Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Boeing Placates The Press Over Plausible Briefing Of Shuffle

What's in the cards for Boeing is its plausible explanation on moving generals around the factory board. A greater indicator than anything, is it signals the bringing of the 777X to the tipping point of "Go for it", meaning the 777X Generals are now on board before that ship sails.

Sinnett To Leave 787 Program as Boeing Shuffles Engineering Roles

So this is how the Dance card stacks up as partners change in this two step shuffle.

Production Development,= PD  Bolden is promotional Move for affect.
Chief Project Engineer    =PE

                  Leaves   From                                         Job Goes to 
Mike Sinnett, 787 VP-PE >>>Bob Whittington, lands 787 VP-PE
Bob Whittington, 777 VP-PE  >>>Mike Sinnett, floats to 777 VP-PD 
Larry Schneider, 777 VP-PD >>Larry Schneider, slides to 777 VP-PE

The quick analysis are that all leadership hands are on deck for the launch of the 777-X with leadership beginning its acclimation to its new roles for the launch of the 777X project in the late fall. The team will be on full operational readiness for that launch.  Sennet with 787 lessons learned and Schneider with his 777 type knowledge will move the gears seamlessly forward, with its new innovation installed on the 777X, by those who are weathered from the 787 learning curve.

Boeing continues to shape its team from the top down with proven talent across the board. A move to the 787 from the 777, signals maturation of the project as well as new, and well experienced leadership that it requires. The change of leadership forms the change management structure for both the 787 and 777X projects when its announced,and continuous improvement for remedial adjustments ongoing in the 787 saga, as it enters its final shake- downs. Boeing will be already six months ahead with its 777X team in place prior to the ATO announcement. A maturing 787 aircraft receives proven leadership coming from the 777-300 project team, and the 777X gains an experienced big picture leadership VP for the untested 777-X project, with Mike Sinnett at the helm. 

Boeings go team has started forming in the midst of all the distractions with the 787 plane. Those distraction are already abating at this time, as Boeing's management of 787 production, parts and systems tightened up on the 787.   
I can feel the excitement is building later this fall when Boeing rolls on the 777-8x and 777-9X announcements.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Liftndrag Scrapbook Feature The Qantas A380 Incident in 2010

Full Report Link

How The Pilot Brought In Crippled Superjumbo

Unconventional Approach: Landing an Airbus A380 After an Engine Explosion

"The coolheaded captain credited with saving a Qantas Airways Ltd. QAN.AU +0.78% super jumbo jet after a fiery engine explosion in 2010 relied on some distinctly unconventional piloting.
In the midst of the crisis, with the crippled Airbus A380 leaking fuel while he maintained a holding pattern and the crew tried to sort through a torrent of computer-generated cockpit alerts, Capt. Richard de Crespigny switched tactics. Rather than trying to decipher the dozens of alerts to identify precisely which systems were damaged, as called for by the manufacturer's manuals and his own airline's emergency procedures, he turned that logic on its head—shifting his focus to what was still working."
The pilots solution confronted with Sensory overload in a crises, was to shut down the damage, and focus on what can we fly with, and go for what is working? An old fighter pilot mentality arose saving the passengers lives while ignoring all the bells, whistles and horns going off in the cockpit, which confused the fly by committee crew into action. These bell and whistles are supposed to aid crew not confuse the crew during a catastrophic event that was unfolding in seconds. The pilot was on his evaluation flight and had no advantage from any user manuals for the A380 engine event, and its ongoing total system failures. It was just instinct, logic and skill overriding the Airbus A-380 emergency cacophony of noise and confusion and hundreds of simultaneous messages.

