Saturday, June 29, 2019

Boeing's Deadly Penny-Pinching Stupidity

Boeing corporation has [had, now zero] only one aeronautical engineer on its board of directors, Dennis Muilenburg, who serves as President, Chairman, and Chief Operating Officer. With the exception of a couple of book-keepers, other board members appear to be of little more than decorative value, vanity board members, including such engineering notables as Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK, and just appointed Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the UN.

Apparently Boeing's management, i.e., Mr. Muilenberg, doesn't give a damn about aircraft safety, only about saving a buck, a supposition confirmed by Bloomberg News, which reports that the defective software that brought down two of Boeing's newly introduced 737MAX airliners was written by immigrant subcontractors earning as little as $9 an hour. This at a time when the company was laying off experienced engineers.

Increasingly, according to Bloomberg

... the iconic American planemaker and its subcontractors have relied on temporary workers making as little as $9 an hour to develop and test software, often from countries lacking a deep background in aerospace -- notably India.

In offices across from Seattle’s Boeing Field, recent college graduates employed by the Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd.occupied several rows of desks, said Mark Rabin, a former Boeing software engineer who worked in a flight-test group that supported the Max.

The coders from HCL were typically designing to specifications set by Boeing. Still, “it was controversial because it was far less efficient than Boeing engineers just writing the code,” Rabin said. Frequently, he recalled, “it took many rounds going back and forth because the code was not done correctly.”...

Based on resumes posted on social media, HCL engineers helped develop and test the Max’s flight-display software, while employees from another Indian company, Cyient Ltd., handled software for flight-test equipment.

And there were other benefits to using incompetent Indian contractors.

Boeing’s cultivation of Indian companies appeared to pay other dividends. In recent years, it has won several orders for Indian military and commercial aircraft, such as a $22 billion one in January 2017 to supply SpiceJet Ltd. That order included 100 737-Max 8 jets and represented Boeing’s largest order ever from an Indian airline, a coup in a country dominated by Airbus.

Seemingly, the American drive to corporate monopolism isn't working well. Without competition, terminal stupidity is setting in. What to do? Break up the corrupt and increasingly useless behemoths and recreate the productive competitive free market economy that American capitalists have always said they believed in.

USA Today: Boeing's 'single point failure': Why was there no backup system on 737 Max jet?

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