View Full Version : Will Boeing Become The Next McDonnell Douglas?

21st Feb 2021, 15:39

21st Feb 2021, 15:42
Too big to fail - and who would buy them?

Less Hair
21st Feb 2021, 16:18
They have become MDD already in some way. They pleased the stock investors and delayed new programs buying back their own stock instead. Several programs were just minor upgrades instead of new ones. Now they need to invest big time. They missed to create some A321neo competitor in time even having the right plans for it early on.

Big Pistons Forever
21st Feb 2021, 17:09
In the short term Boeing's continued existence is wholly dependent on a smooth return to service of the MAX. One new MAX crash where there is any design or manufacturing nexus to Boeing and the company is done. Absent that In the medium term, as was suggested they will bumble along slowly loosing market share as they continue to prioritize short term share price gains over the kind of R & D that will build long term sustainability.

I would also suggest that the company value rather looks like a Ponzi scheme. All programs, especially the 787 program have used accounting tricks to give the illusion that they are profitable. For instance the last report I saw was that the 787 program now needs to sell 1580 airframes to amortize the development costs at the current unit sales price. Given that there is considerable pricing pressure on new build airliners that number is almost certainly larger. With the likelihood of a significant long term reduction in new wide body demand they may never reach break even. They can only kick the can down the road so far.

The 747-8 program has now ended so they will have to account for the Multi Billion dollar shortfall between what was spent on the program and what Boing realized

The 737 MAX is massively underwater and the bleeding will continue until all the grounded airframes are returned to service and production rises to profitable levels, which is probably more than 40 a month. This is likely not to occur until 2023

Assuming a negotiated settlement to the Airbus Boeing WTO spat, the ability of Boeing to get back channel help from the US government will be significantly reduced. And of course we have not even touched on the top down train wreck of a corporate culture with a 20 year emphasis on cutting cost at the expense of engineering and production excellence. The MAX fiasco was the inevitable result of that.

But the bottom line is Boeing did the unforgivable, they destroyed Billions of dollars of share holder value on something that they had total control over with respect to the MAX program failure. The next 2 years are going to see continuing bleeding so my fearless prediction is that in the 2023/24 time frame Boeing will be split into 2 stand alone entities Boeing Defense and Boing Commercial and the Boeing Commercial will be reorganized in Chapter 11 to shed what will have become an unmanageable level of debt.

Maybe out of the ashes a new Boeing positioned for long term success can emerge...

21st Feb 2021, 17:56
There comes a moment just before or just after delivery when customer and manufacturer are in closest contact.
If the manufacturer tries to mislead the customer, as McDonnell Douglas did with the MD-11, everyone will find out.
The beginning of the end.

21st Feb 2021, 18:47
Boeing already is the last McDonnell Douglas. The only reason they can't go out the same way is that there is nobody left to merge with.

Tango and Cash
21st Feb 2021, 18:53
One aviation pundit (cannot for the life of me remember who or where) said McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing's money. And now Boeing finds itself in much the same situation as McDonnell Douglas...

Too big to fail, too much (financial) baggage to continue, and behind the power curve on new commercial product development. Maybe there's enough margin in the military programs to keep things afloat?

22nd Feb 2021, 02:10
In my experience very few aircraft ever meet the brake even point with sales as ongoing R&D and model enhancement keep pushing the breakeven point further out. My experience with Boeing when competing against them in the 1970/80's was that their list price and contract price was often below production cost but they aimed to make up the shortfall over the life of the aircraft by very high pricing of spares.

22nd Feb 2021, 04:24
Boeing could become the next Lockheed, after the Tristar they exited the civil aircraft market and concentrated on military work.

When we’re all flying around in Airbus and Comac aircraft we’ll be telling the new F/Os about the Boeing aircraft we used to fly. Just like the old timers used to talk about Electras and L1011s.

A bit far fetched ? Possibly, get back to me in 30-40 years time.

22nd Feb 2021, 06:07
more like RJR Nabisco because Boeing is run by beancounters (like Nabisco) while McD was run by engineers.

22nd Feb 2021, 13:14
correct me if I’m wrong, but Airbus got burned on both the 340 and 380. They are probably not in much better shape than Boeing. Embraer might be the better long term bet, possibly with a lot of Chinese money behind them.