He brought in the A380 and wrote a new book for aviation on how to handle human sensory overload and save the aircraft and its passengers.  The design engineers have taken note, and changed how information is handled in all new aircraft under development today, for both Airbus and Boeing. In fact it would be great to inform the crew what they do have for a plan B exigency drill. Having system lights that go green during an exigency event, where taxing the nominal system needs instant clarity, so the crew can quickly move to back to flying or gliding, by using the green signal lite systems and its capabilities instead of trying to decipher any red coded systems initially.  A red light shouldn't continuously squawk incessantly, but have a system cut out from noise after 30 seconds and then blink red thereafter, until the crew can address at that the moment. A pilot can decide quickly what will fly the aircraft or if the pilot can assume a glide path for a recovery landing.   
This is just one thought for flight management. The main thing is to: 

  • simplify pilot options of a hugely complex aircraft, 
  • give the crew committee the best information during decision making,
  • And present best available options with priorities. 
Similar to a A-1 Abrams battle tank with its battlefield targeting computer systems. Target by seeking, the most important item first and work through to a solution. It is more important to not have the cabin squawking all at once while the crew is in momentary shock and is forming an initial plan of action. Maintain a professional composure during a time of finding options, where seconds really do count. Taking on best information to keep the plane flying is more important than shocking the team with simultaneous alarms. Ultimate decision making is not the computer's job, since it is only an information source, but assists the flight with pilot inputs. The Pilot and crew need all the information managed, and on the table to make the best decision.

Image result for A-380 engine explosion

Reputation Dilemma Hits The 787

Back in Highschool when I was growing up. My parents placed high on the list my own reputation, as the thing that must be protected by being consistently a good person. Of course at age 16, I could not and would not understand that principal in life until the process of living settles that talking point; establishing  itself in real life experience. Remember back when a certain girl in your glass went out with an athletic type braggart, and he comes back with a brag explaining on Monday, "what an easy conquest he had made over said person". Twenty years later at the High School reunion, the sneers, sideways glances and whispers still remain about some forgotten date that some Jock made, whether it is true or not is not important. A reputation ruined then; where it remains still ruined, about a mother, wife and solid friend to her husband.

Boeing's own date of the 787's entry into service has suffered such a calamity as news sites sell self importance and give an expert copy/paste opinion without weighing the big picture. It chortled for five years about the 787's delivery failure of being "7-Late-7" about the three years period of being late. Now the press is currently reporting about every event, even though these events are a serious concern for the aircraft, but in a sinister light casting doom for the aircraft. Airbus, many years ago experienced a total hull during a demonstration flight in front of cameras killing all of its crew in fiery crash. The systems that day on board, countermanded the pilots intuitive response for a stall condition. The system thought it was landing, and the system flew it into the trees. After that, overrides where installed for its newly conceived A320's and pilots.

However dogging the 787 is in the news maybe of interest to most and important to report, but what is really missing from these instant reports is a perspective for the aircraft. Comparing it to the historical data base of aircraft flying today. After the A300 came the A319,A320, A330,A340 and A380. A remarkable string of success for Airbus. Even though the A330 suffered a catastrophic hull loss over the Atlantic not so long ago, on flight #442, from Brazil to Paris, they kept moving forward in spite of the Press' admonitions over Transatlantic flight with a faulty pitot tube and systems over rides, inspite of pilot options it plunged a long way into the sea anyways, with all onboard perrishing. A high price for aviation is still being paid for what we take for granted in today's air travel.

Having stated this thought, it is important not just to parrot the news, but do ones own reporting by placing perspective into each news report. Just the press didn't do that when the 787 was late. Each article back then regarding advances, accomplishments and refinements, was followed by an obligatory cut and paste snip " The Late 787 by X months." Each statement  seamed to give insane thought and validity by recitation time, after time no matter what the article was talking about.

An article would detail out what accomplishment was made by the 787 and copy paste in the "The Reputation Statement" by adding for the thousandth time, that a 787 is now 19 months late. Next month the readers would be reminded that is is 20 months late until 3 plus year where one can occasionally find a time quote.  After all when Boeing made that original delivery announcement it was intoxicated with it own success of presenting a plastic body for the world, on July 7, 2007. This company drunk too much from its own innovation and set its feet in the cement of the press time machine by saying it would fly by October 2007. "Woah dudes you've been over served at the paint hanger. The clock starting running at Boeing's own stagger out the door. Now the reputation of Boeing is brought up at every news article. For the next ten years the public will have to read about fire smoke and mishap; as if that article is about fire, smoke and mishap, when the headlines print out the "787 Has Superb Performance". A copy paste paragraph of fire smoke and mishap will run counter of the lead headline by reciting it out like a 787 date night reputation, which it will have to endure for the rest of its life as its spouted out by the goofy press class reunions.

