Boeing Frontiers
October 2003
Volume 02, Issue 06
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Around Boeing

Apache team takes success story on the roadApache team takes success story on the road

The first Stage IV High Performance Work Team on the AH-64 Apache assembly line at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in Mesa, Ariz., has a great story to tell. And Boeing executives have been avid listeners.

Spurred into action by the loss of its contract labor workforce and a 60-hour increase in workload that accompanied the introduction of Lot 7 Apaches at the end of 2002, the 12-member team-known as the Cell 1-Position 2 High Performance Work Team—developed and enacted Lean process improvements to shave $4,382 off the annual cost of building an Apache. Facts such as this impressed company executives during presentations by the team at an Apache program review in Mesa and at the Boeing Leadership Center in mid-September.

"Continuous improvement is our main focus as a team," said Craig Dyke, who leads the Cell 1-Position 2 team. "We want to build Apaches in the most cost-effective and timely manner."

Some of the team's improvements include updated work instruction books; kitting of all consumable items, hardware and tools; user-friendly work stands; a bulletin board for engineers to post changes; and a communications board to keep different shifts up to speed with the latest problems.

In June, the team achieved Level IV status, which meant that it was creating its own work schedules, managing its vacations and flex time, and solving problems at its biweekly meetings.

Team members include Craig Dyke, Ron Schulz, Joe Mirda, Dave Spitz, Tony Caldwell, Ronni Dossey, Nina Edrich, Raul Barriga, Ken Ehly, Philip Sirhan, Bob Pruitt, Jodi Tommasone and Gilbert Rodriguez.

High Performance Work Teams are becoming a vital part of doing business, with 63 percent of employees in IDS involved in them, said Seattle-based Employee Involvement manager Stephen Bressler. Across IDS operations, there are 955 High Performance Work Teams (or High Performance Work Organizations, as they are called in St. Louis). About 110 of them are in Mesa.

Separately, Boeing on Sept. 2 announced that the Greek Ministry of Defense has signed a commercial contract for the purchase of 12 AH-64D Apache Longbow combat helicopters with an option to purchase an additional four Apache Longbows.

ANA signs letter of intent to install Connexion by Boeing

All Nippon Airways and Boeing recently signed a letter of intent signaling the carrier's plan to install the Connexion by Boeing mobile Internet service on its long-haul commercial aircraft.

Members of the ANA and Connexion teams are working closely to define the levels of services that will be offered and an installation schedule as part of finalizing the service agreement that will pave the way for the broadband communication service to be installed on the ANA fleet of long-haul aircraft. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The Connexion by Boeing service brings real-time high-speed Internet, data and entertainment connectivity to mobile travelers. Lufthansa German Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines System will equip their fleets of long-haul aircraft with the service beginning in early 2004.

ScanEagle UAV completes extended test flight

ScanEagle, a low-cost, long-endurance autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle developed and built by Boeing and The Insitu Group, last month successfully demonstrated its long-endurance capability by completing a 15.2-hour flight at a Boeing test facility in eastern Oregon.

ScanEagle "A," the first vehicle in the ScanEagle family, worked through a series of test points at altitudes ranging between 900 and 2,000 feet (274 and 610 meters), tracking and videotaping both stationary and moving targets with its electro-optical camera. The vehicle operated in autopilot mode for the entire flight, initially launching into a pre-programmed pattern. Later during the flight a variety of search patterns and orbits were uploaded, demonstrating the vehicle's ability to successfully accept in-flight re-programming.

"This flight confirmed that ScanEagle is capable of the long endurance necessary to complete an array of missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and communication," said Al Awani, ScanEagle program manager for Boeing.

Hullin to lead Boeing communications

Boeing has appointed Tod Hullin to be its senior vice president of Communications.

As the company's senior communications strategist, Hullin, 60, will be responsible for developing and implementing plans across all company business units. He will report directly to Boeing Chairman and CEO Phil Condit and will serve on the company's Strategy Council and Executive Council.

"Tod's extensive experience working with multi-divisional global companies and addressing important communication issues, including corporate brand building, will be of great value to Boeing as we continue to pursue an active and integrated global communications program," Condit said.

Hullin has extensive senior corporate communications and public affairs experience in the U.S. government, the pharmaceutical industry and the entertainment industry. From 2000 to 2002, Hullin served as executive vice president, Global Public Policy and North American Communications, for Vivendi Universal. He has also served in senior roles at Time Warner, The Seagram Company, Searle Pharmaceuticals and SmithKline Beecham.

Hullin replaces Judith Muhlberg, who left Boeing earlier this year to spend more time with her family.

The Communications organization produces Boeing Frontiers magazine.

Boeing establishes links with Italian aerospace research site

Boeing and Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali (CIRA), the Italian aerospace research center, signed a memorandum of understanding on Sept. 16 to investigate and develop technology projects of mutual interest.

The initial focus will be on exploratory studies for technology projects associated with a number of Boeing initiatives including the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner, well as technology projects involving the use of CIRA test facilities.

In addition, Boeing and CIRA, one of the leading aviation and space technology research organizations in Europe, will work together to define possible technology projects related to the development of unmanned air vehicle systems and the interoperability of UAVs within the existing aviation infrastructure. Also, there will be a focus on technology projects that support Boeing requirements for industrial participation in Italy stemming from the Italian 767 Tanker Transport program.

IAM Promotions

No promotions listed for periods ending Aug. 22, Aug. 29, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12.

Ethics Questions?

You can reach the Office of Ethics & Business Conduct at 1-888-970-7171; Mail Code: 14-14; Fax: 1-888-970-5330; TDD/TTY: 1-800-617-3384; e-mail:; Web site:

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