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Eight B787 pulled from service over structural issues

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Eight B787 pulled from service over structural issues

Old 8th Sep 2020, 20:06
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Shims

I have not found a clear explanation of the shims. Are the two imperfect mating surfaces scanned and then individual shims made for each mechanical fastener, leaving possible gaps between the fasteners?
Or is one continuous annular shim made in order to mate the two surfaces perfectly?
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 04:28
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New article in the Seattle Times.

“Analysis is underway to determine if action is required on the in-service fleet,” she added. “Following an assessment of the manufacturing process, a total of 893 airplanes are believed to be affected.”
That’s the vast majority of the 982 Dreamliners Boeing has delivered.
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 06:07
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Who remembers of the whistle blowers at Charleston being ignored when they spoke of the 787s lash ups being produced there.
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 07:32
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I ain't going if it's Boeing!

Just SOP for Boeing. Deny, deny, deny.
Another update today from The Air Current: "Best case the surface quality on these eight airplanes is good and then Boeing can put together a defendable argument that taking the things apart [across the fleet] isn’t needed."
Oh dear.
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 12:23
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So Boeing is coming to the realisation that recruiting workers from fast food chains with no trade or industry experience to build airliners may not be a very clever idea.
If it's Boeing then I'm not going.
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 12:29
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So who had checked those parts and processes when the sections were built? It was only left to be discovered now by some heavy check staff years later? And to internal IT to find out about the more unpleasant combinations of errors? Early fatigue?
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 15:50
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What else might be "hidden" away in the B787 and may cause problems at a later date?
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 16:18
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Structural weaknesses and design defects in large commercial aircraft are nothing new, and are generally identified long before they cause an accident through a system of manufacturer testing, heavy maintenance checks and other in-service monitoring programs as has happened here. Also, this is nothing unique to Boeing, you will find similar issues cropping up from other makes and models of aircraft.

As an example, it took over 20 years for this issue to become apparent on the 737-classic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_rudder_issues

it then took over 4 years of investigation to nail down the cause beyond reasonable doubt and for the FAA to order replacement of the offending parts.


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Old 9th Sep 2020, 21:58
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The difference here is Boeing South Carolina is "so hellbent on making rate, sometimes engineering and production aren't aligned," in an engineer's words. The plant has a record of "undue pressure" on workers to make schedule over quality, unfortunately. The TAC, WSJ and NYT reports aren't flattering, at least. Neither is the number of fired whistleblowers.

Last edited by Airbus_A350; 10th Sep 2020 at 13:27. Reason: TAC
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 12:31
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Airbus A350 -
Interesting that in a situation of manufacturing and QC problems which appears to involve internal controls as well as tolerances, the assertions made about the root causes allow no role for either internal controls or tolerances.

The term whistleblower has obvious roots in the image of a ref calling a foul on, say, the basketball court or the gridiron type of football field. With the advent of instant replay, especially in the NFL, hasn't it become accepted that not every whistled call was correct? And even when "indisputable visual evidence" is said to have been discerned controversy often continues (and some of it can be honest). So why do press reports which use the magic whistle-word deserve unquestioned credence?

Regarding internal controls the full picture of what has gone wrong in the production process and what needs to be done about it has not yet emerged - certainly not within the confines of news reports. If a prior post is correct similar kinds of manufacturing anomalies, identified and resolved, have been part of a fair number of other aircraft programs.

The question whether Boeing management was over-eager in trying to correct what it perceived as a power imbalance in favor of organized labor in its Washington State workforce is a lot more complex than pointing to journalistic reports about employees, disgruntled, aggrieved or otherwise, identified as whistleblowers.

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Old 10th Sep 2020, 13:25
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Collectively, the evidence looks poor for Boeing. Ostrower's article yesterday indicated Boeing's Quality Management System (QMS) failed to catch the defects in question. Boeing created QMS to make the case to the FAA that the company no longer required 900 quality inspectors. Not a good look for Boeing. Everybody I have spoken with agrees Boeing managers shifted away from a quality-first engineering culture to a cost-cutting business culture after the merger with McDonnell-Douglas. You can reasonably trace back most, if not all, of Boeing's problems to this culture clash, including the anti-union push by management.

The company needs an overhaul for the culture to return to its pre-merger days, which unfortunately looks unlikely. At best, you could argue Boeing's voluntary grounding and notice to the FAA marks a step in the right direction.

Last edited by Airbus_A350; 11th Sep 2020 at 13:25.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 14:33
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Joe Sutter, the Lead Engineer of the first ever Jumbo was asked to cut 1000 engineers from Boeing so they could have enough funds to market and build the aircraft. He walked into the meeting room and said "not happening" then walked out knowing full well he was probably now earmarked for the sack himself. Had he caved into board pressure, and Boeing hired brand new, lower paid, unskilled engineers, the 747 would've probably been a monumental failure owing to unreliability and poor manufacturing. Especially so when you consider the lack of advancement in materials and technology at the time. Seems Boeing needs to go back to valuing human experience once again.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:54
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https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-s...ion-on-boeing/
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 16:56
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And now several reports of a third manufacturing defect / quality control issue in a different section of the B787 (the horizontal stabilizer), potentially affecting 893 aircrafts.

PS: that's also in the article pointed by NutLoose above, perhaps the best of the three.

Last edited by fgrieu; 11th Sep 2020 at 08:21.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 17:33
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Originally Posted by 70 Mustang View Post
What has happened to what used to be the best aircraft manufacturer?
it no longer exists.
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Old 10th Sep 2020, 19:46
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Rather sad.
Bill Boeing founded the company with the maxim 'Let no advance in aviation pass us by'. His successors kept that course until Phil Condit stood by while Harry Stonecipher destroyed the company.
It should have been a warning to all when Frank Shrontz resigned from all his Boeing positions after quitting the chairmanship in 1997. However, there was so much good in Boeing that it took 20 years to bring the company down.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 02:57
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3 View Post
The question whether Boeing management was over-eager in trying to correct what it perceived as a power imbalance in favor of organized labor in its Washington State workforce is a lot more complex than pointing to journalistic reports about employees, disgruntled, aggrieved or otherwise, identified as whistleblowers.
Ah yes, so complex now. A century ago, American employers corrected such power imbalances with Pinkerton men and rifles. Kill a few unionists, and the natural order is restored. Or not.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 03:15
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The separation of the management from the actual manufacturing is surely a major factor. A corporate headquarters is not well equipped for finding problems and branch managers are not eager to report them.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 07:30
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KOMO radio just reported another defect today, this time with the vertical tail fin.
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Old 11th Sep 2020, 13:05
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FlightlessParrot I don't believe you're inclined much, if at all, to commit thread drift by getting into the law applicable to the scope of mandatory subjects of collective bargaining. If it is preferred to adhere to a point of view by which a decision to build a plant in a right-to-work state was taken because of that legal status (of South Carolina) and it was just that simple, then there isn't much to discuss anyway.

Evidence . . . well, neither Ostrower reporting nor descriptions by Airbus_A350 of what people he's talked with have said, are evidence. And while I'm not questioning the veracity of either source the point was (in the post about whistleblowers) that caution should be exercised before taking at face value all reports of what they blew their whistles about.

The decline and fall of Boeing is not something especially in dispute. Nevertheless that set of facts and inferences is not the same thing as grappling directly with the facts about the manufacturing tolerances, inspection or other related processes, internal controls, and reporting to FAA. Or the same thing as the context noted by dastocks.
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