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(Popular Science)   Why is Boeing's 787 Dreamliner such a piece of crap? Here comes the (popular) science   (popsci.com) divider line 68
    More: Interesting, Dreamliner, Boeing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Japan Airlines, electric aircraft, power storage, oxides, aviation  
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6890 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Jan 2013 at 10:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-18 10:45:31 AM  
This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.
 
2013-01-18 10:47:50 AM  
Microsoft released Windows 8, Boeing the 787, not a good time for stuff made in the Seattle area.
 
2013-01-18 10:50:38 AM  
Multi-layer multi-tier outsourcing might not be such a good idea after all.
 
2013-01-18 10:52:01 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.


Boeing's engineers are unionized?
 
2013-01-18 10:52:50 AM  

meanmutton: Boeing's engineers are unionized?


Not that I care much if they are or aren't, but yeah, they are and have been for a very long time.
 
2013-01-18 10:53:07 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.


It's the Union-built planes from Washington that are having all the failures... so far.

The planes assembled in right-to-work South Carolina haven't had any problems... yet. Remains to be seen.
 
2013-01-18 10:54:36 AM  

JohnBigBootay: meanmutton: Boeing's engineers are unionized?

Not that I care much if they are or aren't, but yeah, they are and have been for a very long time.


I think they are in The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace - SPEEA
 
2013-01-18 10:58:11 AM  
It sounds like they needed a longer prototype phase to me. They need to do more than just make sure the wings can handle several thousand loop-de-loops. The electrical system needs to be proven to work all the time, every time in all conditions.
 
2013-01-18 11:02:13 AM  
I guess Boeing is taking a page from PC game companies by letting their customers do the testing.
 
2013-01-18 11:03:08 AM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.

It's the Union-built planes from Washington that are having all the failures... so far.

The planes assembled in right-to-work South Carolina haven't had any problems... yet. Remains to be seen.


That's not true. The entire plane was built on a premise -that the permanent employees were replaceable and that the dreamliner could be assembled piecemeal by the lowest bidder.

There is not one Dreamliner which is entirely built by a "union".
 
2013-01-18 11:03:27 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-18 11:03:45 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.


Electrical engineers are unionized?
Who knew?

So...are you saying

A) that trying to 'bust the union' caused electrical engineers to make a faulty design to be used in a passenger airline as a way of getting back at the company?

OR

B) that the company MADE the engineers use a faulty design in a passenger airline and none of the unionized engineers went public with this information?

OR

C) are you just running your mouth - so to speak?
 
2013-01-18 11:08:29 AM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.

It's the Union-built planes from Washington that are having all the failures... so far.

The planes assembled in right-to-work South Carolina haven't had any problems... yet. Remains to be seen.


Mostly due to the SC being newer, its planes haven't had as much time in the air. That said, the DreamLiner's parts were contracted out to numerous companies throughout the world. The WA and SC plants are just brain dead assembly, knowledge at them really don't factor in much.
 
2013-01-18 11:11:15 AM  
i.imgur.com

What the pilot of a Dreamliner might look like.
 
2013-01-18 11:12:53 AM  

douchebag/hater: Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.

Electrical engineers are unionized?
Who knew?

So...are you saying

A) that trying to 'bust the union' caused electrical engineers to make a faulty design to be used in a passenger airline as a way of getting back at the company?

OR

B) that the company MADE the engineers use a faulty design in a passenger airline and none of the unionized engineers went public with this information?

OR

C) are you just running your mouth - so to speak?


I'm saying that the managers in charge forced the design team to build the dreamliner in a manner which had no precedent. The motivation for building the Dreamliner piecemeal was so they could undermine the unions.

Although I've read tons of articles, case studies and all sorts of other analysis before and after the Dreamliner was built -it was obvious that it was overambitious from a "knowledge base" perspective.

But hey, why blame management when you can lie about culpability and shoot your own mouth off. -Asshat.
 
2013-01-18 11:14:32 AM  

MindStalker: The WA and SC plants are just brain dead assembly, knowledge at them really don't factor in much.


Yeah, it takes no skill at all to assemble a unique plane.
 
2013-01-18 11:23:00 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.


All of this; when I heard on NPR that some of the parts were outsourced, it all made sense. If the standards of QC are lowered when you outsource, you tend to get parts lower in quality than had they been manufactured here.
 
2013-01-18 11:34:04 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Kraftwerk Orange: Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.

It's the Union-built planes from Washington that are having all the failures... so far.