22nd Feb 2021, 13:22
Except that the big investment already been made. They have the best widebody twin in the A350, and are in the enviable position of not having to reinvent the A320 family, which is what Boeing will have to do. Forget the short haul twin-aisle. That's not going anywhere.

22nd Feb 2021, 13:49
And you could have mentioned the A220 that Airbus got almost for free too.

Boeing have one modern and highly competive aircraft family, the nine abreast B787. I will say the modern ten abreast B777X is currently not competive. It is too large and too expensive while not offering enough efficiency gains compared to its smaller competitors. And it is extremely vulnerable to a reengining of the A350/B787. The moment those aircraft get a new engine the B777X will be dead as the Dodo. The B737 is somewhat competive but not modern.

Airbus have no less than three modern and highly competive families, the five abreast A220, the six abreast A320 and the nine abreast A350. Add in the eight abreast A330 as a modern family and a comfortable aircraft, but a somewhat less competitive one currently.

Airbus is clearly in a much better position regarding comercial aviation now than Boeing are, much better.

Less Hair
22nd Feb 2021, 14:05
Boeing has a huge military business. So maybe they can free the investments they need for new airliner developments?

Pugilistic Animus
22nd Feb 2021, 18:58
Who will compete in the large jet market .Airbus can not surely become a monopoly, or can it? I know the both made the same mistake with quad jets. But the 747-8 (and 400) will probably keep the freight market interested and she may yet live longer than expected. But the A380 will go under. Although I agree about the A350 from what I have read that it's better plane than the 787. seems sad but due to mismanagement, Boeing has gone to pot...I hope that I'm completely wrong, except for my 747 8F prediction.

22nd Feb 2021, 20:33
long time ago...


Pugilistic Animus
22nd Feb 2021, 23:04
For me, it actually was the Li ion battery that made me say that I will never fly aboard one...EVER, rather be on a clapped out old 767. In fact, I would rather be on a 707 than a 787

23rd Feb 2021, 05:02
You do know that the hull loss and fatal accident rates of the 707 are even worse the 737 MAX, right?
Meanwhile, for the 787 after nearly 10 years in service, the rates are 0.000000000

23rd Feb 2021, 06:59
tdracer is right. Both Boeing and Airbus compile accident statistics. Take a look at this and compare the rates.

Boeing's stats are similar. The 707, when it first came in, was one of the most demanding of civil jet aircraft.

Less Hair
23rd Feb 2021, 07:08
Back then propeller pilots where not used to jet engine behavior and jet speeds. Procedures were made for slower aircraft and runways were shorter. It took some time for the entire system to mature for jets. My point is not only those early jet aircraft are to blame. The final piston airliner generation was not more reliable.

23rd Feb 2021, 18:03
Todays news on the B787 wasnt all that good....appears that Air Lease has about had it...

ALC tells Boeing to get its house in order."We want Boeing to … get its house right, to get its house in order. The 787 delays are impacting us, as well as the rest of the delivery, the manufacturing process. Boeing has gone through a tremendously difficult time and while they certainly have made a lot of progress, the blunt truth is we need them to fix the remainder of their house first before we have any interest in talking about new aircraft.”

787 issues ‘mushrooming’

While ALC cited both the previous issues with the MAX and the ongoing problems with the Dreamliner products as headaches it is tired of dealing with, Plueger noted that the 787 is by far the most pressing issue now. He said, “It’s clear that the production issues that have arisen on the 787’s seemed to have mushroomed, and there’s just greater and greater levels of inspection going on due to the non-conformity findings.”

The issue, he said, is not so much that the 787 is undergoing inspections which are impacting operations and deliveries of the type, but that there seems to be no clear path out of the situation. He continued, “It is difficult to see a definitive fix that is agreeable by the aviation authorities going forward.”

He noted that, because the issues raised with the current fleet of 787s are very difficult to fix, the only way forward will be to ‘use-as-is.’ He said this would mean engineers and authorities agreeing that the machining issues on the Dreamliner fleet do not negatively impact safety and therefore the aircraft can be flown regardless."

Air Lease noted that the ongoing delays to deliveries of the 787 mean some are now passing the 12 month contract period for pain-free cancellations of the order. Although none have yet, this does open the door for Boeing customers to bolt from their contracts without penalty. Plueger noted,

“This has been dragging on longer than any of us have imagined. In fact, I don’t think Boeing has delivered a 787 to anyone since the end of October. So we have … a number of aircraft waiting, and yes, some of them are coming up on their 12 months, and some have already passed the 12-month point past delivery.”

