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Old 02-11-2013, 10:07 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by SomeSailor View Post
Then the rest would likely know this is a Thales design.



If you truly had any idea, you'd probably make note of the $23B earnings in the 4th quarter. Boeing has not filed any 1st quarter documents yet. But, with the all the lines pushing a the rates we're predicting, we'll be looking at a $100B revenue year.
OOPS, got me there Some Sailor, I said losses and meant to say writedowns. I was regurgitating the 2011 10K a little too fast. There is considerable investor interest to see what the 2012 10K reveals on 787 related writedowns. Much of which is unfolding as the ANAs of the world contemplate restitution for lost revenues and increased opearating costs.

On a more curious note, no pushback - I promise - a close relative is involved with 737 -800 maintenance working for Boeing's largest domestic customer. Their shop talk involves Li battery system design on the new plane deliveries. Do the 787-800s have LiCo batteries of a different engineering layout and design for ground and in air charging as compared to the 787?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:23 AM   #162
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Don'tcha wish ... just Google Boeing FAA cozy and see what comes up. I'M SHOCKED!!

And lest anyone forget, the FAA didn't ground the 787 first, the Japanese did.
Why Boeing's Special Relationship With US Agencies Has Ended .
Rick

If I read this right EADS/Airbus got $18B or Euro government money and Boeing $3B of US government money. In looking at Boeing past, in process and future contracts there are many Government/Defense aircraft being built In contrast, most of EADS $18B goes direct to Airbus. So Airbus then gets 6X Euro government largesse for their passenger (Sheiks too) built airliners.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:35 AM   #163
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OOPS, got me there Some Sailor, I said losses and meant to say writedowns.
Write-downs are quite common, and when you invest the sort of money it takes to build SEVEN aircraft that will be cut up and destroyed at the end of flight test and multimillion dollar test fixtures designed to accelerate fatigue and materials testing, I would expect that Boeing would take full advantage of any tax leverages a write-down would offer. It's completely legal, and an important part of getting a company the size of Boeing to spend that sort of capital.

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Their shop talk involves Li battery system design on the new plane deliveries. Do the 787-800s have LiCo batteries of a different engineering layout and design for ground and in air charging as compared to the 787?
I wouldn't comment on Boeing design. I'm sure though that anything learned on this design change will be brought forward in the other new airplane programs. Lithium battery technology is an important new technology, not only to airplane manufacturers, but to all of us. I don't think they're going anywhere, but I wouldn't know any specifics that would be appropriate to share.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:17 PM   #164
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grounding the airplanes, a move that the largest operator of the planes felt was necessary despite the immediate cost to them.

The long term cost to the Japs will be ZERO.

No doubt Boeing will cover their "losses", from using 777 on the long routes
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:03 PM   #165
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These few months of down time pale in comparison to the delivery delays ANA and JAL experienced. Much of the big money gets caught up in things like pilot / maintainer training opportunities lost, logistics and spares expenses, and of course fuel savings and cancellations of new routes.

It's a VERY cool airplane and they're very excited to put it to work.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #166
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Tom-- regarding the government loans to EADS/Airbus, one condition of those loans is that they do not have to begin being repaid until the airplane program they were applied to begins to show a profit. So if the A380, for example, never shows a profit the loans from the French, German, etc governments that were made to launch the program will never have to be repaid.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:56 PM   #167
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And ... compound the interest on those deferred loans and you're suddenly looking at a pretty unfair advantage.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:54 AM   #168
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So if the A380, for example, never shows a profit the loans from the French, German, etc governments that were made to launch the program will never have to be repaid.

To never show a profit all they need is an accoutant from the Movie industry
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #169
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One of the major delays in the A380 program-- I believe it was nearly a year if not more--- was caused by Franco-German animosity. The French decided to use Dassault's computer design program CATIA for their A380 design work. (We use CATIA, too, here at Boeing). The Germans, however, refused, saying they were going to stick with their older system called (IIRC) Intergraph.

Try as they might, neither side was able to get the other one to give in and change.

So the Germans did their design work with Intergraph and the French did theirs with CATIA.

The Germans designed a lot of the wiring for the plane and many if not all of the huge and long wiring bundles were manufactured in Germany to the Intergraph specs.

As it was explained to me at the time, Integraph and CATIA were not very compatible. So you know what's coming next, right?

When the planes began final assembly in Touluse, France, the wiring harnesses and bundles from Germany didn't fit the plane because the structural data imported from CATIA did not translate correctly into the Integraph system. So many of these complex and very long wiring bundles and harnesses turned out to be too short and they wouldn't connect up or even fit the structure properly.

The first planes ended up having their wiring "designed", created, and installed on the spot, plane by plane, in Toulouse, a staggeringly time-consuming and expensive process. Meanwhile a good part of the planes wiring system was redesigned to match the actual plane. Which meant that the wiring manufacturing all had to be totally reworked.

An airplane is an ongoing search for solutions. Not just when they're new, but even after they've been in service for years as witness the overwing slide raft door issue I described in John's TMOH thread. Sometimes the problems turn up as a result of the passage of time. Sometimes they turn out to be operator error. Sometimes they turn out to be a less than optimal design in the first place.

The 787's battery issue, as dramatic as its arrival might have been, will probably have less of an impact on the overall schedule of the plane than the penalty of the Franco-German tussle over the A380s design process had on theirs.

But nobody on either side of the Atlantic just wrings their hands, feels sorry for themselves, gives up and goes home. We (the industry) keep working the problems until solutions are found. Sure it can be very expensive. But I once read a great explanation of the whole commercial airplane industy by some really prominent person in it whose name I've forgotten. The title of his article was "Sex and Bananas. Why the Aviation Industry Soldiers On." Don't know if I'm remembering the last phrase correctly but the sex and bananas part is right.

