Boeing Frontiers
April 2003
Volume 01, Issue 11
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Letters to the Editor

April Frontiers'Pop' goes the quiz

The "Pop Quiz" answers listed on Page 41 (March Boeing Frontiers) had numerous omissions, including some aircraft that were featured, or mentioned, on other pages of that very issue. For example:

1 Engine: P-12/F4B series, P-26 "Peashooter," AV-8B "Harrier," X-15, T-45 "Goshawk"

2 Engines: XP-67, FH-1, F2H, F-4 "Phantom II" series, F-15 "Eagle" series, F/A-18 "Hornet" series, F/A-22 "Raptor," DC-5, YC-14

4 Engines: Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, B-29 Superfortress, B-50 Superfortress, C-97 series, C-17A Globemaster III, DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, B-1 "Lancer," YC-15

5 Engines: Boeing 720, N720H, based in Phoenix and operated by Honeywell as an engine test bed

6 Engines: XB-70 "Valkyrie"

Bonus Question: How many engines on the Space Shuttle? 49! They include three Main Engines, two Orbital Manuevering System Engines, six Vernier Reaction Control System Engines, and 38 Primary Reaction Control System Engines

There are probably a few more omissions (as well as all the rotorcraft that were ignored by the wording of the question), but these listed come to mind easily.

—G.D. (Andy) Andrus, Louisville, Ky.

In your March issue "Pop Quiz" section, you should have had a 10-engine category. In the 1960s, B-52 squadrons equipped with the AGM-28A Hound Dog Missile essentially flew a bomber with 10 engines. The Hound Dogs' Pratt & Whitney J52-P-3 turbojet engines could be used to augment thrust at takeoff, and the missile could then be refueled from the host bomber's fuel tanks prior to missile launch.

—James Savage, St. Louis

Of course you realize that you omitted some McDonnell Douglas airplanes from your "Pop Quiz" list of airplanes having four engines. One of them, the C-17, was pictured in Frontiers' Notebook section along with your quiz. Although I have not worked on the C-17, I did play a part in the design of the YC-15 prototype as a member of System Safety Engineering. Without the YC-15, there would be no C-17.

You did include some other prototype or test-bed airplanes, so the YC-15 should have been included in the four-engine category. Of course the Dash-80 was also omitted from the four-engine category. It was instrumental in getting Boeing into the jet age.

Another one missed was the Douglas DC-8, a worthy competitor of the 707. I happened to have worked in Tool Engineering Liaison on the 707 production line in Renton before moving to Douglas Aircraft in 1963, where, as a member of Pilot Controls Engineering, I was able to help out on the DC-8 production line. The DC-8 got the Douglas Aircraft Company into the jet age. It was a very real airplane. I won't forget it and neither should Boeing.

—Tim Stafford, Long Beach, Calif.

Editor's note: Frontiers regrets not listing more Boeing airplanes as answers to the March issue's "Pop Quiz" section. However, we are very pleased that so many readers have shown interest in the quiz and have requested it continue. "Pop Quiz" shall return in the May issue. If you have any ideas for a future Frontiers Pop Quiz, please e-mail them to

Lights, camera, error!

I enjoyed the article about Boeing and the movies (March Frontiers, page 24). One item that you left out was the Neutral Buoyancy Water Tank at Huntington Beach, Calif. I heard during a visit there that it was used for the water landing escape scene in the movie "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."

—Bruce D. Willis, Huntsville, Ala.

On page 26 of the March 2003 issue of Boeing Frontiers, under the title "Lights, camera, action!" you note [that Boeing products that played a role in major movies such as] "Apollo 13" included Apollo and Saturn spacecraft.

The Saturn was not a spacecraft. The Saturn V rocket had the Apollo spacecraft mounted on top and propelled it on the first leg of the flight to the moon. Boeing designed and built the first stage (called the S-1C booster). North American Rockwell designed and built the second stage, and Douglas the third. Rocketdyne designed and built the rocket engines. North American Rockwell also built the Apollo command module.

As time went on, Boeing was given more responsibility for the Saturn V program and by 1964 was in charge of assembling all three stages of the rocket and providing mission support.

—Shimon Lowy, Mercer Island, Wash.

Parting waves

The article on Airplane Health Management in the March issue of Frontiers (page 15) was good but slightly off target. By analyzing real time data from aircraft, predictive maintenance is replaced with preventive maintenance. Airplane Health Management is not about having a part ready when a plane lands. More importantly, it is ensuring that a part is not required when a plane lands.

—William Cleary, Long Beach, Calif.

Final, final, final offer

That was a great article about commercial airplane sales, especially the comments by Toby Bright about relationships and trust (February Frontiers, page 20). But sometimes you don't know when you are making your "best and final offer." For example, when Delta bought the MD-11 from McDonnell Douglas it was after a [more than two-] year competition, with several final offers.

One night in Atlanta, toward the end of the campaign, two Delta executives were having some fun at my expense. "When will you submit your FINAL, final offer," they asked.

"When they nail the coffin shut," I replied.

—Charlie Ahern, Coronado, Calif.

Letters guidelines

Boeing Frontiers provides the letters page for readers to state their opinions. The page is intended to encourage an exchange of ideas and information that stimulates dialogue on issues or events in the company or the aerospace industry. The opinions may not necessarily reflect those of The Boeing Company. Letters must include name, organization and a telephone number for verification purposes. Frontiers may edit letters for grammar, syntax and size.


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