The last thing Boeing needs now is a swathe of cancellations for its widebody product. As such, ALC is hoping that a resolution to the ongoing Dreamliner issue is reached sooner rather than later."

Pugilistic Animus
23rd Feb 2021, 20:02
Sarcasm re 707 v 787...but it's true that I won't fly on a 787 precisely because of the fact that they have Li ion batteries. I would avoid flying on the Max too because I just don't really trust Boeing anymore to do the right thing, whatever that entails.

Less Hair
23rd Feb 2021, 20:08
These were mounted inside a fireproof steel box with some overboard exhaust. Just in case. Nothing can happen due to that battery anymore.

Pugilistic Animus
23rd Feb 2021, 20:54
​​​​​​Did they test the steel box? Serious question. The Li ion reaction when it runs away is hot! mean it's an exothermic reaction that is pyrotechnics hot. it's definitely hot enough to melt steel.

23rd Feb 2021, 21:09
First off, they didn't simply put the battery in a steel box - the entire system was redesigned. The battery was redesigned with increased isolation between the cells to prevent a cell failure from propagating to adjacent cells, the charging system was redesigned to ensure there is no overcharging (which can damage battery cells), and then - just to be sure - they put the battery in a steel box.
And yes, they did a test where they intentionally failed a battery - creating a complete battery meltdown - inside the steel case and confirmed it performed as advertised.
BTW, Airbus had every intention of using Li Ion batteries in the A350 before Boeing ran into problems - at which point they decided that there was too much risk and went with an older battery technology.

23rd Feb 2021, 23:31
Well the military is already done with the f-22 and f-35 they have tried to bled boeing dry to get a cheaper solution and they didnt.
The 737 is the so called cash cow of boeing but is it really ? All parts are outsourced now anyway only boeing puts it together.
So drop the whole 737 and focus on a clean sheet design someone else can keep making 737.
The battery issue on the 787 was stupid but they use the same batteries in tesla's and laptops and know they know to shut down charging when a cell is overheating

Dave Therhino
24th Feb 2021, 03:31
td: I believe the battery box was tested only for one cell failure - not all cells - because, as you said, they showed cell failures won’t propagate. Are you sure they showed the box good for all cells burning?

24th Feb 2021, 08:22

The A350 switched to Li Ion batteries about 5 years ago.

24th Feb 2021, 18:04
Dave Therhino

Going strictly from memory here, but yes I think they intimated a failure of the type that had occurred previously - i.e. a complete meltdown, not a single cell.

Ben S - interesting - I hadn't heard that.

BTW Maxxer - there are so many errors in your post I won't bother to correct all of them, but:
Boeing is not involved in F-35, a subcontractor on the F-22. Boeing still builds nearly 50% of a 737, and LI batteries in computers and Teslas have spontaneously combusted - sometimes in spectacular fashion...

24th Feb 2021, 19:30

Maxxer1977 said:

"drop the whole 737 and focus on a clean sheet design"

The boat sailed with the A320 in the 1980s and Boeing missed it.

Boeing are not fools but it will take a better team than the 787 bunch to come up with a world beating single aisle.

24th Feb 2021, 23:31

Boeing started working on a clean sheet single aisle in the early 2000's (I had friends working on it) - but when Airbus launched the A320 NEO it caught Boeing far from ready to proceed. Had Boeing committed to the clean sheet 737 replacement, it would have meant conceding the single aisle market to Airbus for about 10 years (not just longer to market, but years get the production rate up to ~50/month) - hence the decision to rush the MAX into production.
As for all the issues with the 787 - it's still outsold the A350 by a wide margin, with nearly 1,000 delivered.

WillowRun 6-3
24th Feb 2021, 23:39
In a context of 787 when compared to A350 is there any meaning, any significance, in asking whether the innovations of the 787 make some difference in the long run? Wasn't the use of composite structures much more extensive in the design than in anything previous? And the passenger cabin a more comfortable environment?

I recall a one-off report in AW&ST in early 1976 entitled "Aerospace Materials" which contained extensive reporting about composite materials, then presumably less advanced than at the time the 787 design was completed. If the level of innovation present in the Dreamliner is not significant, I'm ready to plead biased memory.

Of course the production glitches and the deeper problems they reveal or at least suggest aren't reduced or minimized by the designers having innovated to get there.

