June 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 2 
Letters to the Editor

May Frontiers coverIntegrity above all

I have noticed that the list of core values in the May 2005 issue of Boeing Frontiers (Letters, Page 6) magazine has integrity further down the list. It might be worth mentioning that if integrity is not in first place, you really don't have anything, even leadership.

—Melvyn Segler, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Do the write thing

I am writing to address what I have personally experienced as an oversight glitch in the awards programs of Boeing Aerospace and Integrated Defense Systems division of Boeing. IDS sponsors the Atlas Award, and Boeing Aerospace sponsors the Silver Eagle/Gold Eagle Awards.

At these awards ceremonies, the names of the teams, the award nominators and the team members (or individual, in the case of an individual award) are read along with a summary of the winners' outstanding achievement and contributions.

However, there is no provision on the official nomination forms to identify the writer of the nomination. Therefore, the writer is overlooked during the presentations. Perhaps it is generally assumed that the nominator(s) also performed the actual writing. However, that is not always the case. A winning team or individual award is not only selected based upon exemplary contributions, but also on a skillfully written nomination that correctly and comprehensively showcases their values within the awards' criteria. Here, good writing has value contribution to the award nomination.

During the past three years, I have been tasked by my mangers to write nominations about teams and, in one case, an individual. I did the required research and interviews and wrote the nominations, which received minor revisions before they were submitted. Fortunately, two of my four nomination write-ups went on to become Atlas Award winners and one of my three write-ups became a Silver Eagle winner. It would be nice if the nominations made provisions with a block for the writer's name, so that his/her name could at least be mentioned at the ceremonies.

—Ronald Young, San Antonio

Sunshine on my shoulders

Thank you for the nice article on Sunshine Acres (May 2005, Page 15), and thanks to Boeing for being such great neighbors! Boeing is making a difference in these children's lives, and we do appreciate it.

—Carol Whitworth, Sunshine Acres Children's Home, Mesa, Ariz.

Supporting scholars

I was excited when I read the headline "Students Awarded 2005 Boeing Merit Scholarships" in Boeing News Now (the company news page on the Boeing Web). But my excitement soon vanished and was replaced with great disappointment when I read that each student will receive only $1,500 per year through the scholarship program.

These top students, no doubt, are applying to top colleges and universities where annual tuition costs alone exceed $25,000, to say nothing of other expenses such as room, board and textbooks. Fifteen hundred dollars does not even amount to a drop in the bucket.

But much more important than just dollars and cost is recognition. Between time spent attending regular classes, participating in extracurricular activities, completing homework assignments and working part time, these students are working longer days than most of us here at Boeing. Is this small amount of money really all we can muster to acknowledge and reward the outstanding efforts of these hard-working and enthusiastic young women and men?

With 57 students earning the award this year, the total cost to Boeing will be $85,500. These students deserve more encouragement and support than that.

—Christopher Blanc, St. Charles, Mo.

Questions to ponder

Artist sketch -- the scale of change I'd like to present an image and five questions.

This image was created during an off-hours management development course I instructed. As a part of the homework assignment, students were asked to draw a process-flow diagram or an image on how they thought their customers perceived them. This cartoon, I think, is a classic. The message is a pattern suggesting people are doing the same thing over and over again appearing to expect different results. However, I believe we need to think about how this message applies to each of us. We should ask ourselves: If a pattern continues, what are the effects and impact on me personally and professionally? Do I want to change this pattern? If so, how, who and when? If not, why not?

Finally, if the successes of Boeing are based on people working together and Lean, then let's refocus asking another question about the greater good of the company pertaining to each of us: What is the legacy I would like to create, and what am I doing to get the attention of others about that legacy?

—Charles Collins, Seattle

Whither Europe?

The European Union was founded to give the nations of that continent a chance to compete with the United States. It is not nor has it ever been an unbiased judicial forum.

European business is based on government participation and partnership, not on entrepreneurial capitalism. It is not in the best interests of European governments to allow the United States, Boeing included, to continue to succeed as a leader, a standard for democracy nor even a mundane money maker. That only shows the flaws in Europe's model and self image.

Unfortunately, this creates an atmosphere of conflict, jealousy and snobbish dismissal of American successes. Boeing demonstrates the success of playing by the rules, but now must compete in an unfair environment. To boost European success, Europe must batter down the United States through its subsidies, rather than improve itself by allowing a change of climate in the two hemispheres. It is sad that in such an environment, there is no such thing as "level playing fields" or "fair play."

—Jeff Droubay, Crystal City, Va.

Remember the turbines

In the official history of The Boeing Company there is a listing of the model numbers assigned to each division. For example, all the Commercial Airplane airplanes have the 700 series. You will perhaps wonder why there are no 500 series mentioned.

From 1945 to 1966, a group of remarkable achievements came from the Turbine Division, located at Plant 1 on the Duwamish River in the Puget Sound region. Today, at the south end of the Museum of Flight in Seattle is the last relic of the Turbine Division, a solitary Model 502 gas turbine.

Thousands of similar engines were built for almost every conceivable automotive and stationary application of internal combustion engineering in the 1950s and '60s. Boeing engineers labored together to produce an amazing history of "firsts"—tanks, trucks, minesweepers, hydrofoils, emergency and aircraft support vehicles, all powered by the lightest new engine available to innovative designers of that era. The names T-50 BO-8, T-50 BO-10, 502, 520, 550, 552 and 553 resounded wherever the automotive industry attempted new uses for these engines.

All of this ended in 1966 when the Turbine Division was closed and the assets were quickly dispersed over the next two years. These engineers and skilled craftsmen, about 400 to 500 in each category, were needed for the building of the 747. The small annual profit of the Turbine Division was dwarfed by the promise of an equal amount from the sale of each 747, so the inevitable choice was made and the die was cast.

Today, 40 years later, a small and dwindling band of grey-haired Turbine Division survivors still meet each year on the anniversary of the phaseout and remember those glory days.

These loyal Boeing retirees also wonder why there is no DASH helicopter exhibited in the Museum of Flight and why no mention of those magnificent Boeing turbine achievements and applications appears in Boeing's official history pages.

—Ken Porter, Mercer Island, Wash.

Letters guidelines

Boeing Frontiers provides its 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. Letters may be edited for grammar, syntax and size.

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