A wing and a prayer

The structural flaw in the Boeing 787 wing design turns out to be worse than first reported:

The wing damage that grounded Boeing’s new composite 787 Dreamliner occurred under less stress than previously reported — and is more extensive.

An engineer familiar with the details said the damage happened when the stress on the wings was well below the load the wings must bear to be federally certified to carry passengers.

In addition, information obtained independently and confirmed by a second engineer familiar with the problem shows the damage occurred on both sides of the wing-body join — that is, on the outer wing as well as inside the fuselage.

And you know who I blame? The unions!

I mean, honestly… how can Boeing engineers possibly design a wing that won’t snap off mid-flight, distracted by the knowledge that assembly workers have the right to strike when their contract is up? If Boeing can’t secure major concessions from the unions, they’ll simply have no choice but to move 787 final assembly to South Carolina, if only for the safety of passengers.


  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    South Carolina? Wasn’t that busted wing made in Japan? And if you think the Cambridge police weren’t stupid should read this article: http://www.time.com/time/natio.....78,00.html I don’t know about you but I don’t think I wanna fly on that plane … that is, if it ever gets off the ground … this seems like a propitious time to dump any Boeing stock you may own. The Seattle Times article says the company has already lost $11 billion on Dreamliner delays and screwups, and it will take 400 to 600 planes to break even …

  2. 3

    ArtFart spews:

    Naaaah…by “kill-the-messenger” reasoning, the blame just goes to a different union: SPEEA instead of the Machinists.

    When (or should it be if) they ever fly this contraption, I’d like to see all of Boeing’s senior management, and the senior management of their bankers, required to be on board.

  3. 4

    The Mentalist spews:

    If they built it in China, it would not only fall apart, the debris would be poisonous.

  4. 5

    GBS spews:

    This is bad, bad news for Boeing management.

    Again, anyone who thinks that the shareholders of Boeing are going to be content with losing BILLIONS and BILLIONS in proft, i.e. shrinking quarterly dividend checks, and still retain the management is wrong.

    Whoever is culpable for this fiasco is going to get punished. Period.

  5. 6

    Daddy Love spews:

    I am sure that once the wings are fabricated and assembled by the same non-union SC Vought workers who made all of those substandard parts, everything will be just dandy.

    In another little-known fact, workers who do not have health insurance are much more prone to go insane and to try to take as many Americans as possible with them to the afterlife.

  6. 8


    IMFletch @6,

    The engineers are in a union, but they would have little to do with the decision as to where to build a second 787 assembly line. Its the Machinists Boeing is targeting with its no-strike clause demand.

  7. 9

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Boy all of that “outsourcing” and all of that “risk sharing” worked out well for Boeing didn’t it? Perhaps they should have kept most of the bird in-house like they did the 777. Then again perhaps they should have promoted Mulally to CEO rather than letting Ford poach him.

  8. 10

    ArtFart spews:

    One of the dirty little secrets of this entirely new way to build airplanes is that the process involves the use of some pretty nasty chemicals. In fact, wasn’t there something of a hoo-rah some years back when Boeing cranked up its first composites-fabrication facility in Auburn and the workers complained that the fumes were making them sick? So if the whole thing gets moved to South Carolina we’ll have airplanes put together by a bunch of good ol’ boys who are pickling their brains in a sweet mixture of toxic resin fumes and moonshine.

  9. 11

    GBS spews:

    AF @ 9:

    Have you ever been to the South? Probably not.

    Because if you did you’d realize that those good ol’ boys are perfect for stewing in toxic fumes.

    That’s because the inbreeding is so rampant the mental defects have taken place at the moment of conception. Thus, the toxic fumes have no ill effects on the mouth breathers that vote Republican.

  10. 12

    ArtFart spews:

    @10 Actually, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the South, and the slur wasn’t entirely called for. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the bean counters in Boeing’s lofty Chicago headquarters think of the work force in South Carolina the same way as they would exploitable cheap labor anywhere else in the world, and they certainly hope the good-ol’-boy politicians there will let them bend all sorts of environmental and workplace-safety rules.

  11. 13

    drool spews:

    Artfart, That “stink” (pun intended) was back in the day when composite stuff was laid up by hand. Nowadays it’s all done by robotic machinery which are much less fussy about working conditions.