25th Feb 2021, 00:03
WillowRun 6-3

Absolutely not. The worst flight I ever had was just before lockdown, a BA 789 overnight Washington-London. In Economy, 9 across (not designed for this of course). Front row so tray table in armrest instead of drop in front, taking another inch off seat width. "Window" seat (haha, no window in sight), with the sculptured cabin wall bulging inwards at head height just there for the exit door frame covering, forcing me to sit slanted. Could only eat the meal alternately with pax sat next to me, we could not both manipulate knife/fork at the same time. Never encountered anything like it before, and intend to avoid it in future where at all possible - including different carrier if needed.

25th Feb 2021, 01:10
You do know that the cabin configuration is selected by the operator, not the manufacturer.
The 787 was designed for 8 across seating coach seating - and the 777 for 9 across coach seating. It was the airline bean counters that insisted on 9 and 10 across, respectively.
If people would shop based on value and comfort instead of ticket price, we wouldn't have this problem.

25th Feb 2021, 06:21
Not too much surprising when we know that the A350 deliveries started six years after the B787 ones.

25th Feb 2021, 07:02
There is some limited truth in this - by choice, for example, I would fly a carrier offering an A380-only service long haul. But the routes with this choice are limited (and now declining!)

In almost all other contexts you'd have to ask how easy is it for a customer booking advance to know what equipment will be used on a route on a given day? The most obvious variable presented at time of purchase is price, differences can be substantial and not correlated in any transparent way to seating except in re economy v. business classes. Pax are not given the ability to make the choice you suggest.

As for 'value' - well that term refers to a subjective judgement for which the divisor IS price.

25th Feb 2021, 10:41
The 747-8 program has now ended so they will have to account for the Multi Billion dollar shortfall between what was spent on the program and what Boing realized

Not sure 'Multi Billion dollars' is fair in this case as much of the B747- 800 R & D was carried forward from the -400 series and the B747, as an aircraft, was an overall success for Boeing. I doubt very much that whatever losses Boeing may have suffered through the -800 programme come anywhere near the catastrophic losses Airbus must have suffered from the failure of the A380 programme, which never came close to breaking even.

25th Feb 2021, 11:41

Having made the outward journey on an A380, light years away in comfort, I can tell you that the fares charged on the two BA flights per day, one of each type, were identical.

And the A380 is certified for 11-across 3-5-3. Nobody however has done it. Same bean counters presumably. And if you would care to look at the marketing material the two manufacturers produce, you will see that the A380 sales team proposed as normal the original A380 seat configuration, while Boeing moved on very rapidly to making the 9-across their standard offering for seat-mile cost examples. And it was Boeing, not the operator, who designed that cabin lining bulge around and behind the door, extending to squish the ears of the passengers sat in the first seat row. I think you will find that was not a customer-selected option.

Lord Bracken
25th Feb 2021, 13:21

This is not strictly true, the Boeing marketing people made lots of commitments to airlines that the 787 would deliver a particular seat mile cost at 8-abreast in Y. Airlines bought the plane and factored it into their business models on this basis. However as it turned out after the development fiascos those commitments could only be met if an extra seat per row was added.

If all airlines cared about was the absolute lowest cost in Y then there would be hundreds of A350s with 3-4-3 down the back, whereas in actual fact there are only a couple (with Air Caraibes).

WillowRun 6-3
25th Feb 2021, 13:36
Regrettably my earlier post proves (again) that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. ..... I seem to have recalled that Boeing claimed the 787 cabin interior would be more comfortable with regard to humidity, noise, and perhaps some vague sense of overall comfort, compared to earlier types--but I hadn't realized anything about the seat/row configurations. Sorry to have messed this up.

Although perhaps asking for another kick, ....what about the extensive use of composite materials and structures?

Una Due Tfc
25th Feb 2021, 16:13
As I recall, the 787 was launched to compete with the A330 family, and the A350 was launched to compete with the 777 family, so comparing 787 vs A350 isn’t exactly apples with apples.

It is interesting when you look back at the incremental growth in 767 to A330 to 78X in particular, and then compare that to the shrinking of the top end of the market with VLAs going the way of the dinosaur. 777X is on shaky ground with all the delays and the current economic climate, A330neo also in trouble. 778, A35KULR for project sunrise and A350neo with the new Ultrafan are all on the backburner, and we must not forget the widebody market was already soft for years before COVID.

