Monday, January 21, 2013

The Boeing Fix, That It Is In, Is In A Boeing (Update) Fix

The press has started to think out loud, "what Boeing should do with its 787 dilemma"?  This is the aircraft that continues to have faults in an accelerating pace, like a crumbling house of cards. There are two schools of thought now in play. First, from Boeing, is now defining this crises with total confidence. The second line of thought, are found in the pictures and reports from the press of smoke, fire and faults. The customers are left to choose between the two worlds, mean while the oversight and safety people shut down the 787 operations until an answer is found.  The Washington Herald  weighs in with an article on what posture Boeing is taking to mitigate the current failures found in the program.

There are three conditions I see occurring:
  • One, Plausible Confidence in the Aircraft, (The Boeing Stand).
  • Two, The Elimination of Good Intent, By Identifying and problem solving (The FAA Stand).
  • Three, report everything that happens, whether it is germane or not causing a lack of confidence (The Newspaper Stand).

Update Boeing confident it will soon fix 787 Dreamliner problems 

The Guardian:

Boeing Update Fixes The 787 Problem:   This just out on 1-22-2013

"Boeing has told Norwegian Air Shuttle, a budget carrier, to expect its first 787 Dreamliner in April in line with the latest delivery schedule, chief executive Bjorn Kjos told Reuters. "They will definitely fix the battery problems long before then," he said. "They say it is going to be fixed soon; they have a plan. They say it will be delivered according to the schedule," he told reporters at the Airline Economics conference in Dublin."

Boeing's high standard bearer is to continue waving its flag with total confidence for this aircraft. The 787 is a metaphor, representing the survival of the Boeing Corporation as we now see it today. As it is an extension of the Corporation Heart.  They must make this aircraft work, and fly safely, as the 787 is the book mark for Boeing's follow-on aircraft  coming and the future of the company. The core technology found in the 787, the area which now experiencing electrical mishaps and failure is the life blood of that architecture, it also represents the core of the corporation.  Reflecting the stockholders pulse in capital for Boeing's drive.

However, that pulse from stockholders, is matched by the 787's all-electric system found on the Dreamliner.  The 787 electrical pulse has been short circuited by battery fires, control panel fires, and generator shut down or failures.  At this point, these failures represent the future of both the airplane and Boeing's future economic direction.  I don't believe, the 787 in its current condition, is going to change that direction towards failure.  A solution will come out of all this. This will bring me to my second point.

The FAA is on the spot too, it has signed off on an aircraft that never showed these types of problems, during its development years, or first year of service.  One big question that needs an answer is what "Changed", since the two years of testing, and one additional year of service?  The second part is co-shared with Boeing with a two part Q&A.  

1.  Does your specifications protect the aircraft and can it be brought up-to-date if is not protecting the 787 safety?  

2.  Can suppliers maintain absolute control over the parts that protect the electrical integrity of its systems and parts?  

Those types of questions cannot be answered until quantified information is gathered about the electrical problems under real world conditions.

Real world conditions are how production copies are made when compared to test copies that evolve out of that world.  Production copies are "massed" produced, while test copies may receive extraordinary attention, and detail with supportive testing and validation, before each part is shipped.  Hence more questions:

  • Does the production article have that same Quality control and final assurance of the test article before it is shipped?  

  • Does that part receive a Boeing internal review before it is installed on the Aircraft?  

This sounds like over-kill on safety, but the alternative is extinction for Boeing.  I am not talking about nuts and bolts, I am talking about those systems and parts that directly keep the 787 flying safe and are shielded from catastrophic issues such as fires and system failures, or compromised structures necessary to flying.  Most of those areas are covered already, so the focus is where the smoke came from in the first place.

The third point is about how the observer gets its information (press), and then turning around offering a sound opinion to a person's listeners.  It is unfortunate that fans and researchers depend on contaminated sources such as the press.  They report on anything and everything associated with a Company, and then report on the airplane, and then anything in that airplane as if increasing the hyperbole and stories will sell more copy and gain a following.  Watch the press report all kinds of quotes, analyze all kinds of pictures, and seek all kinds of uncovered tidbits.  I want to discuss from logical points of view of What Boeing may do, Where Boeing may go and when they may do it.

The press weigh-in by pointing fingers at the FAA and Others

Larsen, Cantwell don’t question FAA grounding of Boeing 787

So the "What", as in what-in the-flying- flock is going on?  Should be reflected in its press releases.  They should come out in real world-realities, and get out of theory mode of everything is fine and we have confidence.  They should publicize the partnership with the FAA, because it’s important, and that will get the 787 flying again. The FAA completes Boeing.  So does Boeing's customers complete them?  Yes we know about that perfection, effort, and innovation that went into the 787. What is lost is confidence and actual assurance of what is lost and then what is found, "as in having indisputable evidence to fix the problem(s), and now we can fly the 787 in safest possible way".  Boeing is really thankful for the help and assistance from the FAA in discovering how to correct any unforeseen issues in this fantastic aircraft (marketing gets to kick in here). The "What factor" is found and corrected.  The Congress is now wondering where that lithium-ion battery came from and who's idea was it anyways? The FAA is on the spot as well as Boeing.

The "Where Factor", is the 200 million dollar question???  Where is the cause of these problems?  If I knew I would tell, and so would the press tell, but what we are stuck with is, "The Corporate Press Releases", of bullet number one about how fine the 787 is and how confident is Boeing about the future. Also we are stuck with bullet number two awaiting the FAA. Now "Where" is on the horizon, not even on final approach until some quantified discoveries are reveled.  Meanwhile at back the flight-line the 787 sits.  The "where" could be in one spot, the battery, or a combinations of spots that leads to an all too frequent "The Perfect Electrical Storm II " sequel!  This is where we find the lurking public now, having to read, those "we made you look" headlines that lead everyone to nowhere.  My next feature will be back on track talking about "what’s-up-with-that" in aviation.

The March 20th, The 60 Day Self Imposed Deadline, For The Fix and Fly
"The When" is now until the next 60 57 days?  Boeing will start flying the 787 within sixty  fifty-seven days.  All hands are on deck with Boeing and its suppliers.  Money and time make a bad partner when the clock starts losing money. Suppliers have been served and Boeing engineering is reallocating to deal with this problem, not just over the week-end, but in a 24/7 manner.  Buy stock in Starbucks until this problem is solved. Next year’s Christmas bonuses are being earned at this time.

The press will report how the battery maker in Japan had an in-line production fault.  The people who knew how to put the battery together was on vacation and the replacement crew, who said they knew, hadn't put one together in a while. Where they used old procedures, and did not employ the new procedures, therefore caused the battery to have inherent faults resulting in fire.  That's my report before the findings come out from FAA.