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787 Dreamliner production concerns

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787 Dreamliner production concerns

Old 20th Apr 2019, 17:35
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787 Dreamliner production concerns

Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet

New York Times reporting on shoddy production and weak oversight at Boeing's South Carolina plant that have threatened to compromise safety.of 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Safety lapses at the North Charleston plant have drawn the scrutiny of airlines and regulators. Qatar Airways stopped accepting planes from the factory after manufacturing mishaps damaged jets and delayed deliveries. Workers have filed nearly a dozen whistle-blower claims and safety complaints with federal regulators, describing issues like defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations. Others have sued Boeing, saying they were retaliated against for flagging manufacturing mistakes.

Joseph Clayton, a technician at the North Charleston plant, one of two facilities where the Dreamliner is built, said he routinely found debris dangerously close to wiring beneath cockpits.

Ive told my wife that I never plan to fly on it, he said. Its just a safety issue.
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 18:22
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Not good. Most of it reported by Aljazeera several years ago - nice to see the NYT catching up.

I find the emphasis in the article on non-unionised South Carolina vs. unionised Washington employees misplaced. Although interesting to see Qatar placing great stock in it ;-) Boeing appears to be managed in a tragically misguided manner.

At least Airbus cannot be accused of being profit driven !

Last edited by Clipper7; 20th Apr 2019 at 18:59.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 00:19
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Originally Posted by Clipper7 View Post
Not good. Most of it reported by Aljazeera several years ago - nice to see the NYT catching up.


I was going to say the same Most poignant is the bit where the factory workers on the production line say they wouldn't fly on it!

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Old 21st Apr 2019, 02:15
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It appears A350 sales are starting to accelerate and may in fact be an overall better aircraft than the B787. Passenger satisfaction levels for the A350 are greater than the B787. Watch this space !!!
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 05:16
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Originally Posted by B772 View Post
It appears A350 sales are starting to accelerate and may in fact be an overall better aircraft than the B787.
Seriously?
Since the beginning of 2017, Boeing has announced 241 net orders for the 787.
Since the beginning of 2017, Airbus has announced 72 net orders for the A350.

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Old 21st Apr 2019, 05:24
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I spend between 600-800h a year in the air as pax, vast majority in J or F, and as much as I can assure everyone here that the 787 is the worst product I've flown on in decades, this means squat to the managers that make the decision on what to buy. They base it purely on cost benefit. I am yet to experience the A350 - I've considered taking a detour on one of my next trips just for that purpose, I'm curious whether I perceive the 787 as so crappy just because of its small cabin size and noise level. For pax comfort, the A380 is hard to beat in my view. Spending serious time stuck inside aircraft, what matters to me is noise level, personal space, and lavatories. The 787 has shortcomings in all of those categories, regardless of operator.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 05:45
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Originally Posted by Clipper7 View Post
Not good. Most of it reported by Aljazeera several years ago - nice to see the NYT catching up.
I watched a good part of the AJ documentary which is several years old. If the QA problems were an issue where is the pushback from the customers, the incidents logged with the FAA ? Given no hull loses or fatalities you can't really fault the safety record. Seems the customers keep buying and I don't recall seeing any reports relating to incidents due to plant side QA\QC.
Boeing opened the plants to Charleston to get as far away from the Seattle unions as they possibly could. You have to wonder if that comes into play here.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 06:35
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Originally Posted by B772 View Post
It appears A350 sales are starting to accelerate and may in fact be an overall better aircraft than the B787. Passenger satisfaction levels for the A350 are greater than the B787. Watch this space !!!
Seriously?
Since the beginning of 2017, Boeing has announced 241 net orders for the 787.
Since the beginning of 2017, Airbus has announced 72 net orders for the A350.
If brand A sells an aircraft at a capital cost of X, and brand B sells a similar model for 10-20% cheaper, would that account for higher sales, even though the brand A model is "an overall better aircraft"? That seems to be what the comment suggests, not the raw number of sales.

By the same logic, the B737 sells more aircraft at less than half the price of the B787. Oh wait...
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 08:59
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Unfortunately Boeing's reputation is fast descending into something which may very well irreversible!

The 787 battery fires.
The 737M control issues.
The 777W engine issues.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 10:40
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Originally Posted by A320ECAM View Post
Unfortunately Boeing's reputation is fast descending into something which may very well irreversible!

The 787 battery fires.
The 737M control issues.
The 777W engine issues.

In all fairness, the 777W engine issue is a Rolls-Royce issue. Agree that Boeing’s reputation is in tatters.