Boeing is working through this quantum leap of technology with a careful review of its workmanship and its suppliers workmanship, as it should in the manufacture of all aircraft. Flying itself is dangerous and our society takes it for granted and press reports flying as a norm while giving sensational impact for every part failure, which has be occurring all along with older models of aircraft makes. Perspective is that piece of reputation gossip missing from the press dialogue. Knowing that the 787 has the same or similar track record that the 777, and the Airbus aircraft is important so the press reports how it compares with order models when airlines are flying the most complex aircraft in aviation's history. This airplane is not that soiled or tarnished than all its predecessors. She will make a great travel companion for years to come.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Boeing's 2nd Quarter March To The Bank

So much detail and so little time to express where Boeing is today. Since Boeing is disclosing its big economic footprint forward in a swamp of fires, mishaps, and crashes during the second quarter. This will be more about orders sales and accomplishments, which promises to bolster Boeing's world position in the financial markets, as it wills its way through with a manufacturing swagger. Boeing builds an immense portfolio of military items far exceeding its European counterpart Airbus. Space and military is the dark horse many people forget to think about when buying Boeing stock.

The company's commercial-plane division sold 169 planes during the quarter, including 16 Dreamliners. The company had quarterly revenue of $13.6 billion with earnings of nearly $1.5 billion or 10.7%, " 

"Asked about criticism from rival Airbus about the Dreamliner, McNerney said the plane has had no more problems than the popular 777 when it was introduced. "The reliability of this airplane is about the same as the reliability that we've had with new models, including the most successful wide-body we've ever introduced, the 777," McNerney said. "There are a lot of things that happen early." 
Bart Jansen, USA TODAY 1:23 p.m. EDT July 24, 2013"

2nd Quarter Order Numbers
Order DateCustomerModel SeriesOrders
26-Apr-2013Business Jet / VIP Customer(s)777-200LR1
23-Apr-2013Unidentified Customer(s)737-MAX50
April Total51
07-May-2013KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines777-300ER1
06-May-2013Qatar Airways777-300ER2
13-May-2013Southwest Airlines737-8005
13-May-2013Southwest Airlines737-MAX30
08-May-2013Turkish Airlines737-80020
08-May-2013Turkish Airlines737-MAX50
21-May-2013Unidentified Customer(s)737-80040
30-May-2013Unidentified Customer(s)737-MAX5
21-May-2013Unidentified Customer(s)737-MAX61
07-May-2013United Air Lines737-900ER2
May Total232
19-Jun-2013CIT Leasing Corporation737-MAX30
18-Jun-2013Singapore Airlines787-1030
19-Jun-2013Unidentified Customer(s)737-80020
19-Jun-2013Unidentified Customer(s)737-MAX20
03-Jun-2013United Air Lines737-900ER2
18-Jun-2013United Air Lines787-1010
June Total287

First Quarter 2013 Orders 

 Second Quarter 2013 Orders Total
   YTD 2013 Orders Total
2013 Orders Detail
2013 Aircraft Sold Equals Aircraft Delivered

First Quarter 2013 Deliveries Detail
Second Quarter 2013 Deliveries Detail
 2013 Deliveries Detail
Final Score Card: 790 Orders and 306 Sales/deliveries. 790-306= 484 net backlog added! Just In First half of 2013! Order to Sales Ratio is a + 2.58/1. A further slippage ratio of backlog. If Boeing gains parity on the single isle market in the Max vs Neo battle, then Boeing is forced to expand production. However its just not a Max vs Neo battle, Boeing has taken significant orders for its NG stable of aircraft in 2013 (Ryanair) not shrinking the 737NG backlog as much as predicted. In fact if one factors in the NG orders with the Max this year, then the Neo does not have that subtial of a lead since Airbus has taken orders from its preferred customer's during the last three years. Airbus orders for the Neo will slump a bit as the order book turf wars will now began in earnest for who really has the winning aircraft.  A 13% improvement for the Max performance over the NG is a bitter pill to swallow for Airbus since the old NG outperformed the old A320 to start with in the first place. When customers begin to populate airspace with the best airplane and reorders begin on this new line of aircraft a clearer picture will emerge in competitive airline travel markets.

