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Vigilant1

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Does anyone else find it impressive that the 777x failed so close to its ultimate load. For such a complex piece of engineering, to get the failure so close to ultimate shows that the design is very close to optimized for the minimum structure needed, in the area of the failure at least.
+1. Though I'm sure Boeing engineers would have preferred to get to 1.5x load and have it hold for exactly 3 seconds, this result is nearly as good. I'm guessing the PR folks will be swatting back the ill-informed opinionators who will portray this as a "failure" in the most misleading way, but that can't be helped, I suppose. There would be a lot of glum looks if the plane had gone to 1.6x load (for reasons stated in the article they wouldn't have actually tested that high). Being overstrength = being overweight, and every extra pound reduces fuel efficiency.
Yep, pretty amazing to get that close, and shows that some folks with a heck of a lot of skill put in a lot of effort to get this right.
 
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Doggzilla

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Only Boeing could turn a 99% successful test into a PR failure like this.

If they had just been open about the test in the first place it could have been used as good PR.

Being secretive and misleading makes the test look suspicious instead.

Not to mention wrongly blaming the door for the failure has probably done irreversible damage to the reputations of several engineers who didn’t deserve it.
 

Vigilant1

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Only Boeing could turn a 99% successful test into a PR failure like this.

If they had just been open about the test in the first place it could have been used as good PR.

Being secretive and misleading makes the test look suspicious instead.

Not to mention wrongly blaming the door for the failure has probably done irreversible damage to the reputations of several engineers who didn’t deserve it.
Please just stop it. You are creating some sort of conspiracy where there's no evidence one exists. Show us where Boeing ever claimed that the door was the failure point. The inept reporters (print and TV) rushed to that judgement. The Boeing releases on the test have been responsible and accurate.
 

Doggzilla

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I didn’t say that. Did I? Once again you intentionally take posts out of context just so you can get angry and harass other members.

Can you even respond to me without foaming at the mouth? Show me the last post where you responded to me without getting angry and losing your composure.

You are an adult. I expect you to act like it.
 

Doggzilla

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And if Boeing considered this successful and knew the engineers were wrongly being smeared by the media, why did they not release the successful data?

They are completely inept at public relations is why. They had a great chance to use this as good PR and instead chose to be secretive and make themselves look like they were trying to cover it up.

Why would anyone bring that on themselves? It shows an almost complete lack of common sense.
 

bmcj

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I didn’t say that.
Actually, you did, exactly two posts prior when you said, “Not to mention wrongly blaming the door for the failure has probably done irreversible damage to the reputations of several engineers who didn’t deserve it.”

I don’t blame Boeing for keeping this low key. Despite meeting engineering goals and going 50% over ULTIMATE. No matter how carefully they explain it, they are not not going to prevent a public’s mindset of ‘Oh my God, their plane exploded... I’m never going to ride on one!’
 

Alan_VA

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I designed, built, and repaired ships for a living. Airplanes or ships, the principles of responsibility are the same. One of my commanding officers said his standard was that if you didn’t see and touch the problem yourself, you didn’t know what you were talking about. I would also point out that when we took submarines on sea trials, the ship superintendent and the general foremen who had signed off on the work were all on lard for the first dive. Now THAT will encourage responsible follow-up on reported problems.
 

plncraze

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I'm assuming " on lard" means they were in the sub with everyone else. That is a good attitude to have in maintenance. I've ridden in and driven my projects. It keeps the focus up. LOL!!!
 

Alan_VA

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I'm assuming " on lard" means they were in the sub with everyone else. That is a good attitude to have in maintenance. I've ridden in and driven my projects. It keeps the focus up. LOL!!!
Sorry. iPads are a pain to type on. “on lard” = “onboard”

Alan
 

plncraze

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Auto correct is an evil plot! You will catch some really good ones from tiny phones and big fingers
 

PMD

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Similar to Alan, I used to manufacture commercial airboats (for harvesting wild rice). My policy was that the assembly crew (and often welder, engineer and foreman) would do the engine run-in and sea trials (well, OK, RIVER trials) of each batch. It gave them a break from the pressure of production, but most of all ownership of their work and the QA function of fixing any mistakes that might have been made.

