Boeing Frontiers
April 2003
Volume 01, Issue 11
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Boeing Frontiers' survey helps magazine's 'evolution'

Boeing Frontiers readers have spoken—and the magazine's editors are listening.

The publication conducted its first survey electronically from Jan. 13 to Feb. 10 and designed the survey to capture reader feedback eight months after the magazine's first issue. More than 4,800 employee readers responded to questions about Frontiers' content, design, and distribution processes.

Don Schmidt, the Corporate News and Web Services manager who conducted the survey, said most reader comments addressed the desire for more site-specific coverage, employee-centered news, more-frequent publication, and improved distribution methods.

"Frontiers is an employee magazine," Schmidt said. "So we've got to meet their information needs. And, as we become more global, we must pay closer attention to meeting the needs of our international employees"


Fabrication Division takes additional consolidation steps

The Fabrication Division will focus on the production of complex, critical parts, resulting in the outsourcing of simple form and simple assembly, sheet metal and low-complexity machining products, Vice President and General Manager Liz Otis announced March 18. The move is to improve the division's operational efficiency. It will allow better asset utilization through additional site consolidation and continues the strategy that began with consolidation actions in 2000. These changes will affect an estimated 400 jobs by the end of 2004. The division hopes to manage the impact through attrition. "We will continue to adapt so we can better compete as we support Commercial Airplanes through this challenging business environment," Otis said.

Former BCA president Thornton dies

Dean Thornton, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1985 until 1993, died in March while skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho. He was 74. Thornton's career spanned 30 years, during which he held several executive positions, including leading the development and introduction of the Boeing 767. "We are deeply saddened to learn of Dean's passing. He was a tremendous man whose contributions to The Boeing Company and our industry cannot be overstated," said Phil Condit, Boeing chairman and chief executive officer. "He will be remembered for his insight, business leadership and high standards, all of which had a profound influence on the company's direction and success." Thornton also made significant contributions to the local community, where he was involved in many arts, education and civic programs.

Odyssey has eventful first year around Mars

Mars, southeast of Olympus Mons. During its first year of surveying the surface of Mars, NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has changed the way scientists view the red planet. "In just one year, Mars Odyssey has fundamentally changed our understanding of the nature of the materials on and below the surface of Mars," said Jeffrey Plaut, Odyssey's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Among the discoveries in Odyssey's first year of surveying the Martian surface: detailed maps of minerals in rocks and soils, and radiation levels that are higher than in low-Earth orbit. Odyssey was launched aboard a Delta II rocket in April 2001.

V-22 resumes flight tests

V-22 The V-22 Integrated Test Team in March resumed flight tests following a 10-day operational pause to replace potentially faulty hydraulic tubes in the engine nacelles. Aircraft No. 21, the first of four Low Rate Initial Production aircraft to join the flight-test program, conducted a 20-minute sortie to test the aircraft's specialized mission software. "The flight occurred without a hitch," said Don Byrne, the ITT's deputy contractor flight-test director. "The last week has been another example of how this team is capable of stepping up to the plate when it needs to. It's great to be flying again." Above, an MV-22 Osprey hovers over a flight deck earlier this year.

Boeing team wins 2003 Charles Ryan Award

Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine has named as winner of its 2003 Charles Ryan Award the team that delivered Boeing-approved enhanced security flight deck doors for more than 5,500 aircraft.

The award, which Aviation Week will present later this month at its Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., recognizes "industry-leading companies and organizations that [find] new ways to improve operations and service, profits, efficiency and effectiveness, while sustaining or improving safety and technical proficiency."

Boeing's Interiors Center of Excellence and its teammates, C&D Aerospace and Aim Aviation, will share the award for designing, certifying and delivering enhanced security flight deck doors in a mere 18 months, enabling customers using Boeing aircraft to meet an April 9, 2003, deadline to have the doors installed.

"We are thrilled and honored to be selected for this award," said Mike Cave, senior vice president, Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "This issue was a challenging endeavor that involved countless hours of effort from a host of talented and dedicated people."

Connexion by Boeing shows telemedicine use

Connexion by Boeing recently showed German journalists one of the benefits it can provide to help airlines determine whether to make an unscheduled landing because of a perceived onboard medical emergency. During the demonstration aboard Lufthansa Flight 418, traveling from Frankfurt, Germany, to Washington, D.C., a commercially available telemedicine cuff was placed around a volunteer's arm. The flight crew then used the Connexion by Boeing service to speak with medical professionals on the ground and transmit real-time medical information about the patient. After landing in Washington, the journalists received a briefing from Connexion by Boeing Chief Technology Officer Bob Dietterle, who spoke of telemedicine as just one of many potential applications that Connexion by Boeing makes possible.

UCAR program reviewed

Representatives from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army gathered last month at the Boeing facility in Mesa, Ariz., for the third of four Phase I milestone reviews of Boeing's entry into the Unmanned Combat Armed Rotorcraft program. The two-day review included a conceptual design review of the team's UCAR Objective System and overviews of cost and mission effectiveness. The Boeing team is one of four vying for the UCAR program. In May, DARPA and the U.S. Army will select two teams for Phase II of the competition. Boeing's Integrated Defense Advanced Systems organization is developing UCAR to be an autonomous, survivable and lethal unmanned system for the Army's Objective Force combat maneuver force structure.

Boeing to provide Sukhoi regional jet expertise

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has awarded a long-term contract to Boeing to provide expertise on the design and production of a Russian Regional Jet. The agreement specifies that Boeing will provide advisory expertise and intellectual property in airplane design, production, certification, marketing, sales, program management, and post-production support. Sukhoi is leading a program charged with designing and manufacturing a family of RRJ airplanes that will consist of 60-, 75- and 90-passenger versions.

The Boeing 717, which serves a different market than would the RRJ, seats 106 passengers and specializes in short-range, high-frequency, quick-turnaround operations.


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