Alas, poor Boeing
Too well. Earlier this month, I wrote a piece examining Boeing's credibility. Taking a microscope to Boeing's promise of an update on 787 "Dreamliner" deliveries, I predicted that when we did get the news, we wouldn't like what we heard.
Well, we've got the news. And -- surprise! -- investors didn't like it.
A credibility gap
Investors sold off Boeing shares to the tune of about 4% Friday when the company admitted that "wrinkles" in the "skin" of its new airliner are causing another production headache. Apparently, the problem originates with European aerospace giant Alenia, one link in a supply chain stretching from Honeywell
And Alenia's stumped -- even after cutting up two of the defective sections to perform an autopsy. After taking a good hard look, Alenia concluded that it cannot meet Boeing's stringent technical requirements so as to fix this problem once and for all. Boeing was not amused, and on June 23 ordered Alenia to halt production and try harder.
Hmm. June 23 you say?
Right. June 23. The same day that Boeing informed investors of a completely different problem with the aircraft's wings, canceled its first test flight, and brushed off impatient buyers like Delta
And this, Fools, is Boeing's real problem. It's not the added cost of performing cosmetic surgery to remove the 787's "wrinkles," nor even the new delay this will entail. It's the fact that after more than two years of delays, omissions, and flat-out obfuscation, that can no longer trust Boeing to play it straight with us.
Experts warn us these wrinkles could cause the 787's fiber skin to "separate and tear." But while a tear in the airframe worries me, I'm more worried about the gaping hole in Boeing's credibility.
The 787 isn't Boeing's only problem: