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Will Boeing Become The Next McDonnell Douglas?

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Will Boeing Become The Next McDonnell Douglas?

Old 28th Feb 2021, 20:05
  #61 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 23:11
  #62 (permalink)  
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Basically, the company is a slow motion train wreck.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 02:07
  #63 (permalink)  
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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.

Last edited by 568; 1st Mar 2021 at 02:08. Reason: text
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 12:37
  #64 (permalink)  
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...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.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 13:27
  #65 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Blacksheep View Post
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.
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Old 1st Mar 2021, 22:53
  #66 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by krautland View Post
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.

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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 19:57
  #67 (permalink)  
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"If people would shop based on value and comfort instead of ticket price, we wouldn't have this problem".
Tdracer, very true.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 15:35
  #68 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 15:55
  #69 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 16:12
  #70 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
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.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 17:57
  #71 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 23:17
  #72 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 05:14
  #73 (permalink)  
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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]
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 06:06
  #74 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 07:20
  #75 (permalink)  
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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.

Last edited by WHBM; 7th Mar 2021 at 08:20.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 14:26
  #76 (permalink)  
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Tooling for the 757 was scrapped and I believe TD confirmed this in another thread.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 19:43
  #77 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 02:21
  #78 (permalink)  
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I think one problem is that the FAA is tasked with both regulation and promotion of flight...also, it's a tombstone culture.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 02:34
  #79 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 02:41
  #80 (permalink)  
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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...
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