Le Chicago Tribune, repris ici par le Dallas news !
Une petite compil des dernières infos, pour un état sur les causes des retards de chez Boeing, normal, à Chicago ils sont à la source !
Bien inspirés par Scott Hamilton, quand même !
En conclusion, ce serait la faute à Stonecipher ... bien si ça peut protéger l'équipe de management actuelle !
-------------- l'article Dallas News / Chicago Tribune ----------
09:28 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Chicago Tribune It was supposed to be a cheap and easy way to steal sales from Airbus' hulking A380 double-decker jet. Boeing Co. would update its decades-old 747 jumbo for the large freighter market, which Airbus was ignoring, with cutting-edge technology borrowed from the 787 Dreamliner: powerful new fuel-efficient engines. But five years later, Boeing is struggling to resolve design and technical issues with the 747-8 program that are partially a byproduct of the Dreamliner's production woes. Like the 787, the jumbo jet is late, badly over budget and almost certainly headed for another costly delay, analysts said. The string of missed deadlines, supply-chain mishaps and design flaws that have plagued the two aircraft have tarnished Chicago-based Boeing's reputation for top-level engineering and called into question its decision to rely on suppliers to design and build portions of the jets. As Boeing works to correct those problems, Wall Street increasingly worries about the drain the two jets are placing on Boeing's cash and engineering resources. Analysts want assurance that Boeing won't see another debacle when it updates two other popular models this decade: its 737 narrow-body jets and long-range 777 twin-aisle planes. "If they don't learn from their mistakes, they're really in trouble," said Paul Nisbet, aerospace analyst and president of JSA Research. The Dreamliner and jumbo jets have progressed significantly since the panicky days of 2008, when Boeing drew engineers from across the company to rescue the 787. The 747-8 replaces the 747-400, which Boeing said was its best-selling model in the 747 lineup. But as the planes undergo rigorous flight testing needed to gain certification from federal authorities, technical issues are still coming to light, especially on the 747-8. Boeing concedes that it's unlikely the process will be completed this fall, as it had predicted. On Aug. 27, Boeing said the 787's first delivery would be delayed until early 2011, as analysts expected, and it also shook up the 747's management team. Program head Mohammad "Mo" Yahyavi was placed on "special assignment," while Pat Shanahan added oversight of the 747 program to his portfolio of responsibilities as vice president and general manager of Boeing's airplane programs. There have been persistent rumblings of problems with the 747, analysts said, even though the freighter version of the plane has achieved milestones during flight testing, such as last month's successful takeoff with a million-pound payload, the heaviest ever for a Boeing jetliner. Boeing spokesman Tim Bader said the company is trying to resolve two problems unearthed during test flights: vibration in the 747's wings and the inboard aileron actuator, which moves the flaps that control rolling and banking. But union leaders say Boeing's engineers are slogging through a host of technical issues ranging from small to potentially troubling, many of which originated with contractors. "There's a lot of dreadful work coming out of the partners the company is working with and also some great work," said Ray Goforth, executive director of the union representing 21,102 Boeing engineers. "But they've really saddled themselves with some partners who are just not capable of doing the job. Unraveling those relationships is going to take time and money." Bader noted that engineering work is outsourced for all of Boeing's programs and said the contract work hadn't contributed disproportionately to the 747's woes. Issues and delays
Boeing has manufactured 11 of the jumbos, which will have to be retrofitted as technical issues are resolved. Fixing the flutter and actuator issues, for example, could cost several hundred million dollars, said Howard Rubel, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., in an Aug. 31 research report. Rubel estimated that the new issues could delay first delivery to Luxembourg-based Cargolux by about six months, to mid-2011. "We've said that due to the discoveries [through flight testing] and cumulative effect of discoveries that there's a high probability of deliveries moving into 2011," Bader responded. Executives badly underestimated the complexity of revamping the 40-year-old jet, which required nearly a complete redesign, sources said. They were further distracted by daunting development problems that left the Dreamliner nearly three years behind schedule, tying up a small army of engineers and leaving the 747-8 freighter short-handed. "I've been warning for years the insidious effect the 787 program was having on the entire company," said aviation consultant Scott Hamilton. "It was sucking up resources from all over." Steering
But some observers say that the problems started earlier, with former Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher's decision to remake the manufacturing giant into a systems integrator modeled after McDonnell Douglas Corp., which Boeing acquired in 1997.
Outsourcing initially slashed development costs for the 787, which boasted all-new technology as well as a new style of manufacturing that left much of the design and construction in the hands of suppliers. But Boeing didn't have adequate oversight in place, executives later admitted. Engineers said the 787 and 747 problems were slow to be addressed by senior officials who often didn't want to hear bad news.
"The management culture changed," said Tom McCarty, a Boeing engineer and president of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, a union representing Boeing's technical workers. "The feeling is senior management became less approachable. They had distanced themselves more and more. Of course, the corporate relocation to Chicago emphasized that." Julie Johnsson, Chicago Tribune