It was already looking like Airbus had the golden goose with the 321neo variants pre Covid, and that might be even more true afterwards. The A220 faces scale of production costs, and we already know about Boeing’s problems. The 320 family might be the only commercial passenger jet making any money for the manufacturer for a few years to come.

Pugilistic Animus
25th Feb 2021, 19:28
To me having batteries of that make up is tantamount to carrying fireworks...I mean most likely the fireworks won't ignite but if they do... it's hopless and you're going under. If he gel matrix that separates the anode and cathode breaks down you will be in St. John The Divine in no time... perfect cell separation during a breach seems like a dream.

PS there was an article about the phenomenon of matrix breach but I'm not sure if it's in my ACS collection or my Sigma Xi collection.

25th Feb 2021, 23:24
Anyone know why Boeing did not buy the C series from Bombardier ? If it was for sale why pass it up ?

25th Feb 2021, 23:33
The DC10 and L1011 had 2-5-2 seating configuration in economy with certain airlines. This seems to have fallen out of favour and gone to 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 with newer types.

At the lower end, Airbus seem to have the edge with the A320 family. In the middle, Boeing would have the edge with the B787 IF they had built them properly and not had a continuing series of problems since they were introduced. At the top, Airbus seem to have the edge with the A350 being more modern than the current generation of B777s and not having experienced the problems of the B777X.

For the next few years the reality will be totally different to what airlines and aircraft manufacturers had planned for. Long haul premium travel via hubs using large aircraft will be replaced by economy travel point to point using smaller aircraft. The A321 is well placed for this market as it can easily do short haul, medium haul and the extended range versions are nudging long haul distances.

Airbus may have known better than Boeing how good the B757 was, and decided to cater to that market. The current situation has left them in a better position then they could have imagined, turning a niche market into a mainstream one in which they are the sole contender.

horizon flyer
25th Feb 2021, 23:56
I think lithium ion batteries are madness in an aircraft as they suffer from thermal runway very difficult to contain as once burning they need total immersion in water to remove the heat. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) are very safe and do not catch fire a far better choice and starting to be produce for light aircraft.

Pugilistic Animus
26th Feb 2021, 02:01
Lord Bracken

I think even despite EVAC requirements the Air lines would do 4-5-4 :}

Commander Taco
26th Feb 2021, 03:18
I can’t completely fathom your obsession and fearfulness of this one bit of technology. After all, lead-acid batteries are capable of thermal runaway and potential explosion. And as for fireworks, 200,000 pounds of Jet A would certainly light up the night sky.

Pugilistic Animus
26th Feb 2021, 05:33
NiCads too, but without further explanation...I just don't believe that Li ion batteries belong aboard aircraft, especially giant batteries. No I'm not afraid of jet fuel, that part is nonsense. I had 3 undergrad majors, one of which is in chemistry so when I read journals dealing with the circumscribing conditions that can cause a complete runaway; I really don't want to fly with them aboard.The only thing that could console me about Li ion batteries is if there were a powerful fire suppression system installed with it.

26th Feb 2021, 08:15

One of the major reasons it was for sale was due to the tariffs imposed by the US on the C-Series, and that was down to lobbying by Boeing. I'm certain that they would rather have burnt down their factory than sell the program to Boeing.


Less Hair
26th Feb 2021, 08:50
Boeing finally did not buy into Embraer as well. They had great plans.

26th Feb 2021, 09:35

We have heard this one constantly from the Boeing marketing department; reality is of course different. The 787 was billed as a "hub avoider, point to point" aircraft. Look how they got used once delivered. Every mainstream operator was operating them out of their own hubs. About the only exception, compared to their route structure, was Norwegian - and look where that got them.

26th Feb 2021, 20:45

"We have heard this one constantly from the Boeing marketing department; reality is of course different. The 787 was billed as a "hub avoider, point to point" aircraft. Look how they got used once delivered. Every mainstream operator was operating them out of their own hubs. About the only exception, compared to their route structure, was Norwegian - and look where that got them."

It's a tad unfair to blame Boeing or the 787 for failing to create demand where none existed.

But "hub bypass" doesn't have to mean direct flights between two non-hub points. Even if one end of the route is still a hub, it may then become possible to avoid a hub at the other end.

26th Feb 2021, 21:37
Well that's certainly what Boeing marketing implied, with their guff about "avoiding the crowds at the hub". Maybe they should have said "Avoiding the crowds at one of the two hubs you might have used if your journey is one of the few that connects at two hubs, but otherwise we're going to sell the aircraft to be used on routes replacing the 777 or even the 747, like the one that moaner WHBM on PPRuNe took LHR-IAD, which used to be a 747 route for the previous 50 years".