On the Boeing front: I see the failure at 99% a HUGE endorsement for their engineering ability. When you are designing for 1.5 and you prove 1.49, you know that the assumptions you are making are extremely accurate. Due to the Max post-crash environment, I doubt that Boeing would be trying to hide ANYTHING about a 727 model testing and certification.
 

PMD

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and now the FAA steps in to conduct ALL 727 certification. Didn't see that one coming. Wonder where they will get the staff? This could be a clusterfk to rival the early days of Homeland Security (you had to be dealing regularly with new hired people at the border to appreciate that comment).
 

Bill-Higdon

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and now the FAA steps in to conduct ALL 727 certification. Didn't see that one coming. Wonder where they will get the staff? This could be a clusterfk to rival the early days of Homeland Security (you had to be dealing regularly with new hired people at the border to appreciate that comment).
I think you mean 737, and AFIK it's just the 737Max
 

robertbrown

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Agree.

Not only is my college roommate an outstanding ChE, but he was wise enough to refuse to take a management position offered to him. He would have failed miserably at management. His engineering expertise still is valued. He retired years ago, to lock in benefits, when the company announced upcoming changes in retirement health care, but still works as a contractor several days a week (they would like him to work full time).

The corporation that I retired from realized the fallacy of promoting the best (pick any skill set) into management, and we did two things. First, we created a pay scale that appropriately compensated people. The extraordinary engineers who applied their skills and delivered extraordinary results received extraordinary compensation. Second, we fully implemented the DDI Assessment Center process https://www.ddiworld.com/global-offices/training-assessment-centers for assessing all management position candidates. That process is expensive, time consuming, and takes key trained people away from their jobs to participate in the multi-day assessment process, but the long term result on the business make it well worthwhile.


BJC
No matter how good a management selection or quality program is, large corporations will manage to misapply it so that it no longer works. My employer adopted a management selection program where openings are posted on-line and all applicants are interviewed by a selection board. When asked how to deal with a low performing employee, if you say "I'd chew him out, then fire him.", you don't get the job. You're supposed to say "I would empathize with him and coach him to success." Extra points if you say "...coach him, her or they to success because I support gender diversity." In some cases, the board already knows who they want for the job and the interviews are a formality; that isn't always a bad thing. I've heard of someone studying how you're supposed to answer the questions so if the interviews are serious, you may just get someone who is good at learning lines. The biggest problem is that people will constantly job hop to get pay raises and promotions so you get managers/supervisors with no experience on a program who are going to be there for two years and leave before the fruits of their mismanagement are obvious. When the customer noticed that the primer on some parts inside the wet wing was dissolving and washing off, it turned out that a designer had not known that parts inside the fuel tank require fuel resistant primer. His supervisor and the airframe design manager were new to the program and signed off the drawings the same way that Earl Long described a stooge set up as governor by his brother Huey signing a leaf that blew in the window and landed on his desk. By the time that the problem surfaced they were all long gone. A VP sat in on one of our group meetings once and told us that he could appoint an Arts major to be our boss if he wanted to. That actually wouldn't have been much worse than some of the people who did make it through the selection process.
 

BJC

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No matter how good a management selection or quality program is, large corporations will manage to misapply it so that it no longer works.
By “large corporations will ...” do you mean some or all? If you mean ll, then you will need to show me some solid data.

Sorry that you work for such a poorly managed corporation. Sounds like you should find a new employer.


BJC

Edit: If enough people accept working for such poor management, it likely will continue.
 

flyboy2160

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By “large corporations will ...” do you mean some or all? If you mean ll, then you will need to show me some solid data....Sounds like you should find a new employer...BJC...
......A VP sat in on one of our group meetings once and told us that he could appoint an Arts major to be our boss if he wanted to..
Proving "all" is an impossible task. But after life at 4 big aerospace companies, I'd agree that Robert Brown's comments are increasingly common once the crusty, old, technically good engineering managers of the early 90s started getting replaced with PC MBA stooges who had never actually been practicing engineers.
 