His point about sex is that it's a sexy industry and that's what attracts and keeps people in it. It's a sexy business to be in, flying and making planes. So much so that being in it is actually more important than making money at it. Which is why the airframe manufacturing and airline companies suck as investments. The primary objective, deep down below the surfacy things like stockholders and such, is to be involved in flight. No matter what the cost.

I could list example after example of times I'm aware of when major decisions had to be made about a Boeing plane. The choices were to make the plane better or leave things "good enough" and make more money. And of all the examples I know of--- from the B-17 and B-29 through the 707, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, and 77--- the decision ALWAYS came down on the side of making the plane better even if it meant "losing" a ton of money in the process. Because in the end, it's all about the plane.

CEO's and CFOs have been over-ridden time and time again by our engineers and sometimes, like the case of Tex Johnson and the major problem with the 707, the pilots. The execs fight and bitch and complain and replace program directors but in the end, the plane always wins. It's a sexy industry.

I have no clue how the battery issue will be resolved. We have people in our department directly supporing the work and I hear bits and pieces from them. But regardless of what one thinks the corporate executives' responsibility should be in this case or if some other decision about the plane's battery power should have been made during the design phase, the important thing as far as I'm concerned is that where the rubber meets the road--- the folks who are working 24/7 to define the problem, conceive and design a solution, and eliminate the problem---- are sparing no effort or expense.

Based on how I've seen these folks tackle equally tough or tougher problems on the planes we've introduced since I've been here, it's a cool thing to be associated with because at this hands-on level, these people---- like SomeSailor and his fellow engineers---- are very, very smart and very, very determined to find the solution.

The bananas part of the article was the author's analogy for the way the airlines schedule flights and charge for seats.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:23 PM   #170
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CATIA is the worst bucket of poor ideas the 787 brought through the doors. The entire suite (CATIA, Delmia, Velocity, Enovia) are largely designed as stand-alone products and are very poorly integrated. Hopefully our next new airplane will switch to a more stable design & manufacturing suite. It was an experiment that hasn't paid off well.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #171
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CATIA is the worst bucket of poor ideas the 787 brought through the doors. .
I'm in no position to say if CATIA is good, bad, or indifferent. But we've been using it a long time. The first time I saw it in use was on the aborted 7J7 unducted fan airplane "design" that we did in conjunction with the Japanese.

The first time we used CATIA to design something real without any physical mockup was for a new engine pylon for the 767. This was touted as the proof-of-concept project that paved the way for its use on the 777, which was the first complete airplane we designed without the use of Class I, II, and III physical mockups.

I think--- and correct me if I'm wrong--- that the anciliary programs like Delmia came in with the 787 program. But CATIA itself, although I'm sure the current version is very different from the earlier ones, has been in use here since the late 80s or whenever the 7J7 was active.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:56 PM   #172
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Dassault sold Boeing the idea of the integrated design/manufacture/build suite. I probably should have said CATIA V5 and it's inbred cousin applications. I guess re-phrasing that further would be the poor integration of the Dassault suite of applications with the V5 implementation of CATIA.

It's slick, but a bear to handle change on change.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:51 PM   #173
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Airbus has just announced they are ditching the Li batteries for the new 350 and will go back to NiCads. This was foreshadowed by Airbus statements a month ago after the 787s became grounded. So which plane will get the battery design regulatory thumbs up first, the 787 or the 350?
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:08 AM   #174
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The A350 won't even make first flight until later this summer. Figure a 2 year flight test, qual and cert program.

I'm guessing that the "Thumbs Up" your asking about will be on the Boeing design. We'll be delivering -9's before they get their first delivery of an A350. With or without Lipo batteries aboard.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:49 AM   #175
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News today sez Air Bust does not consider the LI batts ready for prime time , sticking with Ni Cads, for next aircraft.

How long Boeing will hold out ?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:29 AM   #176
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I don't think it's about "holding out" so much as getting the best technology onto the airplane.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #177
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Hopefully the "fix" will not turn out to be another "engineering" solution such as the multiple "O" rings used in the Challenger!!! Covering up a problem with a short term "fix" to get back in the air should not be allowed. It still seems to me, ignorant as I may be that the Lion batts are simply not ready for prime time, especially in mission critical applications. It is one thing to have your cell phone or car catch fire-- totally different at 30K ft!! Whoever made the call to save 65lbs in weight had their priorities wrong, IMIO (in my ignorant opinion).
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:33 AM   #178
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Without getting into specifics, you have to understand that every pound of weight is literally worth thousands of dollars per airplane / per year. This is expressed not only as revenue, but in terms of safety, performance, survivability, etc.

And again, without sounding strident, these technologies are IN the mainstream today. They are flying in MANY other systems, they operate in safety and transportation systems around the worldwide. You're likely within arms reach of them at any time of the day. Once the root cause of this failure is announced, and a design in place and certified that precludes a problem like this in the future.

It's a 28V battery... not a solid fuel rocket booster.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #179
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"as getting the best technology onto the airplane."

AHH BESTITIS again. A disease we should all fear!

Yes, there are versions of Lithium batteries in aircraft use BUT , always that BUT

they are not pushing the envelope in terms of performance.

And many have a very difficult chemical make up.

I'm still Guessing the batt folks did not cycle the test batts at altitude .
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #180
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I'm not going to guess at what was and wasn't done in a certification test. I'm just telling you that Lithium batteries are going nowhere. The technology is growing and the value (in terms of safety, performance and weight) cannot be overlooked.

Aside from the weight savings, there are performance characteristics that only lithium batteries possess. This doesn't need to get in a pissing match about "bestitus" or anything else. This is sound technology that is growing through rigors of the real world. Much bigger challenges have been met and this will as well.
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