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Old 20th Mar 2013, 04:39
  #1036 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 654
Ian W:

The one area I would test in a live aircraft is having airline first line maintenance and push crews do repeated 'turn around's and routine towing with one of the 'spare' 787s currently clogging Everett. If the FAA would allow it fly a 787 on multiple short rotations and ground turn arounds. While that was happening I would watch the ground crews and see what they really did as opposed to what they say they do and people expect them to do. I suspect that something in the ground handling is unexpected. Does the ground crew safety man ride the brakes running down the main battery when the aircraft is towed? Do they routinely leave nav lights on running down the battery(ies), do they open the electronics bay door and leave it open which on frosty nights could let batteries get too cold etc.
That's all good information to have. But that's not the place to capture it. The ground crews know that they are being watched and will work to the rules.

The best way to capture this sort of thing is to have good relationships between customers operations and Boeing engineering. Good enough so that the customer people can tell Boeing (without the risk of word coming back to bite them) the way things really work out on the flight line.

We learned far more in engineering by walking the factory floor and speaking to the mechanics building the things. Back when we had engineers that were not afraid of getting their MBA suits dirty, that is.
EEngr is offline