PMD

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This is NOT unique to big aviation. There was a time when airplanes (and cars, boats, equipment, etc.) were built by the people who's name is on the building. While not every aviation entrepreneur was a great businessman, they were intimately connected to their product, their company and their staff. Since we no longer consider work, productivity, quality, value to be our core concerns, since we have invited the world of finance to own companies instead of the world of business, the focus shifts greatly from how to succeed by building a better product, service or company to making things work for the world of finance to speculate on market values instead of the things that entrepreneurs and their customers valued. Finance-owned business appoints finance friendly boards, who in turn hire management who will answer to people who's whole world revolves around finance, thus people who's perception of the world is coming from people who have never produced a product or delivered a technical service in the lifetime...and never will.

To put it bluntly: THIS is why you get people who will skirt around certification and safety issues with a very formal "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" process.
 

trimtab

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"Finance-owned business appoints finance friendly boards, who in turn hire management who will answer to people who's whole world revolves around finance, thus people who's perception of the world is coming from people who have never produced a product or delivered a technical service in the lifetime...and never will. To put it bluntly: THIS is why you get people who will skirt around certification and safety issues with a very formal "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" process.
Well put. Finance is a critical core competency to any enterprise. But the financialization of engineering, quality assurance, production, or any of the other core competencies is very often the sign of the walking dead companies like Boeing that rely on regulatory or government relationship barriers to entry for their continued survival or success more than technical success.

Medicine and pharmaceuticals is another field with clear structural issues that are failing towards collapse.

The collapse needs to happen- these things rarely sort themselves out in a fashion that could be described as "evolution". It's similar to how 80-year heritage wildfire suppression policies are doomed to fail spectacularly in a changing world with changing climate and changing land use patterns. The propped up edifices slump over and vaporize rapidly.

- Automotive industry
- US steel industry
- Semiconductor industry
- Ship building industry
- Consumer goods manufacturing

Each is an example of aggressive financialization to abstract the risks and generate fees and LBO booty, with episodes of obsolescence propped up by investor fever and government interventions, only to collapse anyway.

But beyond this, back to the subject matter, each month or even week proves more and more that the positively reckless approach that Boeing chose for the MCAS development is finally getting the scrutiny it deserves. The red herring that Boeing's C-suite Financialization Of Everything team dreamed up to scrutinize cockpit performance has waned to the point of irrelevance.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/business/boeing-canada-737-max.html

Airbus is literally the only credible player in the airliner business now on a global scale due to the disastrous, shockingly poor judgement of these C-suite sots. They are children.

Here's another case the Financialization Of Everything disease inflicted by the depraved B-school Bros at Ford:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ford-workers-break-silence-faulty-145800004.html
 
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Mad MAC

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Airbus is literally the only credible player in the airliner business now on a global scale due to the disastrous, shockingly poor judgement of these C-suite sots. They are children.
It would be interesting to hear from those that actually deal with Airbus before assuming them to be the good example. I know that with the NH Industries (now part Airbus) NH90 they have had issue with not dissimilar issues such as major reliability issues that only start to get resolved when customers report them higher up the management chain because no one wants to be the bearer of bad news or significant management pressure on engineers to OK what they would rather not (this example was a sub assembly supplier level).
 

trimtab

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I know that with the NH Industries (now part Airbus) NH90 they have had issue with not dissimilar issues such as major reliability issues that only start to get resolved when customers report them higher up the management chain because no one wants to be the bearer of bad news or significant management pressure on engineers to OK what they would rather not (this example was a sub assembly supplier level).
Yep. I EE and ME contract work for Airbus (Toulouse), and witnessed the same sorts of horrifically poor decision making that stoked the fires of my apparent cynicism/realism about Big Aero in general. The only difference is that my first language is English, and I can simply sniff out incredible foibles in English more easily . When I describe the dangers of "financialization" in technical environments, and how that process metastasizes to subvert engineering judgment beyond any definition of balance for a business, I don't think most quite understand what that really means, which is why it remains a foreign concept to actual businesses. And the cancer multiplies in more difficult financial periods- where the need tell financial fantasies on paper trumps physics and maths.
 
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