What’s next for Boeing and the 787

Boeing is reporting that they are about half finished with tests necessary to restore the 787 to flight and they have crews deployed to customers, especially Japan, to install the fixes at the word “go”.

Unlike many, I find the solution they are engaged with to be fairly satisfying since it is based upon fairly simple science.  Simple science trumps Rube Goldberg ideas every time.  I also find the idea that this is beging regarded as a greater fire hazard than virtually anything else a bit exhausting.

Many are treating a lithium ion battery was more dangerous than, say, an unknown fault in an electrical pump inside a fuel tank.  These problems are going to happen and they can be confounding to figure out and identify a root cause.  Often times, it takes several events to identify a root cause and while that seems unsatisfying, it really isn’t.

It’s the way the real world works.  Sometimes it takes a while to fully figure out a problem.  When you don’t know the root cause, then the next best solution is one where simple science provides some control.

That said, I think that Boeing is still pushing too hard to control this story and insist on it gaining back all the credibility it needs for the 787.  At what point does Boeing admit that it has a credibility problem given that it seems content to allow PR staff and attorneys control the story.

Companies don’t reassure the public or their clients until they own up to their part in problems.  That hasn’t been done yet.

If Boeing thinks their problems go away with a successful return to service for this airliner . . . they don’t.  Boeing has a credibility problem at this point that has gone unaddressed with customers far too long.  If you’re an airline, you want to know that the company you’re buying aircraft from is still the company you once knew.  At this point, how do these airlines know this?

Airlines should be doing a bit more to hold Boeing accountable at this point.  I would expect these airlines to hold meetings with Boeing Commercial Aircraft president, Ray Conner, and explain to him that Boeing’s word is no longer very golden on all things and that its time to get real with facts instead of spin.

As an airline, you have to be able to count on your airliner supplier at all times.  I’m not sure that airlines can do that at this present time with Boeing.

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