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It's time to overhaul development

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posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 05:56 PM
a reply to: 727Sky

A big part of the problem is size. The development of the B-21 is something like $23B. Of course any company is going to do whatever it takes to get that kind of money. That usually means undercutting right to the limit, with zero margin for error. Then you start hitting errors and the numbers start going up.

posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 06:07 PM
People don't know how to do product validation. We solved that one. Haven't had many bugs since. But it is expensive in terms of manpower.

Step 1: validation and design must be adversarial.

Step 2: rewards not punishment for discovering you're running into a wall during development. If it's not going to work, point it out. Loudly.

Step 3: no one from the design team can work on the validation side. In fact, they ought not interact on or off the job until the project ends.

Step 4: establish a bonus pool. Shift money from the engineering side to validation for every bug they find. If there's a lot bugs engineering doesn't go on that ski trip.

Step 5: if you can, make engineering test it like a parachute packer tests parachutes. It better work, you're on the first test flight. Nothing motivates like your ass being on the line.

posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 08:02 AM

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: bigx001

Oh right, I keep forgetting that unions are wonderful things that do no wrong.

sure and the 8 hour work week, overtime, osha, fmla, labor day, fair labor standards act, employee involvement in safety, whistle blowers act, etc. were all well thought out practices of business. no in fact businesses would rather eliminate all of these and have you simply function as indentured servants

lets just take a look at commercial aviation, do you think non smoking was implemented on flights because it was a good idea and the right thing to do?

no the aviation industry fought for more than 20 years to continue allowing smoking on flights, all the while flight crews had to endure lung cancer and emphysema. yes the flight attendants union spent more than 20 years trying emphatically to get smoking banned on commercial aviation.

then lets take a look at the delivery of material that caused delays in the 787. the non union facilities had numerous issues with quality of finished products, in fact boeing sent union employees to facilities to teach better work practices to eliminate these issues

yes it's the union that is the problem with development, couldn't be managements practices, now could it

posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 10:57 AM
a reply to: bigx001

No one said management was perfect, but neither are the unions. I've watched so many jobs take three to four times longer, and require dozens more people to do the same amount of work.

I once helped change an engine on a military plane in four hours. And watched three bombers pull engines and replace fan blades in three, with complete engine changes taking about 5, all done with 3-5 people.

Then I watched a union change a single engine in 12 hours, after flying 45 people in to do it. That was the emergency change. A normal engine change could take two days.

posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 01:07 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

And unions + politically-motivated factory sitings in areas with minimal technical expertise but lots of political pull are an especially dangerous combination.

Locally, in the transit world, the MBTA just flushed a half billion dollars down the toilet on commuter rail coaches that were assembled by under-qualified workers at a thinly-veiled make-work program in Philly. They came in two years late, required months of warranty repairs before they were accepted, and they're already falling apart.

And we're about to do it all over again with subway cars assembled at a pop-up plant in Springfield.

I can't imagine that the same thing doesn't happen all the time with all the pork subcontractors involved in your typical defense procurement.

Meanwhile, I keep coming back to the A350 I saw last week. That was a revolutionary yet evolutionary aircraft that went from its de facto conception after the complete redesign in Summer 2006 to entering revenue service in January 2015. In terms of scope and complexity(and lines of code), it is easily an equal to most any defense project short of the F-35 or the B-21, and yet Airbus took it from renderings to runways in less than 9 years. All from having ILFC and the Middle/Far East carriers constantly breathing down their necks.

Compare that to the prolonged developments of the KC-46 or the CH-53K, not to mention the A400M or the NH90, and you start to wish there were more Steven F. Udvar-Hazys running the show at the Pentagon.

But I guess it's a lot harder to bribe a billionaire than it is to bribe a politician or a general...

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