It's not surprising, though. The aircraft, even the 787-8, is quite a bit larger than a 767. If a "hub bypass" route didn't support one of those, why should it then support a 787. It's notable how many of BA's onetime long-thin direct 767 routes, like to places in Africa, actually got picked off even during the 787s lifetime by passengers deserting for hubbed operations through the likes of Dubai or Istanbul.

26th Feb 2021, 22:34
For the next few years, the B777 and A380 will be too big for hub airlines to fill and maintain reasonable connecting times. The B787 could become a hub aircraft as well as point to point. With its smaller size and long range it could open up routes which couldn’t support a larger aircraft and allow all important frequency, twice daily B787 instead of daily A380.

EK were badly caught out by the pandemic with an all mega wide body fleet. QR less so as they could substitute smaller types.

Hub airlines are usually able to undercut airlines flying direct routes, if the savings are worthwhile they will get pax.

26th Feb 2021, 22:44

"Well that's certainly what Boeing marketing implied, with their guff about "avoiding the crowds at the hub". Maybe they should have said "Avoiding the crowds at one of the two hubs you might have used if your journey is one of the few that connects at two hubs, but otherwise we're going to sell the aircraft to be used on routes replacing the 777 or even the 747, like the one that moaner WHBM on PPRuNe took LHR-IAD, which used to be a 747 route for the previous 50 years".

Missing out any stop on a 3+ leg route isn't to be sniffed at.

BA, for example, were certainly using the 787 (pre-Covid) on several routes that would previously have required a transfer over an intermediate hub. The fact that EDI or GLA traffic would still need a domestic transfer over LHR doesn't invalidate the argument.

I only have vague recollections of the Boeing marketing campaign, but I'm pretty sure it didn't include an assertion that "you'll never see this aircraft at any hub airport". :O

Pugilistic Animus
27th Feb 2021, 19:42
This is a current article about the 787


28th Feb 2021, 02:27
Thanks for the link.
In that article there is also an additional issue;

Quote, "In the latest, unrelated to the aforementioned issues, blow, the FAA mandated checks on 222 US-registered 787s. The agency identified that bilge barriers in the forward and aft cargo areas of the Dreamliner were either damaged or disengaged, as potentially, a fire in the cargo compartments “could result in the loss of continued safe flight and landing of the airplane.”

It isn't clear if the bilge barriers were part of a production issue which brings into question QC or lack thereof.

Pugilistic Animus
28th Feb 2021, 06:23
No problem 568...there are several articles.
If that's not an example of gone to pot then nothing is!

28th Feb 2021, 16:10
At least these issues were caught before a major catastrophe.
Can't say if the airframes that were found to be at fault were a combination from West and East coast!
I would say without doubt that this also raises the issue of Corporate responsibility at the highest level.

28th Feb 2021, 18:31
Boeing was simplywas a failure of a corporate culture framed by monpolistic positions in the industry over thirty years. The failure of the max design was the culmunation of a slow decline of competative Boeing. It stalled the investment in the new 2026 design to put product extension in place to stall the decision to borrow on a declining balance sheet. In management terms this is was coffin corner for the future of boeing some years ago. Weak management in bed with government national pride saw an ever increasng tax dollar subsidy which produced less than competative designs.

The future break up the company. New management,new culture,bring forward new designs,continue to develope manafacturing capability and models. A deal should have been done long ago to scrape alll max and derivitive designs like MD before it blead the company dry. It should have manufactured unde license a commuter embrar design until it could bring on line its 2026 model.

It is a classic political mistake to hang onto the max family relying on the us tax dollar to subsise the company until it would make a profit again in 2024. It is clear the new CEO cant save this company.Selling subsidaries will just plug the holes but the boat will sink without a new beginning and a scapage scheme which passengers can have faith in.

Una Due Tfc
28th Feb 2021, 20:05
In the last few weeks the 777X was delayed by a further year due to issues with the actuators for the folding wingtips, and over 100 airframes were removed from the order-book..

The 767 tanker programme is still having major problems and costing them a fortune.

The 767 and 777 freighter programmes are fine but they’re very low volume, and the 767 needs to cease production in the coming years for civilian use due CORSIA.

