Sunday, March 9, 2014

Boeing's Horrible Week, The 777 200 ER, 787/GE and Wing Cracks

The temptation remains on edge, as each explicit aircraft happening  over Boeing's most advanced aircraft and its customers suffer a blight of events. First the 777 200ER disappears off the flight route with the last communication abruptly ending in mystery over the South China Sea.  The speculations rises and the facts are slowly coming forward, sort of!  Pieces and oil are found in an area right  near the last interrupted communication.

WRAPUP 10-Missing Malaysian jet may have disintegrated in mid-air - source

Bad headline #1 this last week.

To make attention getting news really aweful there is the GE engine on the 787 shut down in the area of Hawaii, of which it safely landed for repairs, study and a solution. A new GE engine goes to Hawaii sequel is now starring in "787 Production in the "Islands".

Bad Headline #2:

If that isn't a monkey on ones, back Boeing just was tapped on the shoulder during an FAA audit. Presumably the FAA was there on a tip to audit processes in assembling the 787. What they found were fastener insets that cracked with the Carbon Fiber wing. The Japan wing maker changed processes that overlooked extensive application testing and the next 42 production aircraft are now under scrutiny and subject to cracking in the affected areas of up to a half inch for each occurrence. Boeing is taken a back and regroups on the problem with a face saving Harrumph to the press. Its a doable fix and will not affect our 2014 production forecast.

Boeing: 43 Dreamliners need inspection for wing cracks

Bad Headline #3:
The horrible week of Boeing is at last over where it can embark on a new crises. I greatly feel for the people on-baord the fateful unaccounted for flight. The early evidence indicates an instantaneous catastrophic hull loss, suggesting foul play over pilot error or manufacturing defect. 

The second case is of the engine shut down en route, The failure falls within planned for events. The aircraft landed safety in Hawaii as ETOPS would predict and is planned for in a crises situation. This isn't the first time an engine has failed, but since it is a new engine type and new aircraft type it is an important  and noteworthy event. I hope both Japan Airline and Boeing can derive a mishap cure with GE's guidance. Boeing has had a boatload of problems with its far more complex 787 aircraft. Since safety was built-in, every step of the way, it has brought everyone home so far to date. The 787 is rapidly becoming safer as each progression is installed in its over-all performance regimen. It is meeting all safety bench marks as each incident plays out. I hope this track record continues. If it does, then the 787 becomes truly more remarkable than imagined. 

The cracks that have developed as a result of new manufacturing applications are easily re mediated and fixed. It is not another problem in a long succession of glitches, it is a failure of trail and error attempts on smoothing the plastic building process. Boeing should have more over-sight on its new wing or parts building suppliers when changes are made on new parts shipped. It should have gone under an engineering review by Boeing when messing with the wings. Bad week for everyone home and abroad, This week should be far bettter over-all.