The planes assembled in right-to-work South Carolina haven't had any problems... yet. Remains to be seen.

That's not true. The entire plane was built on a premise -that the permanent employees were replaceable and that the dreamliner could be assembled piecemeal by the lowest bidder.

There is not one Dreamliner which is entirely built by a "union".


Ok... So change that to the planes assembled in Washington by Union Labor are the ones having problems, while the planes assembled using non-Union labor in South Carolina are fine (for now, that could certainly change).
 
2013-01-18 11:36:21 AM  

theorellior: Multi-layer multi-tier outsourcing might not be such a good idea after all.



Might? Can someone name any example of when outsourcing actually resulted in a better product, other than the product of financial statements?
 
2013-01-18 11:39:01 AM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Ok... So change that to the planes assembled in Washington by Union Labor are the ones having problems, while the planes assembled using non-Union labor in South Carolina are fine (for now, that could certainly change).


You seem to be dim... on the issue

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/15/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20110 21 5

"The airliner is billions of dollars over budget and about three years late. Much of the blame belongs to the company's farming out work to suppliers around the nation and in foreign countries."

RTFA Prior to this Boeing was "insourcing" after a machinist strike they outsourced to get around those pesky little Union workers.

The issue really isn't that hard to grasp -so what's your problem. Are you reality challenged?
 
2013-01-18 11:40:02 AM  

InfrasonicTom: theorellior: Multi-layer multi-tier outsourcing might not be such a good idea after all.


Might? Can someone name any example of when outsourcing actually resulted in a better product, other than the product of financial statements?


Your product is your financial statement these days!
 
2013-01-18 11:43:24 AM  
Boeing has a long history of treating engineers like crap and then having to spend tons extra dealing with the consequences. Also not really getting how to engineer things since they basically figure you can tell engineers how to do things instead of having the engineers run things.
 
2013-01-18 11:53:22 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Kraftwerk Orange: Ok... So change that to the planes assembled in Washington by Union Labor are the ones having problems, while the planes assembled using non-Union labor in South Carolina are fine (for now, that could certainly change).

You seem to be dim... on the issue

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/15/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20110 21 5

"The airliner is billions of dollars over budget and about three years late. Much of the blame belongs to the company's farming out work to suppliers around the nation and in foreign countries."

RTFA Prior to this Boeing was "insourcing" after a machinist strike they outsourced to get around those pesky little Union workers.

The issue really isn't that hard to grasp -so what's your problem. Are you reality challenged?


So, workers in the US, who are all very much aware that their jobs could be outsourced at any time, get this work from Boeing and promptly go on strike? Sounds like they deserved to have their jobs shipped overseas.
 
2013-01-18 12:00:59 PM  
Well, I coulda told you not to buy the first model year.
 
2013-01-18 12:09:26 PM  

douchebag/hater: Electrical engineers are unionized?
Who knew?


Actually, yeah - they are. Their union headquarters is across the street from my office. Link

myeverettnews.com
 
2013-01-18 12:15:33 PM  

Likwit: So, workers in the US, who are all very much aware that their jobs could be outsourced at any time, get this work from Boeing and promptly go on strike? Sounds like they deserved to have their jobs shipped overseas.


Workers represent a knowledge base and are not replaceable cogs in some corporate machine. In a firm, if there is a feeling that someone "deserves" something then that feeling is irrational should not be the basis of a business decision. Of course, Boeing executives "feel" like they should be compensated over 18 million a year for driving the company into the ground -but obviously that is an example of an irrational business decision.

Something like the Dreamliner was suitably complex enough to require something that my boss calls "ownership". Ownership doesn't refer to owning a company or a job -so much as taking responsibility for and overseeing an issue or a process -guaranteeing the results. When Boeing executives outsource a part or process they are in fact taking that "ownership" away from their union workers and putting on themselves. Of course, they failed to do their jobs.

Outsourcing only works if there is constant scrutiny of the delivered goods. This has been demonstrated over and over again. I imagine the people who are really in love with it -are either very good at it or not very familiar with it... Boeing in this case had no prior experience with outsourcing so they fall into the latter group.
 
2013-01-18 12:24:22 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: "The airliner is billions of dollars over budget and about three years late. Much of the blame belongs to the company's farming out work to suppliers around the nation and in foreign countries."

RTFA Prior to this Boeing was "insourcing" after a machinist strike they outsourced to get around those pesky little Union workers.

