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Is The Boeing Starliner Space Capsule "A Flying Coffin" For Astronauts?

By ohomen171 follow ohomen171   2022 May 24, 3:55am 210 views  10 comments           share      

#boeingstarliner The Boeing Company started life in 1916 in Seattle. In World War II, my Uncle John Robert commanded a B-17. He survived his 26 combat missions over German. Crews of these planes marveled at the ruggedness and dependability of these planes.
After World War II, Boeing produced the B-47 bomber and B-52 bomber. The B-52 is still in service and could make 100 years of service. Boeing also produced incredible airliners that one could find in airlines all over the world.
Boeing was a company that was run by engineers. Then the company merged with McDonald Douglas. Finance executives started to replace engineers in senior management positions. What followed were nightmares like the 737 crashes and the failures associated with the Starliner manned spacecraft. Boeing was given a $400 million US contract to build this spacecraft. The spacecraft finally made it to the International Space Station. It will separate and make its reentry later today. You know that old saying about "a day late and a dollar short." The Starliner had a systems failure on the way to the I.S.S. concerning thrusters. The Angry Astronaut is warning everyone that the spacecraft is not ready to carry astronauts. NASA is not listening to him.
When returning from New Orleans, I found myself seated next to a 56-year-old United Airlines senior captain named Dave. He was getting a free ride to his home in San Diego. He gave me a fascinating briefing on the various airlines that he had flown during his career spanning 17,000 hours in the air.
He gave me a startling revelation about the 737-software disaster. I commented that United was wise to buy 737s with two sensors whereas the airlines that bought 737s with one sensor experienced crashes.
Dave told me that the perfect configuration was a 737 with three sensors. Then he surprised me. When the 737s got grounded, United showed up and bought over 100 of these troubled aircraft at "bargain-basement prices." He characterized the whole problem of the aircraft as a massive training failure. Pilots should have disengaged all automatic systems and flown the planes "the old-fashioned way" when the trouble started. He also told me that the 737 had a small and cramped cockpit that became very uncomfortable on flights of 5 hours or more. I kidded him that the cockpit was designed for female pilots
2   DooDahMan   2022 May 25, 11:46am  

One thing I would love to see but never will in my lifetime is a definitive answer why the 737s that crashed in Colorado Springs and Pittsburg occurred.

Even though "design problems" with the hydraulic piston actuator for the rudder have been implemented - no definite answer has ever been offered by anyone and the cause(s) remain speculative.
3   Bd6r   2022 May 25, 12:34pm  

Designed/made by Boeing in last few yrs = flying coffin
Wonders of corporate welfare in combination with affirmative action
4   DooDahMan   2022 May 25, 1:04pm  

Bd6r says
Designed/made by Boeing in last few yrs = flying coffin


Have done a few long hauls (12+ hours each way) on the Dreamliner - very nice, very quiet but also on the back of my mind the entire flight was the build process and all of the problems.

Have also done an equal number of long hauls on the Airbus A350 which I prefer.
5   Bd6r   2022 May 25, 1:07pm  

DooDahMan says
Have done a few long hauls (12+ hours each way) on the Dreamliner - very nice, very quiet but also on the back of my mind the entire flight was the build process and all of the problems.

Have also done an equal number of long hauls on the Airbus A350 which I prefer.

A student of mine had relative (engineer) who worked for Boeing. The relative said Boeing engineers spent most of the day posting memes about Boeing leadership on bulletin boards, and that working there was insufferable because managers are idiots. She quit and now works for another company.
6   WookieMan   2022 May 25, 1:09pm  

DooDahMan says
Even though "design problems" with the hydraulic piston actuator for the rudder have been implemented - no definite answer has ever been offered by anyone and the cause(s) remain speculative.

It was pilot error. 100%. Pilots can shut down all those automated systems. Shit, kill the engines and glide it home. Shut off electric generators. This is all taught to pilots.

Not defending Boeing, but to blame it on a company that's made essentially the same planes for decades is foolish. Take a look at the airlines and their training. You can override all these systems. They trained for it on the 737 Max as it came out. Almost every modern American plane crash lies at the pilots feet. Mechanical engineers are meticulous. Errors can be made, but the systems are redundant and can be overriden by an average pilot with under 1k hours. In general and with instruction with ATC a zero hour, regular citizen can dead stick land a plane and not kill everyone if their IQ is above 80. Not saying the plane will be 100% not damaged, but it's not difficult.

