May 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 1 
Letters to the Editor

Powerful reading

April Frontiers cover
Regarding your cover story on bombers in the April 2004 issue: Many of us who have been long-time employees of the B-1B program have been through a great deal: cancellation of the program in 1977, restart in the early 1980s, layoffs after production, and bad press. Paul Lewis' article on the bomber programs and the successes that each has had in recent conflicts is informative and refreshing, and serves a boost to the bomber program employees. Many of the folks working these programs have done so for decades and are extremely dedicated to their platform.

During World War II, bombers held a very prominent role and contributed to the overall success of both major campaigns. During the Cold War, the role of bombers changed greatly--they became nuclear strike aircraft, a very ominous role. The general knowledge of the bomber fleet disappeared with the secrecy of the mission agenda. Now, because of the reconfiguration of the fleets' missions and the success each platform has had, we again can share the efforts of our hard work and dedication.

--John W. Heckman, Long Beach, Calif.

It's about time

Regarding the "Shakers and Movers" article about the Renton "Move to the Lake" project in the March 2004 issue: Amazing! Now the company has finally realized that most engineers don't have a clue as to what they design actually looks like on the plane!

I was talking about this at least 40 years ago, when I would spend nearly every lunch period walking through the plant to see just how our engineering actually fit in the final product. I was considered some kind of renegade or a real screwball for doing this. But my stuff fit! And I really understood the engineering process far better than many of my supervisors did!

This will make a huge difference in the knowledge and performance of the engineers and the builders, if they can make all participate--including management.

--Francisco Ochoa, Duvall, Wash.

Boeing Frontiers’ design evolves

As Boeing Frontiers begins its third year, readers may notice some improvements. Most importantly, the cover design, including the magazine's logo, or nameplate, has changed. The goal is to create a more prominent stand-alone identity for this keystone employee communication publication, while also adhering to Corporate Identity guidelines. The table of contents pages also were updated to improve reader navigation.








Museum field trip

On a recent visit to Germany I had the opportunity to visit the Technik Museum in the town of Speyer. As a long-time employee of the 747 production line, I found the static display of the 747-200 very fascinating and unique. It is a new addition to the museum and I have enjoyed sharing the photos with my co-workers, who have also been amazed.

--Steven Garr, Everett, Wash.

Editor's note: Photos of the display are at the museum's Web site, at Click on the Boeing 747-200 link on the left side to find links to individual photos. Although the site features information about the museum in Dutch, English, French and German, the captions of the 747-200 images are exclusively in German.

How about helicopters, Part I

I certainly agree with John L. Richard (Letters to the Editor, February 2004) that rotorcraft should be included in the Century of Technology article (December 2003/January 2004). However, I cannot concur that the Apache is the "most notable omission" or that the Apache Longbow "stands atop" rotorcraft products.

Boeing entered the rotary wing field in 1960 with the purchase of what was then known as Vertol. Two years later, the CH-47 Chinook made its initial flight. The aircraft has been in continuous production ever since and is the pre-eminent transport helicopter in the world. The aircraft can lift more than its own weight empty, fly over 200 mph, and achieve altitudes higher than Mount McKinley. It is operated by the U.S. Army and allied military services worldwide. The MH-47G is currently in production, indicating the total production run will exceed 60 years with perhaps 80 years of in-service operation.

--Chuck McCall, Philadelphia

How about helicopters, Part II

I enjoyed the Century of Technology cover story in the December 2003/January 2004 issue of Boeing Frontiers and its coverage of 20 significant Boeing programs.

As a retired director of Fight Test in Philadelphia, I believe that inclusion of the Boeing CH-46 Marine Corps/Navy Sea Knight, the CH-47 Army Chinook, and the AH-64 Army Apache would have provided a better balance to the story. These aircraft are more than carrying their weight in Iraq and Afghanistan today, and flying for customers around the globe. I first flight-tested the CH-46 in 1963, and it is still out there getting the job done!

--Frank Duke, West Chester, Pa.

Seeing the sea

U.S.S. Constellation Thank you for the April 2004 article on the Ship Suitability Team.

Three years ago I had the opportunity to experience a "trap" (landing) and a "cat" (catapult) and life aboard the now-retired U.S.S. Constellation, stationed out of San Diego. Joe Chartrand of Ship Suitability was our tour guide, and he was truly in his element. Our group consisted of a couple of engineers, a couple of vendor representatives and me, a Contracts and Pricing person. It was an opportunity to see our engineering change proposal hardware in action.

The carrier was out to sea 50 miles from San Diego. We flew in on a C-2 Greyhound, stayed three days and then reboarded the Greyhound for our catapult off the carrier. During our stay, Joe made sure we toured everything from the top of Vulture's Row to the very bottom of the ship, the steamy Engine Room, and from bow to stern. We witnessed day- and night-flight qualifications from Vulture's Row and the Landing Signal Officer's platform, walked the expansive flight deck, and experienced a General Quarters drill. The Navy personnel on board the ship could not have been nicer and were very complimentary of the Boeing products in their care.

I am glad to read that the Navy and Boeing are continuing this extraordinary training opportunity. The experience is one I will never forget.

--Kathy Arnold, St. Louis

Something new

The top photo on page 8 of the March 2004 issue flat out amazed me. From the article, the timeframe of the photo must have been late 1920s to very early 1930s. Yet there is an extendible covered passenger walkway from the building out to the plane! Of course, it's ground-level since aircraft entries were basically at ground level, but still, it's the great-grandfather of the modern jetway.

I started flying commercially in the late 1950s and can't remember any covered passenger walkway (let alone an extendable one) prior to the jetways introduced in the jet era. And I had thought they were a new idea. Amazing.

--Jim O'Connor, Gulf Breeze, Fla.

B-19 remembered

I was excited to see the photo and comments regarding the Douglas B-19 in the Letters to the Editor section of your March 2004 edition. I was fortunately able to see it prior to its initial flight as a guest of my father, Roy, and my uncle Dorl Secord, who both had contributed to its development. I was sufficiently impressed that years later, I too joined Douglas and spent my career there.

--Terrence C. Secord, Downey, Calif.

Well done

Just wanted to drop a short note regarding Boeing Frontiers: Congratulations on an outstanding publication...month after month. I've seen many versions of "the Company Newspaper" over the years, but, by far, Boeing Frontiers is the best. Month after month there are interesting articles about Boeing products and history, messages from Boeing leaders, profiles of key employees, and other general-interest articles. Great job. Keep it up ... and thanks.

--Larry Kauffman, Huntington Beach, Calif.


Because of a production error, the April 2004 issue of Boeing Frontiers featured an incorrect listing of employees who had retired Feb. 1 from The Boeing Company. A corrected list appears in the Milestones section of this issue.

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.

Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.