The issue really isn't that hard to grasp -so what's your problem. Are you reality challenged?


No - much of the blame is simply bad management.  Its a safe bet that the Dreamliner would of been billions of dollars over budget and three years late if they built every single component in Seattle.

/see Airbus
 
2013-01-18 12:39:33 PM  
cnettv.cnet.com

Why? Let's start with 'the father of the 787.'
 
2013-01-18 12:53:48 PM  

gingerjet: would of been ... if


So your entire counterargument is based on a Twighlightzone episode?
 
2013-01-18 01:01:02 PM  

gingerjet: Because People in power are Stupid: "The airliner is billions of dollars over budget and about three years late. Much of the blame belongs to the company's farming out work to suppliers around the nation and in foreign countries."

RTFA Prior to this Boeing was "insourcing" after a machinist strike they outsourced to get around those pesky little Union workers.

The issue really isn't that hard to grasp -so what's your problem. Are you reality challenged?

No - much of the blame is simply bad management.  Its a safe bet that the Dreamliner would of been billions of dollars over budget and three years late if they built every single component in Seattle.

/see Airbus


Not if there were performance bounses in the contract to buy it. IOW: Make the jets before X date, you get your money. The later the date, the less money you get.
 
2013-01-18 01:09:11 PM  

Rwa2play: Make the jets before X date, you get your money. The later the date, the less money you get.


You need some quality inspection in there otherwise every jet would be "built on a Friday at 4:55 pm".

Project ownership -accept no substitutes.
 
2013-01-18 01:30:20 PM  
Graphic representation of 787 fiasco:

amandawaltz.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-01-18 01:40:34 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Microsoft released Windows 8, Boeing the 787, not a good time for stuff made in the Seattle area.


Or for products with 8 in the name.
 
2013-01-18 02:07:20 PM  
The Dreamliner is actually several years behind schedule on many of its deliveries; you'd think in that time someone would make sure the thing didn't catch on fire

What a farking idiot.
 
2013-01-18 02:19:29 PM  

JohnBigBootay: meanmutton: Boeing's engineers are unionized?

Not that I care much if they are or aren't, but yeah, they are and have been for a very long time.


The same ones on strike currently for moar money. Way to leverage yourself.
 
2013-01-18 02:31:59 PM  
If they wanted electrical fires and fuel leaks, they could have put wings on a Jaguar XJS and called it a day.
 
2013-01-18 02:45:32 PM  
Why are Boeing 787 such crap?

Because they were made in the USA, same as American cars.

Quality of "Made in USA" now equivalent to "Made in Ghana". No, Ghana is not one of the United states or a city in a state ( though it might be ), its a country in Africa.
 
2013-01-18 02:47:37 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Something like the Dreamliner was suitably complex enough to require something that my boss calls "ownership". Ownership doesn't refer to owning a company or a job -so much as taking responsibility for and overseeing an issue or a process -guaranteeing the results. When Boeing executives outsource a part or process they are in fact taking that "ownership" away from their union workers and putting on themselves. Of course, they failed to do their jobs.


thumbs.dreamstime.com
thumbs.dreamstime.com
thumbs.dreamstime.com

Beers repeating
 
2013-01-18 02:49:24 PM  
Much of their production/manufacturing staff is unionized, but I don't think a significant percentage of their engineers are unionized.
 
2013-01-18 02:51:22 PM  
REally? The article focuses on one aspect (batteries) of an extremely complex machine and then over generalizes fire safety for teh lulz. I expected more insight from PopSci. Also, 787 still uses bleed air for de-iciing. Article is incorrect.
 
2013-01-18 02:53:43 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Outsourcing only works if there is constant scrutiny of the delivered goods.


It works well with commodity items as well; things like seat belts on a car. No one is going to select a car based on the seat belt. Find a supplier who makes great seatbelts and buy in bulk. Most likely, the supplier will be making the same seatbelt for 3 or 4 other car companies so they'll already be making it in volume and all the bugs have been worked out. You'll get a better seatbelt at a lower price.

It is moronic to outsource the core design and manufacture work.
 
2013-01-18 03:00:37 PM  

Khellendros: Much of their production/manufacturing staff is unionized, but I don't think a significant percentage of their engineers are unionized.


I'm sure that was supposed to mean something.
 
2013-01-18 03:26:24 PM  

Phil Moskowitz: Khellendros: Much of their production/manufacturing staff is unionized, but I don't think a significant percentage of their engineers are unionized.

