Boeing, Paying The Price Of Outsourcing America
It seems that Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner will never get off the ground. It sits at 2 years behind schedule and counting. I’m sure it WAS cheaper in the beginning for Boeing to outsource the parts, but it seems now that this very cheapness on Boeing’s part has caused it to run a-fowl of flying and leaving production so far behind.
For now the first test flight of the 787 Dreamliner, which can’t get off the ground, is pushed back for the 5th time. One has to wonder if Boeing should have outsourced this plane or left it instead in the hands of Boeing’s’ experienced machine crews. Well, apparently they are getting their just deserts on this one. After the American people rallied around Boeing when the Air Force tried to purchase a fleet from EADS, Boeing turned its back on America and decided it was cheaper to build outside the USA. Tell me Boeing, is it still cheaper???
Boeing started out with the concept of the *Sonic Cruiser* which then morphed into the 7E7 which is now the Boeing 787. The idea was to cut down on the amount of time an airplane had to spend in the sky. This would increase profits for the company as well as make the customers happy. With flight times cut down, people would be spending less time in the air. It was a solid idea, till they outsourced it all. And while Boeing defends itself for outsourcing, maybe this will teach them a lesson? How much interest can a plane drum up if it never gets off the ground?
Now, we know that China has a Buy China clause in all their agreements, well, in order to fill the orders the Chinese gave Boeing, they had to outsource from these united States. It seems to be costing Boeing dearly. American companies are such wimps when it comes to the global markets, bowing and scraping to other nations. All these companies should have stood firm and stood for the American Worker! We now see the cost of working in a global market where we don’t control the outcomes of anything.
On April 26, 2004 Boeing selected All Nippon Airways, (AHA), to be its launch customer. A Japanese customer, not American, put in an order for 50 aircraft, the largest in Boeing’s history and worth about $6 Billion dollars to Boeing. The launch date and delivery were originally scheduled for early 2008. Boeing’s customer list includes New Zealand (ANZ), First Choice Airways of the United Kingdom, Blue Panorama of Italy, U.S.A. Primaris Airlines, Japan Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, and China Aviation Supplies Import & Export Corporation.
According to AviationExplorer.com, the orders for this plane are quite extensive:
China 60, Japan 50, (30 now and 20 later), New Zealand 2 with options on 16 more, First Choice Airways 20 with options for 15 more, Continental 10, and Vietnam 8. They were supposed to be delivered beginning 2008 and China was supposed to have theirs before the summer Olympics started. Ouch, that’s got to have hurt not to have had their pretty new planes for the Olympics…
Delivery is behind schedule obviously. For the 5th time Boeing has rescheduled the trial flight of this aircraft meaning that it isn’t ready to fly yet. Yet Boeing maintains that its decision to outsource certain aspects of this plane was a sound one. OK, so how sound is it when 2 years later you still don’t have a plane that flies? I’m just asking.
CNN’s Lou Dobbs did a piece on the Dreamliner last night. Here’s what he had to say:
A new delay for Boeing’s troubled 787 Dreamliner. The first test flight to push back now for a fifth time delayed again. The plane is already two years behind schedule. Major parts are built overseas. That is, outsourced, and then shipped back to the United States for final assembly. The outsourcing of that production is the reason for much of the delay. Kitty Pilgrim has our report.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The 787 Dreamliner is a production nightmare. How about this for a flight delay? Two years behind schedule. The company, again, put off its first flight test. Boeing said as part of the normal stress test, they need more structural reinforcement on the body of the plane. Industry analysts are very skeptical.
RICHARD ABOULAFIA, AVIATION ANALYST: The bigger question is what happens next because if they’re finding issues like this at this stage of the pre-flight test program, then who knows what they’re going to find after the plane flies.
PILGRIM: The production of the plane has been outsourced to a variable United Nations of countries and that’s where the problems began. As far back as 2007, pieces from around the world came in incomplete. The wings and forward fuselage of the plane is from Japan, center fuselage from Italy and South Carolina, the nose from Kansas, wing tips are Korean, the rudder, Chinese, the doors from Canada, Sweden, and France, lighting from Germany.
Today, Boeing executives admit an international team will have to fix the new problem because the wing is from Mitsubishi. The side of the body’s center section is from Fuji. But the overall design from Boeing.
