll just become another company.”

It’s now clear that long before the software lost track of its planes’ true bearings, Boeing lost track of its own.

#4502068 - 12/31/19 09:31 AM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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What's amazing is that this thread made it this far without rectal references to the thread title.


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#4502076 - 12/31/19 11:49 AM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: letterboy1]  
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Originally Posted by letterboy1
What's amazing is that this thread made it this far without rectal references to the thread title.



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#4506701 - 02/08/20 08:19 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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Starliner faced “catastrophic” failure before software bug found


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At Thursday's meeting, Hill revealed the second issue related to software and thruster performance publicly for the first time.

However, as part of reporting on a story about Starliner software and thruster issues three weeks ago, a source told Ars about this particular problem. According to the source, Boeing patched a software code error just two hours before the vehicle reentered Earth's atmosphere. Had the error not been caught, the source said, proper thrusters would not open during the reentry process, and the vehicle would have been lost.


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#4506724 - 02/08/20 11:00 PM Re: Boeing’s Annus Horribilis [Re: F4UDash4]  
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