I'm sure that was supposed to mean something.


Read the first half of the thread - there are a lot of people who don't understand the difference between manufacturing and engineering, and which part is unionized at Boeing. They play radically different parts in the process of getting a new plane up and running, as well as who's to blame if something catches on fire or cracks.
 
2013-01-18 03:31:53 PM  
I work on the 787, so I am really getting a kick out of Kraftwerk Orang lack of knowledge.
 
2013-01-18 03:45:03 PM  
I was going to bet on oodles of chinese parts
 
2013-01-18 04:00:31 PM  
qgmonkey:I expected more insight from PopSci.

>.o

You did?
 
2013-01-18 04:10:32 PM  

Khellendros: Phil Moskowitz: Khellendros: Much of their production/manufacturing staff is unionized, but I don't think a significant percentage of their engineers are unionized.

I'm sure that was supposed to mean something.

Read the first half of the thread - there are a lot of people who don't understand the difference between manufacturing and engineering, and which part is unionized at Boeing. They play radically different parts in the process of getting a new plane up and running, as well as who's to blame if something catches on fire or cracks.


They're both unionized. The professional and technical bargaining unit is SPEEA, the manufacturing is IAM -- except in SC. As for the overheating batteries, the contract for those batteries was outsourced to GS Yuasa Corp. and the charging management system was outsourced to Thales. GS Yuasa outsourced their procurement of lithium ion cells to multiple third parties. All Boeing did was provide technical specifications for both systems. If it was a charging system problem, it probably would have come up during flight test. At this point it seems more likely to be counterfeit/faulty battery cells from one of Yuasa's suppliers.
 
2013-01-18 04:25:40 PM  
Does anybody know where the batteries come from? Were they "outsourced"?
 
2013-01-18 04:28:13 PM  
Oops, didn't see sabreWulf07's response....

so Boeing is being screwed over by crappy Chinese batteries?
 
2013-01-18 04:32:11 PM  
So, if Boeing reduces the passenger capacity of the plane by ONE, and substitutes a large, heavy, safe, lead acid gel cell pack for their super-duper Li-ion lightweight, compact battery pack, they'll be good to go, right?
 
2013-01-18 04:33:25 PM  
I suddenly feel alone, so very alone....
 
2013-01-18 04:35:33 PM  

mark12A: So, if Boeing reduces the passenger capacity of the plane by ONE, and substitutes a large, heavy, safe, lead acid gel cell pack for their super-duper Li-ion lightweight, compact battery pack, they'll be good to go, right?


I dunno if the energy density really works that favorably. I'd say more like ten passengers, maybe fifteen for that kind of swap. And where would they shoehorn the lead-acid batteries in the airframe? I'm sure every cubic centimeter is accounted for.
 
2013-01-18 04:36:18 PM  

mark12A: I suddenly feel alone, so very alone....


I'm here for you, man.
 
2013-01-18 04:50:51 PM  
I dunno if the energy density really works that favorably. I'd say more like ten passengers, maybe fifteen for that kind of swap. And where would they shoehorn the lead-acid batteries in the airframe? I'm sure every cubic centimeter is accounted for.

I thought I heard a talking head on TV say the battery pack in question was the size of a shoebox. If it's just one on the plane, the sub isn't so bad. If there's a bunch, Boeing's farked.
 
2013-01-18 04:53:59 PM  

MindStalker: Kraftwerk Orange: Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.

It's the Union-built planes from Washington that are having all the failures... so far.

The planes assembled in right-to-work South Carolina haven't had any problems... yet. Remains to be seen.

Mostly due to the SC being newer, its planes haven't had as much time in the air. That said, the DreamLiner's parts were contracted out to numerous companies throughout the world. The WA and SC plants are just brain dead assembly, knowledge at them really don't factor in much.


I just hope they get their shiat together, and soon.

\front of the fuselages are made here (Wichita), but no batteries
\\if the 787 tanks, our local economy will go into the shytter
 
2013-01-18 05:11:34 PM  
In a few weeks we'll all 3D print our personal private planes anyways, so what's the worry? I'll print my own F-23, with full fuel tanks!
 
2013-01-18 09:28:17 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Outsourcing only works if there is constant scrutiny of the delivered goods. This has been demonstrated over and over again. I imagine the people who are really in love with it -are either very good at it or not very familiar with it... Boeing in this case had no prior experience with outsourcing so they fall into the latter group.


