Oversight, labor hampered airliner
American workers are saying “We told you so.” I am an airline pilot and also have experience in small contract business. In the Dreamliner project, Boeing made the foolish attempt to cheaply streamline the production of a new-age complex project and did so with massive voids in structure, control and oversight.
The principals of effectiveness in any multi-partner production are continuity and communication. This was nothing short of Boeing’s attempting to build a new-age airliner using rental garages, low-wage mechanics and a handful of truly experienced engineers and production managers.
This project’s objective was cost control and new technology. Having both was not practical. Aerospace technology costs money — a lot of money. It requires years of research, production planning and stringent testing. Quality control requires unobstructed transparency and limited off-site/outsourced development.
Boeing should’ve known better. Too many excuses are being made to preserve Boeing’s once proud “American legacy” instead of holding accountable the executive decisions to build a budget-biased product with limited oversight and cheap outsourced labor. This is the result.
This project and its technology long term will be better understood and the operational complications refitted. But this program should have been under stricter control, research and in-house managed operations. This project is an embarrassment for a resource-rich company such as Boeing.