Boeing needs to up productivity in order to take on more orders. Airlines can't order equipment 8 years in advance compensating Boeing for this dilemma. Airbus is rapidly approaching a backlog saturation as is Boeing experiencing. Boeing needs to build more facility infrastructure in the next five years at both Charleston and Puget Sound or expand into Southern California where they have a footprint. The decisions coming in 2014 will tip Boeing's hand on what it will do if they gain another 1,000 units ordered over its deliveries or the sales pace.  Boeing's world outlook on demand is starting to materialize. They are late in the effort to keep up with demand. However since they addressed this concern back in 2011. I would look for plant and facility announcement to occur in 2014 after the 777X is launched. Puget Sound and Charleston will not be able to satisfy customers and the order book, if this trend continues, one more year of having a desperate orders/sales ratio continuously running into the plus, and without correcting the Ratio with adding further production facilities is a great concern. Lead your own research off with Boeing's public record. The devil is in the details. Thank you Randy Tinseth for the information on this link.

We forecast a long-term demand for 35,280 new airplanes, valued at $4.8 trillion. We project that 14,350 of these new airplanes (41 percent of the total new deliveries) will replace older, less efficient airplanes, reducing the cost of air travel and decreasing carbon emissions. The remaining 20,930 airplanes will be for fleet growth, stimulating expansion in emerging markets and innovative airline business models. Approximately 24,670 airplanes (70 percent of new deliveries) will be single-aisle airplanes, reflecting growth in emerging markets such as China, and the continued expansion of low-cost carriers throughout the world. Widebody share will also increase, from 23 percent of today's fleet to 24 percent in 2032. The 8,590 new widebody airplanes will allow airlines to continue expansion into more international markets.

The Pie In Sky Projection Assures Plant capacity Will Change

No Rush To Judgment With 787 Fire Cause

Several Days back I report a simple condition in the complex 787 aircraft. It is now confirmed, please note a prior observation from my 7-21-2013 Blog comment with this news report today.

Liftndrag Observation on 7-21-2013:

"The high humidity, is a contributing  factor, a crimped wire another event both of which in tandem would make for an awkward condition for electrical shorting. Could a crimped wire caught in a battery compartment cover, that is supposed to be sealed from water or humidity, cause the unsealed area to have an electrical short in the containment area? I don't know, just speculating over press information. A bad practice of mine and a plausible indulgence when blogging. However, it sounds like a human error on one of 68 flying copies of a much beleaguered aircraft with multiple hiccups.

News article on 7-24-2013: Link is below this reference @mynorthwestnews


"Crossed or crushed wires are now the leading cause of that fire in an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 two weeks ago.

It's looking like human error, and not a design flaw, is being considered as the reason why the Emergency Locator Transmitter caught fire and burned the 787 as it sat at the terminal at Heathrow Airport in London.

The Seattle Times reports the investigation has found that the wires connecting the battery to the transmitter were trapped and pinched by the cover by an improper installation, and that likely caused a short-circuit that sparked the fire."


It has now become the likely cause of the fire. If confirmed it will open up a massive litigation problem for both Honeywell and Boeing. Who will end up buying Ethiopian Airways a new aircraft, a two hundred million US dollar invoice is awaiting these two giants. Ethiopian will add on, out of service cost with  lost revenue during its revenue generating and opportunity loss on the books.  Boeing would better cough up an extra 787 copy, sooner rather than later by moving a production copy to the head of the line for Ethiopian in the next six months. I hope this becomes the case.

Moving on to the beautiful "Queen of Sheba" left behind burned and spurned at LHR, Boeing needs to get an annual lease going with LHR to recover its airplane. An audit of the damage and feasibility of returning the aircraft to the air would better fit Boeing's needs as a test mule than trying to pawn it off on some low budget airline wanting some 787 fame. Even though the aircraft is probably recoverable, it could not be sold and offset the cost of doing repairs unless they want this science fair project of proving a point of how "easy" it is to refurbish the CFRP hull, in a catastrophic fire damage to its structure. Personally, I would like them to demonstrate to the world how recoverable or how a system is developed for the barrel design it could be restored. Airbus claims with its panel concept on the A350 this would be an efficient procedure to unlock panel sections and replace per damaged area. That is a strong argument to saving an aircraft. However if Boeing could demonstrate at a remote location such as LHR Airport how they could manage a repair and fly it home and then reassign it as a development aircraft would best serve Boeing on multiple fronts. Using this aircraft for proving Boeing repair procedures.