What? Major parts of Boeings have been made by outside contractors for decades. Engines, landing gear, avionics, flaps and slats, chunks of fuselage etc.
 
2013-01-18 09:35:41 PM  
onscreencars.com

/oblig. (in this case...)
 
2013-01-18 10:30:04 PM  

mark12A: I dunno if the energy density really works that favorably. I'd say more like ten passengers, maybe fifteen for that kind of swap. And where would they shoehorn the lead-acid batteries in the airframe? I'm sure every cubic centimeter is accounted for.

I thought I heard a talking head on TV say the battery pack in question was the size of a shoebox. If it's just one on the plane, the sub isn't so bad. If there's a bunch, Boeing's farked.


The battery is the size of a shoebox. One of many shoe boxes needed to power the plane.

These batteries have been a huge debate with the FAA for some time due to their propensity to catch fire and sustain said fire. They are also very picky when it comes to charging if you don't regulate them right and do things like catch fire.

//fire.
 
2013-01-18 10:55:48 PM  

SWOne: I work on the 787, so I am really getting a kick out of Kraftwerk Orang lack of knowledge.


I'd be curious to hear you take on all this.

/no snark, genuinely curious
 
2013-01-18 11:48:32 PM  

relaxitsjustme: SWOne: I work on the 787, so I am really getting a kick out of Kraftwerk Orang lack of knowledge.

I'd be curious to hear you take on all this.

/no snark, genuinely curious


My mother worked at a US based plant that made parts for the 787. Boeing forced her company to further outsource to China. It turned out to be a colossal cluster fark as the Chinese company had extreme difficulty producing parks to the specs and blue prints they were sent. Her company had to send over dozens of engineers for almost a year to get things straight. Multiply that by 100 different outsourcers and that in a nutshell is why the 777 was three years behind schedule and full of problems.
 
2013-01-19 01:13:48 AM  

italie: mark12A: I dunno if the energy density really works that favorably. I'd say more like ten passengers, maybe fifteen for that kind of swap. And where would they shoehorn the lead-acid batteries in the airframe? I'm sure every cubic centimeter is accounted for.

I thought I heard a talking head on TV say the battery pack in question was the size of a shoebox. If it's just one on the plane, the sub isn't so bad. If there's a bunch, Boeing's farked.

The battery is the size of a shoebox. One of many shoe boxes needed to power the plane.

These batteries have been a huge debate with the FAA for some time due to their propensity to catch fire and sustain said fire. They are also very picky when it comes to charging if you don't regulate them right and do things like catch fire.

//fire.


That really sounds like the Canyonero of the air.
That's frightening.
 
2013-01-19 12:24:29 PM  

Flint Ironstag: Because People in power are Stupid: Outsourcing only works if there is constant scrutiny of the delivered goods. This has been demonstrated over and over again. I imagine the people who are really in love with it -are either very good at it or not very familiar with it... Boeing in this case had no prior experience with outsourcing so they fall into the latter group.

What? Major parts of Boeings have been made by outside contractors for decades. Engines, landing gear, avionics, flaps and slats, chunks of fuselage etc.


Not at this magnitude
 
2013-01-19 01:45:51 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Because People in power are Stupid: This is what happens when you try to break the unions. You undermine your knowledge base and behold -a (semi) flying turd.

It's the Union-built planes from Washington that are having all the failures... so far.

The planes assembled in right-to-work South Carolina haven't had any problems... yet. Remains to be seen.


SC only assembles the fuselages. I know. I've toured the facility and a friend of mine works there.
 
2013-01-19 06:30:12 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Boeing in this case had no prior experience with outsourcing


So saying Boeing "had no prior experience with outsourcing" is wrong then? They went from 25% to 50% (or whatever), they still had plenty of experience in outsourcing. Not saying it hasn't turned out badly of course.
 
2013-01-20 01:07:34 AM  

Thank You Black Jesus!: I was going to bet on oodles of chinese parts


Me too. Wonder where the batteries were made.
 
2013-01-20 01:58:19 AM  
It's a Ford Pinto with wings.
 
2013-01-20 06:50:24 PM  

Flint Ironstag: Because People in power are Stupid: Boeing in this case had no prior experience with outsourcing

So saying Boeing "had no prior experience with outsourcing" is wrong then? They went from 25% to 50% (or whatever), they still had plenty of experience in outsourcing. Not saying it hasn't turned out badly of course.


I overstated. Yes, it's hyperbole.
 
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