|Letters to the Editor|
Boeing Frontiers marks 1st anniversary
This edition of Boeing Frontiers marks the one-year anniversary of this Boeing employee publication.
Frontiers was first published in May 2002 as a replacement to the biweekly Boeing newspaper, Boeing News. By switching to the new monthly format the company saved in excess of $200,000 per year, largely through the reduction of distribution costs.
Frontiers is designed to complement Boeing News Now on the company intranet. BNN provides immediate information on breaking news about Boeing; Frontiers presents the "what" and "why" behind this news, details the markets Boeing operates in and outlines the strategies that are driving the company now and into the future.
I read with interest the March 2003 Boeing Frontiers article about the Space Shuttle Columbia. I am a payload coordinator on Boeing's SPACEHAB program and was disappointed not to see any reference to the close relationship our program had with the lost Columbia flight. There were more than 100 employees in Huntsville, Ala., and Cape Canaveral, Fla., who worked the STS-107 mission exclusively for the past two years, and over 70 of those employees spent the better part of January on travel to Johnson Space Center's Payload Control Center to support the mission.
Several employees were assigned to train the crew on the science experiments on STS-107, and they developed very close friendships with the crew. During the mission, they communicated with the crew regarding experiment operations. Employees such as myself helped to manage the experiments on the mission; we worked day in and day out with the scientists who developed the various experiments that were the very reason for the flight. At this point, weeks after the flight, we would have been among those responsible for unstowing the payloads and returning them to our customers. Finally, our engineers designed the new SPACEHAB research double module that was in the cargo bay of Columbia and was lost along with our dear friends and the orbiter. At this point we are continuing the reconstruction effort, returning the ground support equipment to the customers and retrieving data. The SPACEHAB single logistics module is manifested on STS-116 and STS-118, and we are moving forward in spite of this tragic event.
Ken McCormick, Huntsville, Ala.
The "Fancy Footwork Photo" in the April issue of Frontiers (page 9) shows an airman inspecting an F-15E aircraft.
Unfortunately, this cannot be an F-15E model due to the fact that there is no rear cockpit. The canopy is definitely from either an A model or C model aircraft. I know this because I spent 20 years in the Air Force working on jet aircraft, and 15 years of that was spent on F-15s. Another sign is that all E-model F-15s have conformal fuel tanks mounted all the time.
The final indication is that the airman doing the inspection is actually inspecting equipment bay No. 5, which is directly behind the front cockpit. If this had been the two-seat F-15E version you would be able to see the rear seat through the canopy.
Stanley Rickel, Mesa, Ariz.
Nice story on "Women's flight," the all-female crew aboard the U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker flying over Afghanistan (March Frontiers, page 11). Considering what the WASPS [Women Air Force Service Pilots, 1,074 women who received their wings and were the first women to fly military aircraft, during World War II] did, this flight was 50 years late.
Glenn Showalter, Snoqualmie, Wash.
You folks sure made my day when I looked at the March issue of Frontiers. Having worked on rear spar, wheel wells and other parts, mostly for the KC-135, it sure made me feel proud to see the all-women crew. Keep up the swell coverage.
Robert A. Lindley, Lebanon, Ore.
In your Frontiers magazine (April, page 11) is a story about moving an Air Force One 707 to Reagan Library [in Simi Valley, Calif.]. The article talks about the opportunity for Boeing to preserve a piece of history and demonstrate our dedication to building superior aircraft then and now.
The article goes on to state that a Boeing team will disassemble the airplane, move it to the library and then reassemble it.
It is good that Boeing [is giving] their employees a sense of pride in helping to preserve this airplane for others to see. But when you look at the direction Boeing is going, you realize dedication and pride are two words that will soon be removed from the Boeing dictionary. Instead, we will be using globalization and cheaper-is-better philosophies.
The article talks about dedication to building superior aircraft then and now. In my opinion, the level of pride that Boeing employees had when this Air Force One 707 was built will probably never be attained again.
Anyway, I just wanted to provide you with another view from an old-school Boeing employee who still uses the words dedication and pride. I just hope I don't become extinct before I reach retirement age.
Martin Antrim, Kent, Wash.
I have just received and read the Boeing 2002 Annual Report. Kudos to our senior leadership. This year they are dressed as professionals, as would be expected from a company listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. I'm pleased to see they have discarded the "I just came off the golf course" attire.
Dion Salfen, Long Beach, Calif.
I just received and read your March 2003 magazine. I enjoyed the article about the Boeing planes in film.
I started at Boeing in Seattle in 1958, working on the B-52F model. The year before, in 1957, I saw a movie called "Bombers B-52." The movie starred Natalie Wood and Karl Mauldin. I was a senior in college and took my date to see that movie, never dreaming that one year later I would be working on a B-52.
My date, who now is my wife of 45 years, also worked for Boeing as a flight data transcriber.
We like Frontiers magazine; keep up the good work. There will always be ex-Boeing people to help you with history.
Norman J. Price, Jr., Wiley, Texas
I'm sure we are all very proud of the F/A-18 Super Hornet. But on page 23 of the March issue of Frontiers there is another Boeing aircraft that has served since Vietnam and, as evidenced by your photo, is still serving the U.S. Navy and the Marines.
I think a photo caption mention of the trusty (and probably rusty, since I believe the last one was delivered in the 1970s) CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter would have been appropriate, decent and deserved.
Al Twilling, Cochranville, Pa.
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