747-8 programme losing money on every airframe.

787 programme dogged by expensive errors since the beginning. It was hoped they’d about break even on the current order-book before the latest issue, which may take billions more to rectify.

They really, really need to MAX to get back on its feet without any major hiccups or the civilian operation is in a major catastrophe.

28th Feb 2021, 23:11
Basically, the company is a slow motion train wreck.

1st Mar 2021, 02:07
As aviators, I was lucky to have flown jet transport aircraft of all ages.
That said, there are also many engineers in the background (TD I am referring to you and your cohorts) that are also largely unrecognized to this day as they represented the true meaning of "professional".
I agree that the "train wreck" has been in motion for a long time, which started before the launch of the 787.

1st Mar 2021, 12:37
...a corporate culture with a 20 year emphasis on cutting cost at the expense of engineering and production excellence.Having had a relationship with Boeing as a customer since moving into Technical Services in 1990 I can relate to that. Thirty years ago Boeing was the epitome of customer service. The downward spiral seems to have coincided with the move of corporate HQ to Chicago. Since then it has been a continuous round of cut-cut-cut and from a service point of view we began to have to pay for support services. Drawings needed for repairs were no longer available except at a cost for "intellectual property". The customer engineering departments (Renton and Everett were separate) became distant and we lost the personal contacts that we previously enjoyed within the ATA centred support staff. It is noticeable that the same can be said for all aerospace companies headquartered in the USA. Heavily subsidised by defence contracts, the Defence Department has stepped in to restrict supply of technical data and procedures have been imposed that delay the supply of spares. Airbus on the other hand is open with their data, support services, although not as personalised as we knew thirty years ago, are reasonable. Boeing needs to be split into Defence and Commercial and the Pentagon's grip on services removed.

1st Mar 2021, 13:27
It is noticeable that the same can be said for all aerospace companies headquartered in the USA. Heavily subsidised by defence contracts, the Defence Department has stepped in to restrict supply of technical data and procedures have been imposed that delay the supply of spares.
Is this through some paranoia that the technical data or spares might otherwise end up in Iran/Russia/wherever is politically incorrect today ?

Maybe Boeing should just give up international sales and only market to US carriers. From what Calhoun said about Ethiopian/Indonesian pilots, they seem to be thinking in that direction anyway.

Roj approved
1st Mar 2021, 22:53
more like RJR Nabisco because Boeing is run by beancounters (like Nabisco) while McD was run by engineers.

Or Enron?!
The constant bleating by the Modern MBA CEO's about "enhancing shareholder value" etc is just a precursor to a rapid decline in competitive production of a product the customer actually wants.


2nd Mar 2021, 19:57
"If people would shop based on value and comfort instead of ticket price, we wouldn't have this problem".
Tdracer, very true.

Big Pistons Forever
6th Mar 2021, 15:35
There was an interesting note on Flight Global about Megit now providing 737 “cockpit indicators” whatever that is. I assume whoever is providing those instruments is either unable or unwilling to continue to do so.

It got me thinking about Boeing’s supply chain. My understanding is that Boeing is hated by suppliers because they would continually grind them on costs and whipsaw the providers to their advantage, including dropping long time suppliers to save a few cents.

I am guessing that Boeing’s clout with the supply chain is now considerably diminished and the sweet deals they used to be able to demand are going to be a lot harder to get. Since the round of MBA bean counters in the C Suite have outsourced almost everything, Boeing seems to be completely reliant on 3rd parties to provide parts, and their ability to bring work back in house is pretty low.

I wonder if in the long run their inability to control construction costs which then starves R&D is what ultimately sinks the company.

6th Mar 2021, 15:55
Your comments are quite valid regarding suppliers.
Has Boeing sold enough 787's to "break even" which undoubtedly hurts R&D for future programs.
When the 747 first started it's life this placed Boeing in a very difficult financial position.

6th Mar 2021, 16:12
Basically, the company is a slow motion train wreck.

It seems like it. Consider how long this process, since the merger with Douglas, has gone on. Slow and steady, and now with probably a whole new set of executives and managers, long-steeped in the "new" philosophy. It would probably take just as long, if not longer, for the company to change from where they are, especially when they don't particularly want to.

