Paul Cote “ 'If in fact there’s a reverse takeover, with the McDonnell ethos permeating Boeing, then Boeing is doomed to mediocrity,' the business scholar Jim Collins told me back in 2000. 'There’s one thing that made Boeing really great all the way along. They always understood that they were an engineering-driven company, not a financially driven company . If they’re no longer honoring that as their central mission, then over time they’ll just become another company.'
"It’s now clear that long before the software lost track of its planes’ true bearings, Boeing lost track of its own." The story's told about Donald Douglas walking into a post-WWII meeting of his company's executives and realizing that he was the only person in the room with an engineering background; everyone else there were accountants or lawyers. That, goes the story, is when Douglas knew it was time to retire. That culture, which saw aircraft as a profit center rather than a real product - a machine intended for a purpose - has apparently consumed Boeing, just as it consumed Douglas Aircraft (later McDonnell Douglas). The same sickness gripped the American auto industry in the 1970s and 1980s; that industry almost died as a result, and many say that the sickness still exista, as evidenced by Ford's decision to abandon making cars in favor of crossovers, trucks, and SUVs. When making money as opposed to making a good product is the main driver of engineering driven firms like auto and aircraft companies, much trouble can be expected.
Courtesy of 'As long as it flies or kinda' Facebook Group:
On the off-chance that there are those of you who have not yet seen this beast, above is the Ekranoplan MD-160, a Ground Effect Vehicle used by the navies of USSR and Russia from 1987 until the late 1990s. The class is 'Lun' which is based on the Russian for Harrier (although it couldn't be confused with the BAE type of the same name) and it's classed as a maritime ship by the IMO.
Powered by no less than eight turbofans producing around 300,000lbk of thrust (that's about the same as 2.5 Rolls Royce Trent engines) and with a crew of 15, the Ekranoplan can travel 1,200 miles at a top speed of 342 mph, all of it only 13 ft above the water surface.
Although 90% of a Field Hospital version was produced, the funding ran out leaving the MD-160, complete with its 4 cannon and 6 P-270 Mosquito guided missiles, as the sole example of this extraordinary hybrid. It can still be seen in dry dock at the Kaspiysk naval station on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
Thanks to ebaumsworld.com for Picture #1, the second picture is in the public domain
A really interesting design - I can't wait for them to finish it (if ever - it's only reached this stage after 10 years); hope it works!
Your Blogmeister (me, standing) taking cover from the Egyptian sun with family under a Beaufighter TFX in RAF Ismailia, c.1952