Boeing Frontiers
March 2003
Volume 01, Issue 10
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Letters to the Editor

February FrontiersPiccolo errore (small mistake)

On the back cover of the February 2003 Boeing Frontiers you display a copy of an Italian advertisement for Boeing with the headline "Un partnership che vola lontano." You translate this as "It defines long-range partnership." This is incorrect. The literal translation is "A partnership that flies far," which might reasonably be interpreted poetically as "A long-range partnership." However, it does not say anything about "defining."

—Michael Drumheller, Bellevue, Wash.

Frontiers: Poor judgment

I usually take the Frontiers magazine home to my family to proudly show them what we do. But I won't be taking February 2003 home until after I block out the bottom of page 11.

I was personally offended by your mention of a "nudist flight" (including prices) and at the very least it was an example of poor judgment and poor taste. Personally, I don't care what a charter airline does with Boeing planes, but I thought this company stood for diversity, not perversity, in its reporting of "news" in a "company" magazine.

—Harry Larsen, Federal Way, Wash.

Doesn't suit me

Every edition of Frontiers that I have been fortunate enough to read I have been very pleased with.

There are some very fine articles therein contained that cross every business and program, both domestic and international.

This fine publication also showcases Boeing's greatest assets ... its people, at work. I wish to salute the men and women of the Frontiers publication for the splendid work they are doing to illustrate what Boeing is doing around the world. It is readily apparent that a tremendous amount of thought and energy goes into each issue—with the exception of Phil's attire in the My View column. He has worn the same suit and tie in every issue. It's a very nice looking suit, but I'm quite certain Phil can afford to mix up his wardrobe for his My View column every now and then.

—Carl Anderson, Seal Beach, Calif.

XP-67Long history of blended wing

The blended wing concept has a long history, including its background within what is now the Boeing family of past aircraft.

In late 1939, Lyle Farver proposed the blended wing configuration to McDonnell Aircraft for presentation to the U.S. Army Air Corps for a 500 mph fighter. After a long series of iterations and much soul-searching, two aircraft designated XP-67 were contracted to be built.

Advantages of the concept for that size aircraft were that it offered a convenient way to accommodate engine air intake, streamline the fuselage/wing junction and provide internal space. The first carrier-based jet aircraft, the McDonnell FH-1 and its follow-on F2H series used the blended wing concept successfully.

As I recall, Lyle Farver picked up on the concept from a British design (possibly Miles) of 1938 or earlier. The drag caused by wing-to-fuselage interferences has created many "solutions," including area ruling and blending. For large-size aircraft, blending is an attractive solution, because it provides a wing that is thick enough to house the pilot and passengers. That is, if pressurization requirements do not create counterbalancing disadvantages.

—Charles Marschner, Melbourne, Fla.

F-15 EaglesMcDonnell deserves recognition

It appears to me that Boeing is making every effort to eliminate the great name of McDonnell, and I object.

The glorious history of the McDonnell Company includes first in space and first in fighter design for many years. The F-4 and F-15 are still making a mark in fighter history. The F-15 was the last of the original designs by McDonnell, and I believe the company deserves a little credit for its efforts.

I was one of the McDonnell Douglas retirees privileged to hear [Integrated Defense Systems CEO and President] Jim Albaugh speak at the Boeing St. Louis Leadership Association meeting in late January, and I was impressed with his talk. I guess it is Boeing's right to eliminate all traces of previous acquisitions, but is it really right?

—Paul Adams, Festus, Mo.

Moving impediments

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations is a well-meaning piece of legislation aimed at preventing critical U.S. munitions technology from falling into the wrong hands. Yet the legislation is broad and vague, and the related Munitions List has been allowed to grow to include items that are commonly available from non-U.S. companies.

When coupled with narrow ITAR and license interpretations by Boeing managers, the result is insane processes that cripple technical interchange with overseas customers, severely impact project schedules and add enormous cost overhead to foreign programs.

I believe Boeing's vision of becoming a global company will never be fulfilled unless decisive action is taken on two fronts to address this issue. First, increased pressure needs to be placed on the U.S. government to overhaul the ITAR legislation to restrict its boundaries to only those items that truly need to be controlled. Second, managers within Boeing need to review their current processes to ensure that unnecessarily restrictive and risk-adverse impediments to business are removed.

—Hugh Webster, Kent, Wash.

Commonly asked questions and answers for Boeing Frontiers

Since the debut of Boeing Frontiers in May 2002, the editorial staff has fielded hundreds of questions from interested readers. One goal of Frontiers is to make the magazine as reader-friendly and useful as possible. Below is the second in an occasional series of commonly asked questions and answers.

Q: I retired a couple of months ago. Why haven't I seen my name listed in the service awards published in Frontiers?

A: Frontiers does not control the names listed in the Milestones section, which includes Service Awards, Retirements and In Memoriam. Frontiers retrieves the printed lists from a central database into which Human Resources representatives enter information, such as retirement listings. If you have any questions, you may want to contact your Human Resources representative to make sure you were properly entered into the database.

Q: Why doesn't Frontiers list the deaths of retirees?

A: Unfortunately, the magazine does not have space to accommodate these numerous requests, nor does the company have the resources to track them for accuracy.

Q: I'm moving. Where do I send my change of address to continue receiving the magazine?

A: You can send it via e-mail to or by mail to Boeing Frontiers, 100 N. Riverside, MC 5003-0983, Chicago, IL 60606.

Q: Wouldn't it be less expensive to go back to the old newspaper format, rather than this glossy magazine?

A: Actually, by going to the magazine format, we've saved six figures in distribution costs alone. That is largely by virtue of the magazine going out only once a month, versus bi-weekly as was done with the newspaper, Boeing News.

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.


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