Al Jazeera aired a take down of the Boeing 787 — arguing that standards were altered to speed up production, and that this compromised safety.
The piece strikes me as sensationalist tabloid journalism. I don’t see the benefit to Boeing to push out an aircraft that compromises safety. And clearly the airlines flying the aircraft every day are confident in its safety. It’s an impressive aircraft.
While I think the Al Jazeera show is unfair to say the least, and includes a ton of non-sequiturs like somehow working with partner companies to share the cost of production and develop different elements of the aircraft (this is also called ‘division of labor’) as though this inherently leads to less quality — as opposed to relying only on one’s own more limited expertise — it’s a show worth watching. And the next time something does happen with this aircraft, this show’s reporting will be exhibit one, fair or not.
They throw a ton at the wall to see what sticks, criticizing the project for its delays, when it’s precisely the two years of delays for the 787 project that demonstrate a commitment to quality.
The piece is at its absolute weakest when it’s postulating that the McDonnell Douglas merger led to a corporate culture shift at Boeing which scaled back on research and quality.
The piece is about 45 minutes, so set aside some time (or fast forward as appropriate). If you want to see disgruntled ex-employees and gotcha surprise interviews, forge on…