Boeing Starliner Fail and 737 Max Halt Caused by 1997 Shift From Engineering Focus

Boeing just had another failure with the Starliner crew capsule and the rocket launching it. They failed to have a correct orbital burn and the mission failed. Boeing has had huge problems with the 737 Max. These problems can all trace back about 22 years to when Boeing abandoned 80 years of engineering culture to stock price focused management.

At the Atlantic Jerry Useem has an article describing how Boeing shifted away from 80 years of engineering culture and focus. One of the most successful engineering cultures of all time gave way to McDonnell’s stock price focus mind-set.

Finance executives quadrupled McDonnell’s stock price at the cost of future competitiveness. They merged into Boeing and the executives infected Boeing’s culture.

If Boeing still had an engineering focused culture then the aircraft business would be better. Boeing would still be losing to SpaceX in launch systems.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explained that the Starliner mission to the ISS had a timing system error. The orbital insertion burn did not happen at the right time.

Boeing and ULA made the Starliner and it is to eventually get certified for manned missions to the Space Station.

The Boeing Starliner will now be delayed and SpaceX Crew Dragon will have the first US built manned mission in the post-Shuttle era.

United Airlines will remove the Boeing 737 Max from its flight schedule until June. Southwest and American Airlines have pulled the Boeing 737 Max until April.

Boeing has stored the over 400 737 Max jets that it has built in 2019.

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