Biggest problem is alertness when flying. By the time shit goes south, it's likely too late. In the late 80's early 90's, I recalled seeing MY pilot drinking before a flight. Either way trains, cars and boats are substantially more dangerous. Let's look up how many Fords got into accidents and the number of deaths. No different than guns. Human error.
7   DooDahMan   2022 May 25, 1:09pm  

The Dreamliner has a few "wow" factors like the self dimming windows with no shades and the changeable mood lighting but I found the Airbus just a bit more comforting - not sure why.

Primarily I use Delta and opt for Premium Economy - nice price point between torture and heaven
8   DooDahMan   2022 May 25, 1:14pm  

WookieMan says

DooDahMan says
Even though "design problems" with the hydraulic piston actuator for the rudder have been implemented - no definite answer has ever been offered by anyone and the cause(s) remain speculative.

It was pilot error. 100%. Pilots can shut down all those automated systems. Shit, kill the engines and glide it home. Shut off electric generators. This is all taught to pilots.

Not defending Boeing, but to blame it on a company that's made essentially the same planes for decades is foolish. Take a look at the airlines and their training. You can override all these systems. They trained for it on the 737 Max as it came out. Almost every modern American plane crash lies at the pilots feet. Mechanical engineers are meticulous. Errors can be made, but the systems are redundant and can be overriden by an average pilot with under 1k hours. In general and with instructio...


The one in Pittsburg sticks most in mind because one of our HR staff was on that plane. Lots of conjecture to this day if they got caught up in the Vortex from the plane in front of them. On the other I am not as well versed as to the sequence of events.

In both of the cases the only significant finding was the rudder had made a very sudden adjustment.

Despite too many flights to keep track of on the 737 very few were made without me thinking what was going through the minds of the people on those planes as they took a nose dive at full speed into the ground.

Pilot error definitely took the entire tail off the plane that crashed in New York shortly after 9-11. That was an Airbus A300B4-605R. Once again a sudden hard move on the rudder
9   WookieMan   2022 May 25, 1:19pm  

DooDahMan says
Primarily I use Delta and opt for Premium Economy - nice price point between torture and heaven

Not picking on you, but what's the point? Just go first or business if you're going to fly the legacy airlines. Any economy on Delta is shit even the fake upgraded ones. Even my first class experience on Delta was shitty.

Have wine, beer, vodka or a gummy and fly the cheapest way possible domestic. As a tall guy it's all bull shit, even in first/business, unless you go international over an Ocean. When I eventually go to Australia or Southeast Asia, I'm dropping $3-4k a seat.

I'm in Chicago region though, so I can fly the Caribbean and lower 48 in four hours or less. That's not a huge discomfort. Paying premium domestically is the dumbest thing unless you're writing it off for taxes or just want to treat yourself (kind of). Also, American airports generally suck. No lounges, unless departing international and those are few and far between.
10   DooDahMan   2022 May 25, 1:22pm  

WookieMan says
Just go first or business if you're going to fly the legacy airlines. Any economy on Delta is shit even the fake upgraded ones. Even my first class experience on Delta was shitty.


Business is not worth the price but that is because I am tight with a dollar. I do not care for United or Delta and would never sit foot on American. If I could get decent connections on the routes I travel it would be on Singapore Air, JAL or Korean air.

I use Delta because the route(s) I normally run on - it provides the shortest overall flight time. All of my flying these days are long haul runs of a minimum of 12 hours to 15 hours in the air once I leave the lower 48. On those runs Premium Economy is a nice alternative since I have no one to cover my costs for a Business Class fare or no way to write it off on taxes.

I do not fly domestically with the exception of going to the connecting airport to get the flight overseas and coach is fine for that . No interest anymore in domestic flying - been there and done that for a living and burnt out.

As for the legacy carriers in the U.S. I have been treated better on Singapore Air in coach than business class on United. No over the hill post menstrual flight attendants to glare at you if you dare ask for something.

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