Post by Uwe Klein
I bought shares in Boeing the week before the expected first flight,
hoping the shares would soar. Instead, they dropped 20% to about $40 :-(
I don't know what to make of it. At some level, it looks REALLY bad,
with terrible engineering mistakes, bad management, terrible suppliers
(Boeing just completed the purchase of the Vought plant, so I guess they
will try to fix that problem now). This thing looks like it is stock in
molasses, and everytime they are able to raise it a bit more out of the
molasses, more problems arise.
On the other hand, you look at the other Boeing projects, and it seems
Boeing can be on top of things and "run like the Swiss". The 777 seemed
like an incredible introduction with relatively few serious glitches.
But that was over a decade ago. Could Boeing have lost that much talent
since then ? Where would they have gone ? It isn't as if there are many
aircraft builders left.
Wouldn't it be correct to state that the joint between wings and wingbox
would be one of the most critical points in an aircraft from the point
of view of loads/stress and should have received a huge amount of design
effort and scrutiny ?
How could this have been overlooked by Boeing ? They knew that the wing
was made by A and the wingbox made by B, so coordination was required by
them to ensure they would work together.
And it also seems to me that Boeing should forget about Aircraft #1, and
now take up an unassembled aircraft, make the fixes to wingbox/wings and
assemble it. This might be faster than retrofitting already assembled
Boeing also has some serious time pressure with regards to cold weather
testing. One 787 must be ready in mid january to end of february to go
to the acrtic for cold weather testing. If they miss that window, they
either have to wait one year, or find some place in southern hemisphere
to land the 787 during june-july of 2010 (aka: antarctic research
station for instance).
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