Boeing's 100 Year Heritage of Building Something Worse Than Required
If you've been watching TV at all in the last few months, you've surely seen the "You Just Wait" commercial at this link that looks ahead unrealistically at Boeing's next 100 years. As of the date this was written, it has aired over 1000 times.
It is the second touchy-feely commercial Boeing has out for its centennial celebration. The company turns 100 on July 15th of this year. At the end of the commercial is the shop worn and false "Build Something Better" mantra, and a "100 year anniversary" Boeing logo. It follows another commercial that covered the last 100 years.
In that previous commercial, it states, "We were born 100 years ago...so we say thank you America, for a century of trust..." then the "Build Something Better" slogan shows just before the 100th anniversary Boeing logo.
As anyone who has perused this website to any extent knows, that is quite an arrogant thing for Boeing to put in a commercial that has aired nationally over 1000 times--Thanking America for wrongly trusting Boeing for the last 100 years in which Boeing Management has consistently and massively traded the public's safety for a few more bottom line dollars. It is no less outrageous than a pickpocket thanking you just after they stole your wallet for the 100th time.
As noted, the gist of the latest commercial is looking forward to the things Boeing might do in the next 100 years.
"In less than a century, Boeing took the world from seaplanes to space planes. Across the universe and beyond, and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait."
In the commercial, when "from seaplanes to space planes" is narrated, a line of computer generated aerospace vehicles flies by: A Boeing Model 1 seaplane (truly the first Boeing built airplane), a Douglas DC-3 prop airliner, a 747 airliner, and a Space Shuttle.
The Model 1 was truly a good beginning for the company. Of the two built, neither crashed, and they were scrapped and burned nine years after they were built at the ends of their useful lives. The Douglas DC-3 wouldn't really be considered a Boeing airplane by any legacy Boeing employee. It can only be considered "Boeing" because of the disastrous merger with McDonnell Douglas. And 960 of them have crashed (246 during cargo flights). More people have died in DC-3 crashes (14,060), than the 10,629 planes that were delivered. More passenger DC-3s have crashed (618) than the 455 that were produced, presumably due to military versions being converted to commercial use. It is therefore troubling that Boeing would tout this aircraft in their 100th anniversary commercial as the best of the best they have produced.
Then comes the iconic 747. Similarly, though, its record is not that great. Fifty 747s have crashed, killing 2,861 people. Almost twice as many people have died in 747 crashes than the number of 747s delivered. Many of those deaths were Boeing's fault due to rollerstamping fraud negating their safety that was put in place by corrupt Boeing Management over a significant portion of Boeing's 100 year history.
And then comes the Space Shuttle. Like the DC-3, it wasn't really a "Boeing" legacy accomplishment. It also has a dismal safety record, with two heart wrenching disasters, the Challenger disaster and the Columbia disaster, in which all 14 astronauts on the two Space Shuttles died. 2 of 134 Shuttle missions launched disintegrated. 14 of the 355 astronauts who rode on the Shuttle died. All in all, not a bad record considering the cutting edge technology involved, and that half of the astronaut deaths were caused by the White House pressuring NASA to launch before the Shuttle's rocket boosters had warmed up to a minimum safe level.
So, Boeing's 100th anniversary commercial doesn't really paint a very good picture of "Boeing's" products for the noted reasons. Nor could it, primarily because of Boeing's habitually corrupt management's reliance on the subversion of its FAA required quality system over most of the last 100 years to reach quarterly results and daily stock price goals.
The exact date that Boeing's Management in effect sold their soul to the devil by engaging in such corruption is open to some conjecture due to the lack of data that far back. It was never a subject that was openly spoken about outside Boeing until I came along.
Although Boeing QA Management directed rollerstamping fraud has likely always been at Boeing since the first real production lines were first set up there in 1927, surely, a key contributor to its rise to prominence at Boeing was the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act. Following that, the next kicker that put rollerstamping into high gear at Boeing was in 1996 when McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing's money, injecting corrupt McDonnell Douglas Management into Boeing's highest management ranks. The 1997 production debacle at Boeing was also key, and both the merger and the production line debacle combined to turn Boeing's newly corrupted management to only focus on cost and schedule performance, to the detriment of quality and safety requirements.
I had witnessed the rollerstamping ethic at Boeing first hand, beginning in 1993. Three years later, beginning in 1996, I witnessed it throughout Boeing Quality Assurance Management. So, the events in 1996/1997 did not result in the rollerstamping--they only exacerbated it. Boeing was before that time a largely schedule driven company. Airplanes were pushed out of Boeing factories on time, whether or not they were complete. That continues to this day.