6th Mar 2021, 17:57
I actually wonder if the owners of Boeing (which is basically Wall Street, representing pension funds and other big investors) want them to change, and spend money on doing so. Certainly from the way that Calhoun continues to toady to Wall Street it looks like it, with just odd sidebar comments for public consumption. Aviation takes so long to develop products nowadays and get a return, and notably takes far longer in doing this than a generation or two ago when things got developed much faster, that it has ended up being beyond Wall Street's horizon.

I do ponder if some clever calculations have not been made that there is more to be gained for their pension fund clients by continuing to milk dividends, do stock buy-backs, etc, and then just write off what remains or expect to sell it off in bits, rather the make the substantial, very long-term investment to sort things out, just asset-stripping the company. Such investment needs are possibly only worthwhile beyond the last column of their spreadsheets. They would not be the only prominent high-tech company to have gone this way over time.

6th Mar 2021, 23:17
With Boeing being a strategic national asset, I doubt the US government would let it go to the wall. The export income, jobs in the supply chain, defence equipment etc would mean that .gov would have to step in with some form of rescue package up to and including nationalisation. I can't see Air Force One being an Airbus or COMAC aircraft.

7th Mar 2021, 05:14
Big Pistons Forever

You do wonder how much money of a 737 goes into boeings bank account as they have sold of almost all the manufacturing of parts and have no control over the prices per part anymore
Which manager would come up with the idea to let the fuselage be build by a 3rd party ? Someone who did some business school ? Can you get 737 fuselages somewhere else and have them transported ?

Still dont understand why they are not working on an updated 757 and offer that to clients instead of the overly stretched and dated 737

Just because ryanair doesnt want to pay for gates or stairs ?

Update on the 757 on the wikipedia:

In May 2020, due to the ongoing 737 MAX issues and the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,
Boeing set aside the clean-sheet design for the New Midsize Airplane (NMA) and began to look into a re-engined 757, dubbed the 757-Plus, which would compete with the Airbus A321XLR. The 757-Plus would need new engines, better efficiency, greater range, and more passenger capacity in order to satisfy the market that the NMA would have filled.[97]

Dave Therhino
7th Mar 2021, 06:06
That paragraph of the Wikipedia article does not correctly reflect the Reuters article that was cited as the source for the statement. The Reuters article was talking about a new aircraft of a size similar to the 757, not a re-engined 757. I have heard and read from several different sources over the last decade plus that Boeing scrapped the tooling for the 757, so the factory would have to start from scratch if they actually decided to reuse that design for additional production.

7th Mar 2021, 07:20

But then take the likes of IBM or GM, nowadays just a shell of their former importance. How many computers are made in the USA nowadays ? Things rise and fall in the world.

7th Mar 2021, 14:26

Tooling for the 757 was scrapped and I believe TD confirmed this in another thread.

7th Mar 2021, 19:43
A 2019 dated report that Charleston had a slipshod safety culture, not news, but added color.
The 'It was discussed with the FAA' line appears to have been the preferred get out of jail card back then, probably less effective today.

Pugilistic Animus
8th Mar 2021, 02:21

I think one problem is that the FAA is tasked with both regulation and promotion of flight...also, it's a tombstone culture.

8th Mar 2021, 02:34
To be fair, commercial aviation is the safest mode of travel. The accidents are dramatic and tragic, but quite rare, considering the number of people and distances covered.

8th Mar 2021, 02:41
The promotion part is no longer true.
I don't recall exactly when the 'promotion' part was removed from the FAA charter, but it's been decades...

Pugilistic Animus
8th Mar 2021, 13:01
Lol...I guess that I'm an old fogie:}... seriously, I didn't know that they removed it from the charter.

8th Mar 2021, 23:53
Don't feel bad, judging by their performance, neither did the FAA.

10th Mar 2021, 14:18

I think one problem is that the FAA is tasked with both regulation and promotion of flight...also, it's a tombstone culture.
Forgive my ignorance, but what does "tombstone culture" mean? (I've tried to search on the web for a meaning but I get surprising long list of tourist attractions).

Pugilistic Animus
10th Mar 2021, 15:01
A tombstone culture is one where there are known safety issues, but it isn't till after people die that the safety issue is finally addressed. i.e. plane crashes

10th Mar 2021, 16:06
Sir Tim Clark at Emirates gives a damning indictment of the Boeing board.

Emirates' Tim Clark says Boeing 'not getting it' on 737 Max, 787 - The Air Current (https://theaircurrent.com/industry-strategy/emirates-tim-clark-says-boeing-not-getting-it-on-737-max-787/)