Why did larger airliners move away from tail mounted engines?

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by sevensky, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    ...and then you have the DC-10 / MD-11 / L-1011 that creates a worst of both worlds! At least on the L1011 the engine replacement for #2 was less of a PITA
     
  2. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    Except for the poor toad who had to go down the S Duct for FOD inspections:D

    Cheers
     
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  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    MD didn't build the DC-3, Douglas did. Not much of the old company survived once they merged in the sixties.

    No, I didn't. No Boeing plane other than the MD stuff they inherited that had that harebrained system.
     
  4. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    So MD is the death knell for planes then.. Boeing's recent issues with the 767 tanker and the Max debacle would suggest that the Boeing of today is not the Boeing that gave us 747/757/767/777.. pretty soon we will see that it's taking longer for Boeing to fix the issue with the Max than it did for Juan Trippe to meet with them and have the 747 built and flying
     
  5. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You'd have to as Ron W about internal Boeing turmoil.
     
  6. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Other airplanes, maybe. :rolleyes:[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Nauga,
    from a world where experience matters more than opinion
     
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  7. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    I retired three years ago. Other than a short temporary loan to the P-8 program (mentoring a young engineer), and a short dalliance with a UAV in the '90s, I never worked a Boeing airplane program (and the UAV was subcontracted to Schweizer). In addition, we were a "skunk works" sort of organization that was as isolated from the Boeing bureaucracy as we could manage.

    Did catch the by-blow from Boeing policies, of course. Saw more emails urging us to enhance stockholder value than to generate good products. Fortunately, the stockholders (and 99% of the upper management) didn't know about us.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  8. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    I forget who mentioned it, but someone on one of the Max threads quipped "MD bought Boeing with Boeing's money" - it was in response to the mess the Max has apparently been, suggesting that post MD when Boeing moved to Chicago, the culture shifted


    ..
    separate, I did find this peculiar early 747 concept that had a tail mounted engine:
    upload_2020-1-14_22-52-57.png
    http://www.boeing-747.com/boeing_747_family/

    I also found this Argentine concept for a five engined tail mounted concept:
    upload_2020-1-14_22-55-26.png
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMA_IA_36_Cóndor
     
  9. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    That quote was around long before the 37 Max was a thing. I first heard the phrase relating to the fallout from Macair's loss and Boeing's 'win' in the JSF downselect leading to the acquisition. For those keeping score, the downselect was in 1996 and the acquisition 1997. The quote is ~20 years old and there's still bad blood over it, further irritated by the HQ move from nearby one business unit (of several) to a more central location.

    Nauga,
    hopefully not doomed to repeat
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  10. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Not having worked for Boeing, what I hear is just rumor and other stuff, but it sounds to me that it's MD operating as Boeing. Kind of like Continental Airlines operating as United (and I have over 1.4 million miles riding on UA). Not good for Boeing and not good for UA. Of course, I could be wrong.
     
  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Bloomberg had an article recently blaming the move to Chicago. When you remove the executives from the company it's not usually a good move

    Also, not picking Mullaly was just plane idiotic
     
  12. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    It is difficult to “manage by walking around” when the work getting done is 1000 or more miles away.

    Cheer
     
  13. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    So which business unit should HQ be based closest to so that MBWA will work across a global company? Boeing is far more than Puget Sound and Boeing Commercial HQ is still in Seattle.

    Nauga,
    geographically dispersed
     
  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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  15. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    If it were I, I would have the HQ in the location of the largest revenue source where final assembly takes place. This way the CEO and President of the enterprise could remove their posteriors from the Ivory Tower once in a while to see what problems may or may not be happening preventing delivery of a quality product on time. Periodic visits to other places to do the same thing would be useful. If the major revenue source changes over time, move the HQ, The basic idea is to get eyes on the product, not on death by slides on a screen.

    It’s one thing to get a report and a jumble of numbers on a screen vs talking to a mechanic who points out the number of rivets that have to be drilled out and reinstalled from a supposedly quality supplier of a wing, be it internal or external, or listening to the actual repeat squawks from an acceptance test pilot. Whenever I was dragged down to a Wing or Command HQ for an a** chewing session, I always took time to visit the wrench turners to see what they needed fixed or the ready room to see what the aircrew wanted improved.

    If the CEO or President have no real feel for what’s happening on the floor, s*** happens because nobody thinks they care. But if money reports are the only thing that matters, sooner or later, the quality slips and the money starts leaking out.

    Must be my time on the shop floor seeing it at various companies and Squadrons because it sure wasn’t being in the Executive Suite being served tea and crumpets that makes me a believer:cool:.

