Veteran Boeing manager was transferred to 787 production; based on he saw there, he won't fly in a Dreamliner and begs his family not to

Ironically, they were only allowed to make all those bad decisions because the agency that was supposed to keep them in check kept them on a loose leash because the people who wanted to promote a strong American aviation industry perceived that overregulation posed the biggest threat to their business.


Given the rot we’ve seen over the past several years, it’s only safe to assume there’s even more we’re not seeing. Dire days ahead for this company.


I don’t mean to imply moral equivalence where none exists, but the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350 were designed to exploit similar technologies-- including lithium batteries.

Yes, Airbus went back to NiCads after the 787 was grounded.

but a couple years later Airbus was back to using the lighter lithium design.


Key Takeaway there:

Airbus has said its own lithium-ion architecture is different from that used by Boeing.

…which makes me think it was removed in an abundance of caution, and as the situation was made clear (and that their version wasn’t susceptible to the issue), they were reintroduced.

Which if accurate, IMHO, is precisely what you want to happen, versus knee-jerk “all designs of X are bad” responses.


“Abundance of Caution” can mean that the planes aren’t delivered on time, and can’t meet promised specs. But since the competition is out of action, all is well.

Banjo Aerospace.
Cheap Labor

If you’re trying to suggest that “Made in Mexico” == quality issues, that hasn’t held up for the auto industry - Mexican workers aren’t any less capable than American ones - the issue tends to come down to other forms of cost cutting: QA, Defect oversight, etc etc, which is true regardless of where things are made.


They’re allowed to live because there is no American competition to pick up the slack if Boeing goes under. A collapse of Boeing would mean the US exiting from the commercial jet aircraft industry entirely, which is something the government does not want.

Unfortunately this has helped them grow fat and complacent. Airbus should be eating their lunch, except that they have problems of their own. In time I expect these errors will erode the enthusiasm for Boeing aircraft and run the company down a failure spiral, but there’s so much inertia in the industry that it will take several years before we see it, and by then it may be too late to turn the company around.


Right; but even if they limp along stateside they still shot themselves in the international market by ignoring these safety concerns. The US government may be willing to prop them up but that doesn’t mean other countries will.


That’s why I think they may be on a death spiral already and just not realize it. American carriers except Southwest are more than willing to buy planes from Airbus. If there’s a significant danger that your next Boeing purchase is going to be grounded for months due to a poor safety culture at Boeing then you need to factor that into your decision process.

It’s kind of a shame that Lockheed Martin can’t get back into the game. The L-1011 was generally well regarded if slightly more expensive. Maybe they could make a passenger airliner division out of the engineers that ran screaming from Boeing.


You make a point, singling out the 787 is pointless, I’m just going to assume all aircraft have been built under the worst possible circumstances by deranged sociopaths and act accordingly.

1 Like

I hope Mr. Barnett ends up much better off than Rojer Boisjoly did. More power to (and justice for) all the whistleblowers out there:

1 Like

Not even close. And they know it. Hell, we seem to have accidentally elected Trump. How many more bad decisions do we need?


Thanks for the link to that article, it is an eye-opener on the workings of the Military-Industrial Complex.


Wait till the lawsuits start.

Based on the priorities of the Trump regime, this would seem to be a feature and not a bug.


Im not talking about Mexico, I see first hand the quality of cheap non union labor from the repair stations down there in the good old right to work for nothing states.
Cheap untrained labor .
I work the 787 every day, wouldn’t hesitate flying on it as long as competent trained people maintain it.


There is an inaccuracy in the account of Mr Barnett’s claim about pressure to buy off lost nonconforming parts. By policy, he does not have the authority to do that at Boeing. Engineers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to addressing the use of nonconforming materials on the airplane. QA managers can disagree with the engineer and seek to get engineering to revise their disposition. For him to feel pressure would mean that he had a document in hand with an engineering disposition that substantiates the circumstance and for whatever reason he is not going along. The engineering community owns the technical opinion on the nonconforming material. QA simply authorizes and confirms that the document is accurate and that the process is following prescribed paths. He is inflating his role to sound wrongfully treated. The engineer is taking responsibility for the safety of the disposition when he signs his name to it. Barnett can seek higher authority in the engineering group to override a disposition he disagrees with. If he is rejected in that pursuit, he looks pretty bad to the system. In the end, there are plenty of engineers with more time and expertise than Barnett who can dispute his claims. This account seems pretty narrow and needlessly alarming.

1 Like

The Dreamliner’s looking like the 21st century version of the de Havilland Comet where the entire airline industry ended up refusing to fly it.


Does the outsourcing allow the engineering team to efficiently detect and correct manufacturing defects?

If the wing is made in Japan, and fuselage is made in Italy, there might be problems with assembling the aircraft.