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Boeing set to face investor scrutiny as problems plague jets

6 Comments
By Juliette MICHEL

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Years ago, I shook my head when reading that Boeing was moving production to S. Carolina -- because of cheap local labor. I also shook my head when reading the 787 was going to be largely outsourced from a wide range of suppliers located throughout the world. I also shook my head when hearing Boeing described itself as an assembler rather than a manufacturer. I shook my head when batteries were catching fire on flights and Boeing couldnt and didnt specify the problem or ax the foreign suppliers involved.

I'm no aviation engineer, but I saw this coming. Maybe one day, we customers will be given a choice to fly Airbus rather than Boeing, just like we can choose Haneda over Narita, or Pfizer over Astra-Zenica.

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Gone downhill since Boeing’s “reverse takeover” of McDonnell Douglas—so-called because it was McDonnell executives who perversely ended up in charge of the combined entity, and it was McDonnell’s culture that became ascendant.

“McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing’s money,” went the joke around Seattle.

Accountants took over from engineers.

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Accountants took over from engineers.

and Stocks holders too over from planes guys.

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Boeing got greedy they bought out McDonnell Douglass and Rockwell after that Boeing was never the same, they couldn't build airplanes and they couldn't build rockets. All the senior executives was worried about is lining their pockets with bonuses! They put more restrictions on their engineers and listened to bean counters and lost total sight of the product. They got poor advice moved the product south and so did the culture and the company. Anything Boeing touches goes south!

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Boeing got greedy they bought out McDonnell Douglass and Rockwell

It wasn't greed. Boeing did that at the behest of the US DoD. McDonnell Douglas was making the F-15 and F/A-18 while Rockwell built and maintained the B-1B. With those companies on the verge of bankruptcy the DoD wanted someone to buy them so their military side would not disappear. That is the same reason Lockheed-Martin, itself the merger of two aviation pioneers, ended up making the F-16, which was a General Dynamics product.

When the Cold War ended there was a significant retrenchment among defense contractors. The US DoD organized a whole series of mergers in order to keep their many weapons programs running in the face of declining business necessary to support so many existing contractors. Grumman was merged with Northrop keeping the E-2C/D product line intact (the A-6 and F-14 were retired) while Northop made the B-2, Global Hawk and RQ-180, Boeing absorbed McDonnel-Douglas and Rockwell keeping the F-15, F/A-18 and B-1B product lines supported while Lockheed-Martin absorbed General Dynamics aviation business to keep the F-16 product line running in Forth Worth (while they were also making the F-22 and soon the F-35). GDs land systems went to another company. Hughes Missile Systems and Texas Instruments missile systems were both absorbed by Raytheon Missile Systems keeping multiple missile lines intact.

If you go back further in history, the famous government loans to Chrysler were not made to keep a car company in business. When those loans were made Chrysler, the US Army's traditional tank manufacturer, was about to bring the M-1 Abrams tank to production. The DoD desperately wanted to keep Chrysler afloat long enough to move the M-1 program out of Chrysler to another company.

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Like the Challenger disaster, too many stupid, ambitious managers and not enough smart engineers with the power to overrule those managers (see: Morton Thiokol).

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