SCOTT FANCHER, GEN. MGR., BOEING 787 PROGRAM: Is it concerning to us? No, not particularly. I mean the timing is certainly unfortunate, but we’ve seen nothing about what led us to the discovery that would lead us to broader concerns.
PILGRIM: The head of the union says his members believe it’s the airplane of the future and they want it to succeed.
TOM WROBLEWSKI, INTL. MACHINISTS UNION: It’s good that we found — that the company has found this problem now instead of once the airplane’s in the air, so the process is working.
PILGRIM: But it’s a big question why Boeing doesn’t seem to be able to keep the schedule. At the Paris Air Show last month, an executive said, technical problems are all largely behind us.
PILGRIM: By the end of the Boeing news conference/phone conference, there was still no clear delivery date, no exact estimate on when the new design will be worked out by the international team and the company actually defended the outsource production saying they will be able to work around the clock fixing the new problem because the companies are based in different countries. Lou?
DOBBS: So they’re taking advantage of different time zones…
DOBBS: … even though they apparently mismanaged those production facilities in all those time zones?
PILGRIM: Well it certainly doesn’t seem to be pulling together very well.
DOBBS: Well at least they have the orbit of the earth to benefit them. Thank you very much — Kitty Pilgrim.
I’d have to agree with Tom Worblewski. We would NOT want the deficiencies of the plane to be discovered when it is in the air. That could be deadly to the pilot and crew. Definitely a good thing that it was discovered early, or late, depending on your point of view.
I guess, to be fair, we can only blame ourselves as Americans for allowing this to happen. We’ve been told for so long that manufacturing is a dirty job, a job meant for *others*, but just who those others are has turned out to be other countries. Americans have lost the ability to manufacture anything here and if we are to save this country, we have got to return to our roots. Manufacturing IN THIS country. It will not be corporations that save us, but ourselves. Corporations will do what is good for them. It is up to us to restore America. Having sucked up that *manufacturing is for others* lies, we now find ourselves out of work and desperate. Americans used to build, now we sit in offices and think we should be there.
But Americans are smart. A perfect example of ingenuity are these two guys:
Two Massachusetts men journey west in van that runs on fat and cooking oil
Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 9, 0
These guys just decided to try something. And then they made it work. The rest of us are just as capable. If we continue to look to Corporations for help in getting on our feet we will be sorely disappointed. It is up to We the People to get American back on track. Obama can’t do it, he can only socialize everything and that is NOT going to help America!
Or how about this company Resilient Technologies:
Resilient Technologies, a Wisconsin based company, has created a tire that can’t go flat.
Instead of using a pressurized air cavity, the tire design relies on a geometric pattern of six-sided cells that are arranged in a matrix like a honeycomb.
By far, America’s greatest inventor though was Albert Einstein. Although he was German born, he spent most of his life in America. Has the dumbing down of America led to killing off the American inventor? We will have to wait and see. But check out these kids who are already inventing new gadgets in America! Click HERE: Just scroll down the page to see a list of winners. Kids like Brandon and Spencer Whale, 10 and 7 years old, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose Inventions: A “PaceMate” device for better transmission of EKG over phone lines, and an IV carrying device for kids’ wagons. Amazing huh?
Now, according to the Seatle Times:
In late May, Boeing engineers found a structural defect while conducting stress tests on the plane, the first to be built primarily out of carbon-fiber plastic composite.
After several weeks of analysis — and after the Paris Air Show gatherings of industry chieftains wound down — the company concluded late last week that, in the words of Pat Shanahan, head of airplane programs, “a productive flight-test program could not take place without structural reinforcement in limited areas.”
Wikipedia says the carbon-fiber plastic composite is very light, strong and expensive. It is a fiber reinforced polymer which is similar to fiberglass. You can read more about this on the link just above. More and more aerospace applications are being found for this product. But in Boeing’s case they need to strengthen this part of the project before they can test fly the plane.
Obviously investors in this aircraft are not happy about these delays. Boeings stock dropped after the last announcement that the plane wasn’t ready to fly yet. Perhaps if Boeing had kept to American parts and American know how it would have had this plane off the ground by now. We will never know though. What Boeing decides to do from this point on we can only watch and see, however, it is good to see that they are having issues with all these parts from around the globe. Boeing should stick to MADE IN AMERICA if it wants to keep plane delivery on schedule.