Boeing Frontiers
August 2003
Volume 02, Issue 04
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Integrated Defense Systems


U.S. Air Force C-17sThe concepts were simple. The concepts were common sense.

Build an organization that lets you know your customers inside and out, and makes communication with them fast and easy. Take the customers' goals, even anticipate their needs, and present complete solutions.

Empower teammates and give them the tools to turn their tremendous energy, creativity and talent to make those solutions a reality. Work across the organization to tap the best practices, and even tap resources across industry, to bring the best solutions to the market.


Blowing in the wind

Patrick Hayes fine-tunes an Air Launch System concept modelAerospace design engineers have to have good data—especially the kind they get from a wind tunnel. In fact, they won't leave the ground without it.

Even the Wright brothers used a wind tunnel to perfect their designs. Two years of initial research led the pair to abandon most aerodynamic notions of that day and build a wind tunnel to obtain their own data.

Tops-in-their-class Boeing designers are just as exacting. And increasingly, to gather good data quickly, they use a small and popular company wind tunnel, tucked away in Southern California, to do initial conceptualization. At the North American Aviation Research Tunnel, in Seal Beach, they get good data quickly and inexpensively as they create the country's next generation of air and reusable space vehicles.


Calming influence

Fernandez LockhartBe the best and most productive you can be.

That's the message that Fernandez "Dez" Lockhart passes on to teams that make C-17 wire harnesses at the Strategic Manufacturing Center for electrical products at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in Mesa, Ariz.

His successful management formula has generated cash for outstanding performance by the teams he manages and a roadmap for success that can be applied in other areas of the company.

In the past five quarters that Lockhart has been their manager, the 11 C-17 teams in Mesa have earned bonuses every quarter by meeting their goals. The teams have gone from being behind schedule to ahead of schedule, many of the 109 team members who report to Lockhart noted.


Water bombs

William ClearyA beach ball-sized water bomb may some day take the danger out of aerial firefighting and greatly reduce the time and cost to extinguish a blaze.

The concept stems from a program sponsored by the Boeing Chairman's Innovation Initiative, which provides the context for Boeing people with great ideas to create new businesses.

An idea from William Cleary, a project manager in the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Advanced Airlift and Tanker organization, involves an out-of-the-box method of fighting fires.

Dropping water or fire retardant on a fire requires conventional aircraft to swoop dangerously low in order to deliver their cloud of liquid where needed. Heat and thermal winds make the chore challenging, dangerous and often less effective.



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