    Cheers
     
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  16. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Were you an enterprise CEO? MBWA starts lower, as your own post indicates, and moving Boeing Global HQ to Chicago did not inhibit the CEO of BCA, located much closer to the BCA workforce, walking the floors in any way. How many times were you in a squadron when the commander in chief practiced MBWA? Think whichever one visited, if any, really had a good idea of the day-to-day issues?

    While there's one guy at the top of the org chart, I don't think the one guy who was there a few weeks ago is single-handedly responsible, nor do I think the location of his office has anything to do with the issues they're facing now.

    For a different perspective, which major US A&D companies have headquarters collocated with their largest revenue source? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

    Nauga,
    so moved
     
  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    For curiosity sake, what would be your perspective on the root cause of the issues being faced?
     
  18. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I believe the proximity of senior level of management to the shop floor (whatever that might be) is important because of informal information sharing. Peon's talk to their supervisors. Some of that gets passed up to department managers, then to mid level managers, high, and senior level managers. Kind of an osmosis process via the water cooler, impromptu meetings in the hallway, and comments made at lunch. At some point, the issue will become apparent to senior management IF there is a path where osmosis can occur. But if there is a firewall (or a thousand miles) between the CEO and the shop floor, it is much harder for the information to reach the CEO.
     
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  19. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    In a large global organization there is no base where the CEO can be less than 1000 miles from every major worksite.

    Nauga,
    who gets left out in the rain
     
  20. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    a) Nope, just an Engineer in charge of development and production technical stuff.

    b) From that perspective, I guess the POTUS never did. But I know from walking around Charleston AFB with CinC Transcom and Langley AFB with ACC/CC, they did. One of my more “interesting” experiences was in TAC/CC’s Conference room where the table was arrayed with broken parts he had collected personally from maintenance shops. He’s also the guy who more or less invented the Borescope inspection of hot sections when he took the Command Surgeon with a proctoscope over to the engine shop to look at turbines or so I was told. So the idea of The Head of Boeing Commercial in Seattle is equivalent, I suppose.

    c) Not sure but I think before Lockheed became LockMart + GD, They had their HQ moved to Marietta where the C-130 and F-22 were being done. After production of the F-22 moved to Ft Worth and the mergers, HQ moved to DC IIRC which is often not true:).

    Cheers. X3 Skier
    Who has stopped “leaving no answers unquestioned” when he retired.....again:D.
     
  21. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    No doubt. OTOH, how much of Boeing's operation is in the Seattle area compared to the Chicago area and isn't it likely the CEO would have a better feel for the corporate pulse if he was on the ground in Washington instead of Illinois?

    Kyle

    who's flown around the world checking the corporate pulse. ;-)
     
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  22. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Yeah Lockheed used to, but so did Boeing.
    Currently (from memory, also suspect):
    Boeing - Chicago IL
    LM - Bethesda MD
    NGC - Northern VA
    Raytheon - Boston MA

    I've missed a few :)

    Nauga,
    well-traveled
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lockheed's CORPORATE headquarters remained in Calabasas, California I believe to the end. They did shutter the Burbank plane and move all the airplane manufacturing management to Marietta, Georgia in 1990. By the way, the Marietta in the "Martin Marietta" is actually Marietta, Ohio.

    American Asphalt (Chicago) and the Marietta (Ohio) Paint and Color merged to form American-Marietta. This merged with the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company (Baltimore) to form Martin Marietta.
    Martin Marietta (Bethedsa, MD) which merged with Lockheed.

    I worked with these guys who were in Gaithersburg who started out as the IBM Federal Systems Sector/Division (that changed over time). They got bought out by Loral, then Martin-Marietta got Loral and then they became LockMart. And I thought I had a hard time the five years I worked for the Army and I couldn't hardly get through a box of business cards before a reorg made the information obsolete (In one instance, it changed while they were still at the printer).
     
  24. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    How about one of these :)

    I always thought that tail mounted engines make aircraft more susceptible to an often unrecoverable flat spin due to weight distribution. No idea if this is actually correct though(vs design/loading issues specific to aircraft). Or still valid with modern designs.


    Edit: or maybe it was that they are harder to recover from spins in general.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    As much I love Soviet era planes, the VC-10 is a much prettier example of a four engine tail mounted airliner
     
  26. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hard to tell them apart actually

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  27. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ??????? They look like clones to me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  28. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    And even more fun

    [​IMG]

    Ok, i'm pretty sure this is fake.
     
  29. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Something about the nose