Volume 03, Issue 2
|Letters to the Editor|
While watching the video in "The Experience Zone" of this site, his 7-year-old eyes were huge with awe at the three children designing their own airplane and in communication with each other on their laptops. My son played with his little die-cast model of a generic toy airplane as he watched the young designers putting their dreams into action with their new airplane. "Whoa!" he said as the children fly through the interior of the 7E7.
My son's grandpa, my dad, was an engineer at NASA in the mid to late '60s and worked with several of the astronauts that were the pioneers of space exploration and the first to land on the moon. In the 1970s, I remember watching F-14s flying over my Houston backyard while they flew from Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. The Blue Angels used to give us front-row seats to their aerial maneuvers, all from our own back yard.
Now, some 30 years later, I am telling my son about the difference between a 747, a 727 and the 7E7. My words can't do justice to my son's questions. I can tell him about the horizontal stabilizers on the tail of an airplane, the double-decker 747 and the flight tests I experienced while working in the maintenance and repair portion of the aerospace industry after a 737 had completed a routine maintenance check. But nothing compared to his seeing the imagination of the three school-age kids come to life. His airplane will have five engines, he said.
I am still in awe.
-Brenda Ledbetter, Everett, Wash.
When I first started with Boeing in August 1978, the tooling business in the company was the core of all products and programs, where employee pride in the craftsmanship and the ingenuity of taking on very large tasks within a short period of time demonstrated a "can do" attitude.
Over the years since, we have been working to drive down the costs of manufacturing the best aircraft in the world by listening to the people who provide all the support and support products in order to get the costs down. However, I see now that this has gone by the wayside. We no longer build the tools that build the aircraft; we no longer are taking suggestive ideas to be implemented to save additional costs on a program level; we have been setting our company sights on one thing only: "Build it as cheap as you can, and schedule must be above anything else."
What I am saying is that we should take a lesson from Stanley Tools. When their management made a decision to move their corporate offices offshore and move their manufacturing offshore, the stakeholders and shareholders told them not to do that to save costs, instead to focus on the quality and reputation of their products. I see a day that our products will no longer have a "Made in the USA" label on them.
-John Harwell, Tulsa, Okla.
-Roberta Kirkland, Peoria, Ariz.
These new 737s have leather seating, more legroom, free food, drinks, movies, and fresh-baked cookies just before arrival. Sure, it takes 25 minutes more on a 4 1/2-hour flight, but they are so nice! My wife and I tried the trip a year ago, liked it, and took our whole family of eight last December to start celebrating our 50th anniversary.
-John Heckman, Huntington Beach, Calif.
-Sam Callesen, Dallas
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Under Boeing tutelage, Iraqi Airways accomplished something no other airline has even done. In a space of 22 months, they introduced four new Boeing types: three 707s, three 727s, three 737s and two 747 Combis. They decked their fleet of five British aircraft and installed the fleet of 11 Boeing types. Career Boeing personnel who participated in the program and are now retired are still alive, and have good memories of the life, people and work of the program.
-Earl Scott, Seattle
-Chris Gibson, Violet Town, Australia
With several major carriers on the verge of bankruptcy, increasing fuel costs have never been more detrimental. And it isn't merely a simple matter of passing those costs along to the consumer. Airlines want to get people into their planes and understand that costs must be kept down.
This all means a tremendous opportunity for the 7E7 and its purported 20 percent fuel savings. Perhaps a percent savings is possible.
I suggest that Boeing immediately begin an advertising campaign to tout the features of the 7E7. One great visual might be a man fueling an airplane standing next to his fuel truck. As he begins to fuel the plane the truck grows larger while the plane shrinks, dramatizing the increased fuel efficiency of the 7E7. A series of shots could show different planes from the past and present and how Boeing has evolved (by creating) into the most fuel-efficient commercial jet ever.
-Clay Kemper, Kent, Wash.
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