Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Boeing Is Shifting To Over Drive

Boeing is not just stopping at 42 737's a month or 100 777's a year, it is going all-the-way with three new big bodied and one single aisle flea flicker pass to the end zone. Its a busy place for Boeing as both production teams and financial execs are scrambling in a mad dash to seize the opportunity in its counter move on Airbus' aspirations. It may leave the European giant flat footed as Boeing scores a triple play. No longer is Boeing just satiated with sitting on its laurels, or it is not looking back on past exploits since the 707, it is moving forward without regard of Marquis of Queens-bury rules in this latest round of pugilistic airplane making actions.

The 777X is no lie as it will surpass the Airbus' 30 years of investment  found with the A350 family. The 787 is going forward by another leap, as its most advanced systems become cherished by flight-line knights of the wrench. They, (the systems) will tell the ground crew which nut needs tightening and when. The much overplayed reports of 787 miscues, mishaps and mistakes are well, just print fodder for publications. Yes they exist, and are problematic. However, part of any process is to make it perfect after millions on lines of code and more millions of parts are played out each time the 787 flies. What is more important is that Boeing expected developmental issue to arise, and they planned for four and five different ways to keep the 787 safe, intact, and flying. That has worked as planned and expected. The most complex jet in the world performs better than anticipated. As it matures, the jet becomes more outstanding. When the A350 is delivered it will still lack behind what Boeing has done for another thirty years. It is big and it is bigger and it leans on biggest when advertising smuck takes over. The 787, Is it what customers want. Some say yes and some say no. That is the nature of business. But the real question is who is better? Not who is the biggest?

Boeing is once again attempting a mini Jumbo make-over and a single aisle renovation. It is developing a tanker which will compete with the A330 tanker ordered by other nations. The military set Boeing up with an older air frame technology, while Airbus is re configuring its A330 frame in an international tanker competition. However, Boeing is bringing forward a 787 like avionics package, improved engine technology and the latest in a military counter measures. It will be a real work horse and not a dolled up commercial airplane dressed in camo colors. Boeing is stuck with changing its wiring scheme in the event of a missile strike or other strike, so it won't take all the electrical out with one well placed hit. Boeing is going back and rewiring the systems all over the KC-46 tanker where you  would have to cut the KC-46 in half to take it down. Because all wiring systems are independent of each other, it will supply avionics, fly-by-wire system and other critical systems with power unless the KC-46 totally explodes.

I hope that by reading this, one will gain an understanding of Boeing's all-hands-on-deck mentality during the current quiet news cycle in aviation. Its not your dad's Boeing! The Boeing work force doesn't have time to ponder about "what if's", because they are doing the "what ifs" now! On every front there is a Max effort to win the day in the manufacturing business. They don't have the GM attitude of, "if we build it they will buy". The Boeing attitude over-all is, "we are in it to win it". Even though not all is perfect in Boeing Land, as labor always continues plying for its needs, Boeing is more focused than it has been during the last fifty years or since the war years, in the 1940's back when Boeing was focused and much smaller. Now they are gigantic and are regaining that focus from its leadership onward down to the floor. If the execs stay focused on stock holders only, they will lose it all. The stock holders will come if they execute well with its amassed technology, work-force and vision. These three components insure the success of Boeing. The investors will come when they have those ingredients. They now have now those ingredients.