However, in 1996/1997 the driver of cost (and related efficiency) came into play much more. In the early 1980's, for about five years, Boeing had actually toyed with programs that focused on improving airplane component quality. That effort was officially ended in 1996, when Boeing ceased focusing on quality and began focusing only on cost and efficiency.
Throughout this process, Boeing maintained its historically strict allegiance to schedule performance.
Also, in the 1996/1997 time frame, Boeing began focusing on Lean Manufacturing instead of Quality. Lean at Boeing promised reduced costs and more efficient production flow. During this "Lean journey," Boeing intentionally sacrificed the quality assurance of its production processes in order to achieve optimum reduced costs and production flow.
The time for inspectors to inspect the airplane build and document the defects found was the first thing sacrificed on the altar of Lean. Boeing Management copied this "Lean" safety critical "Boeing Airplane Production System" directly from the "pull it over when it breaks down" "Toyota Automobile Production System" which was openly dismissive of the importance of effective and independent inspections of Toyota cars on the production line. Toyota didn't think any such inspections were "value added" enough to slow the production line down one iota to accommodate them. Corrupt Boeing Management, in addition to copying benign parts of Toyota's Lean Production System, also took the aversion to quality assurance inspection of its products and love of "I Love Lucy-like" no time for QA inspection moving production lines to heart.
While rollerstamping was widespread throughout Boeing before Lean as noted, after Lean it became a mandatory means to meet artificially shortened and "efficient" schedules. Inspectors actually doing their job to any real extent then became a threat to corrupt Boeing Management's Lean production cost and shortened production flow goals.
Boeing's Propulsion Systems Division (PSD), at which I worked for most of the last nine or so years of my career as an Boeing QA inspector, became one of the first Boeing divisions to implement Lean. And the damage to the quality assurance process there as a result of Lean Manufacturing implementation while intentionally ignoring all quality requirements is documented in detail on this website.
Rollerstamping by inspectors became the only way the resulting "lean and efficient" schedules could be met. Quality managers like my QA Supervisor at PSD then became enforcers of rollerstamping by any means necessary, which woke me up to the fact that if I didn't act to stop it by going to the FAA, no one would.
And I've been focused on ending that Boeing/FAA Management fraud ever since, with a respite until just recently, when proof that Boeing and FAA Management were still involved in ensuring continuance of rollerstamping fraud throughout Boeing became public.
So there you have it. Boeing has nothing to celebrate after 100 years except for the near century of corruption by Boeing and FAA Management in ensuring Boeing never builds something better, but ensures instead that Boeing always builds something much worse than required in order to reach ever loftier and more quality and safety damaging cost and schedule goals.
That is the main "accomplishment" of corrupt Boeing Management over the last century.
Unless their habitual fraud in negating the quality and safety of what they build is ended, the only thing surely coming in the next 100 years of the Boeing enterprise to "wait" for are the inevitable thousands of more deaths of the people that wrongly trust their lives to the safety of Boeing's aerospace vehicles and the related destruction of the company that will result.
Indeed, a much more able company that respects and values the importance of effective and independent quality assurance inspections of its better built and designed airplanes exists in Airbus. Airbus airplanes are even more structurally sound than Boeing airplanes because Airbus won't sacrifice safety to the maximum to save weight like Boeing does. No one should risk their lives on largely uninspected and structurally deficient Boeing airplanes when much safer and actually quality assurance inspected Airbus airplanes are a viable and much superior option. I never do.
Since Boeing's Management is hopelessly corrupt as noted, no better outcome could come to pass on July 15th of this year for the world's flying public than centenarian Boeing being put out of its misery after nearly 100 years of corruption before its noted management's corruption results in thousands of more horrific deaths per their homicidal stock maximizing and quality and safety minimizing plans. Expecting Boeing Management to reform themselves from their habitual subversion of quality assurance over many years to pad the bottom line and their stock options' values and to suddenly do the opposite and begin to build airplanes with the required minimum levels of quality and safety is extremely unrealistic to the point of impossibility.
Boeing's century of corruption is far past too long for the world's passengers and crews to endure. Airbus doesn't similarly endanger the flying public to maximize its bottom line. It's time that Boeing cede the commercial market to Airbus until a new, similarly ethical competitor comes along that deserves a portion of the market. Boeing's near century of corruption in concert with the entire history of corrupt FAA Management in servicing Boeing's every unethical desire has long disqualified it from the market. For the good of the public, Boeing's corruption must end, even if doing so requires the end of the entire company. If enough people opt out of the extra risk to their lives of flying Boeing airplanes, that could come to pass relatively quickly.
Maybe Boeing could instead continue as purely a military contractor. Our brave military personnel sign up for large risks during their service, though this Boeing Management corruption created risk should not be part of that process. The commercial airplane flying public however does not sign up for these illegal Boeing created risks, even though they now do so unknowingly by flying Boeing.