Last edited by Clipper7; 21st Apr 2019 at 10:52.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 10:50
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You guys forgot to add 787 engine issues. RRs fault, but still affects Boeing airplanes.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 11:55
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I find the emphasis in the article on non-unionised South Carolina vs. unionised Washington employees misplaced.
On the contrary, I think it's an important point to consider. A non-unionised employee has little scope for whistle-blowing (unless anonymously).
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 12:12
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Sign of the times from the new schools of business. We had a project where the entire budget was blown on project managers and nobody was engaged to do the actual work.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 13:15
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Originally Posted by Fursty Ferret View Post
On the contrary, I think it's an important point to consider. A non-unionised employee has little scope for whistle-blowing (unless anonymously).
It has not been my experience that an employees commitment to safety has depended on which union they belong to, or if they belong to a union. An effective whistle-blowing system is a management issue, not a union issue.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 15:05
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Originally Posted by Clipper7 View Post


It has not been my experience that an employees commitment to safety has depended on which union they belong to, or if they belong to a union. An effective whistle-blowing system is a management issue, not a union issue.
I think you are correct. In the absence of good management a whistle-blower would have to rely on union support to ensure continuity of employment. The lack of union support and with poor management an employee would be unwilling to the a whistle-blower.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 15:16
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Whistle blowing just illustrates their safety culture is in the dark ages. Whilst in EASA land the Just Culture concept is imperfect, the concept and generally, its execution is light years ahead of the extant safety culture within Boeing.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 16:35
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It has not been my experience that an employees commitment to safety has depended on which union they belong to, or if they belong to a union.
Given the issues with the FOD, tools, and other items found in the AF Tankers, I really dont think this is an issue of union vs non-union workers, or one location vs another.

Workers in Everett are hired the same way, the requirements are the same, and work their way through the union ranks. Training by Boeing remains the same at all facilities. It is the same techniques taught to install and fabricate the aircraft.

When they stopped accounting for tools was a big step backwards.

The memos that were shown by Aljazeera were not specific to South Carolina, but on the Dreamliner production everywhere. The Union is also protecting itself in Everett, but is likely another line of defense. Noting the issues with the AF tankers, those were built and quality control inspection by Boeing Everett and union personnel.

I have seen numerous posts here by people finding all kinds of stuff inside wings and fuel tanks.....

Production rates for an entire commercial aircraft, more than one a day on some models, is insane.

Last edited by Smythe; 21st Apr 2019 at 17:49.
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 00:32
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Originally Posted by Sidestick_n_Rudder View Post
You guys forgot to add 787 engine issues. RR’s fault, but still affects Boeing airplanes.

Much as Boeing (pretending to only be an integrator, and absolving themselves from responsibility for any suppliers product) would like to blame Rolls Royce for the engine issues, they can't escape the fact that THEY put them on the aircraft, and they are ultimately responsible for ensuring they were fit for purpose and would not fail, before making them available an option.

It really stinks of the "Race to the bottom" bean counter culture, we see far too much of these days.

What next, oh sorry, the Project Manager for that aircraft was only a contractor, so "not our problem" that the aircraft crashed?
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 01:44
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Originally Posted by GordonR_Cape View Post
If brand A sells an aircraft at a capital cost of X, and brand B sells a similar model for 10-20% cheaper, would that account for higher sales, even though the brand A model is "an overall better aircraft"? That seems to be what the comment suggests, not the raw number of sales.

By the same logic, the B737 sells more aircraft at less than half the price of the B787. Oh wait...
Sorry Gordon, but your post is almost a non-sequitur (and I notice your post altered what I quoted in my post). Which aircraft is 'better' is a matter of opinion and debate based on a number of factors - seat mile costs, dispatch reliability and overall reliability, overall cost of ownership. In an era where the vast majority of ticket purchases are based on little more than price, the operators probably don't care that much that the A350 might be more comfortable for the passenger (I have little doubt the 787 passenger experience would be much better if most operators had kept it at the 8 across seating it was really designed for, but then you have to go back to that part about purchase decisions being based on price). BTW, do you have a source for your claim that the 787 sells for 10-20% less than the comparable A350?
What I specifically was responding to was this:
It appears A350 sales are starting to accelerate
which is demonstrably false. In fact, net announced orders for the A350 so far in 2019 are negative (-4 to be specific) while Boeing shows 38 net orders for the 787 so far in 2019. Despite the continued trashing of the 787 by some posters on this form, it's clear that the operators are in fact rather happy with the aircraft and ordering more - to the extent it's outsold the A350 by a factor of 3 to 1 over the last 30 months.

BTW, regarding that AlJazeera report, scuttlebutt at the time was that the employee interviews in South Carolina were a hit job orchestrated by the Seattle area machinist union to discredit the non-union workers (several Seattle area machinists were sent to South Carolina to teach the local workers how to do the job, and hence were able to point AlJazeera at disgruntled workers to get the desired story).
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 01:58
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Originally Posted by Clipper7 View Post
I find the emphasis in the article on non-unionised South Carolina vs. unionised Washington employees misplaced.
How is it misplaced?
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