Once again without being the resident CRFP expert I have to assume a procedure:

Take exacting measurements of the damaged area and form a partial barrel insert, not a full barrel section but a span of the the top half of the barrel to be spliced into the hull. This would include support ribbing interlacing with the remaining barrel as a significant repair. All this would be designed with computer engineering, making a specifically made tendril matching the new barrel insert. Therefore, any major patch is an engineered section to be inserted as on the Ethiopian hull, where the damage has been removed to a strong point.  The new repair piece would be inserted and braced stronger than the original hull. The aircraft would fly slightly heavier, but suitable for testing even to the extent of testing for military applications on the 787. Boeing needs to recover this loss using this aircraft internal to its goals in the development area, rather then just writing it off as a loss.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Seattle PI, ELT Fire Primer

The Primer Article : Ethiopian 787 Fire Sparks Question: Is Lithium Ion Ready to Fly?

My own introduction:  Good thoughts flow from this piece by Christine Negroni. It lays out a big picture of what Boeing and the investigators are grappling with and constructs those possibilities not included in press releases or news articles. I humbly recommend reading the complete feature as it may add to your own archival links of Boeing's journey to the flight of the 787.

Christine Negroni
" Is it a coincidence that right after Boeing announced it had solved its first flammable battery problem it now may have another?  It is worth considering if the Dreamliner's unique features have a role to play. Today Reuters reportedthat humidity and wiring are getting the attention of investigators in the U.K.. But I'm also pretty darn sure that the nature of the carbon fiber fuselage may also be under scrutiny."

"Advanced batteries with very different chemistries seem to have a marked propensity to misbehave when installed in Boeing 787 Dreamliners," Larsen told me when I called to get his take on the latest installment in the ongoing Dreamliner saga. Larsen was one of many people I interviewed while working on previous stories about the two fire events on Japanese-operated planes. I paid close attention. I was pretty sure I understood that the cobalt oxide flavored battery selected by Boeing for back up power on the Dreamliner was the bad-boy, super-scary formulation, picked because it was fast charging and packed a punch. But more volatile than iron phosphate and the ELT's manganese oxide."

To some extent my understanding was correct. But darned if Larsen didn't tell me that the ELT's non-rechargeable batteries can also fail with catastrophic consequences. The only difference is that non rechargeable batteries are less likely to do so than the rechargable carbon oxide lithium ion ones that caused the Dreamliner's problems this past winter.
Stay with me here while I explain that the issue with all of these batteries is that during their lifetime they develop teensy-weensy internal structures called dendrites. That's a bad thing because if they get to close to each other the dendrites will arc. They will release a super hot 4,000 to 6,000 degree electrical spark. By way of comparison, the surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees.
Okay so the blasted thing is hot, get it? That means the heat is sufficient to breaks down the chemical components in the battery and feed on this as fuel along with and anything else in its way all at a temperature that can melt titanium and - apparently ignite a carbon fiber composite airplane fuselage.
This is a shocking scenario to imagine on an airplane in flight. Lest you jump to the conclusion - as I did at first - that Larsen is some too-far-out-there voice of doom, take another look at the damage on the battery in the Japan Airlines Dreamliner that went bad in Boston."

Author Archives: Christine Negroni

About Christine Negroni

My life as an aviation writer began with the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. I covered it for CNN and my book about it, Deadly Departure was published in 2000. This piqued my interest in all kinds of flying and the mix of human, mechanical, technological and scientific factors that make it possible. Safety in particular intrigued me so I became an investigator for a New York aviation law firm. I am not a pilot or an engineer. My outsider status prompted the FAA to include me on a committee creating new rules for aging airplane wiring. I brought a non-technical perspective to the task. So some years have passed and I’ve “kicked the tin” on a few airplanes as the expression goes. Now write about aviation for The New York Times and I lecture at colleges and conferences. I often appear on those disaster documentaries that run on Discovery or History or the Learning Channel. I no longer claim to be an outsider. Aviation has its warts. But no other industry has learned and incorporated so much knowledge about human behavior into its operations. My unique vantage point these past 15 years gives me just the right altitude from which to write Flying Lessons.