Brief History and Background
Boeing Company is one of the giant aerospace firms operating globally and a prominent manufacturer of defense systems, commercial jetliners, security and space systems, and service providers of aftermarket support. Being the biggest manufacturing exporter in the United States, Boeing Company supports airline customers in over 150 countries (O’Connell, 2020). The giant aerospace company may trace its historical position in the consented world of the U.S. Navy carrier-based jet aircraft via its three heritage entities: Douglas Aircraft, North American Aviation, and McDonnell Aircraft. Despite its success as the manufacture of large multi-engine aircraft, the company stopped building carrier-based airliner, with the last one being F4B.
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On 15th July 1916, aviation pioneer William E. Boeing established Boeing Company. The organization was located in Seattle, and its original name was Pacific Aero Products Co.; however, later, it changed to Boeing in honor of the founder. Boeing’s first airplane was a Model C, a two-place training seaplane, designed in 1916, and it had one main pontoon with small auxiliary floats under all wings. The craft was powered by Curtiss OX-5 engine, whereby after the U.S. joined World War 1, the Navy procured 51 seaplanes which enabled the company to make its initial financial success. When the war was over, it emerged a large pool of surplus aircraft and pilots, which triggered the launch of the commercial airline industry (Petrescu et al., 2017). The turn of the event enabled Boeing to assemble several airplanes for air transportation.
Boeing has a lengthy historical background of aerospace innovation and leadership as the firm continues to expand its services and product line to meet clients’ needs. The company’s overall range capacity involves creating new and efficient members of a commercial airplane family. Furthermore, the firm is also building, designing, and incorporating military defense systems and platforms, creating advanced technological solutions, and arranging innovative services and financial options for its clients.
Interesting Facts about Boeing Company
In 1918, Boeing Company executives were in a range of meetings, trying to convince investors in Wall Street that they would ramp up manufacturing their bestseller 737 Max. The demand for the model was on the rise, as the product backlog and clients on the waitlist surged. The company Chairman and chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg were upbeat as he explained, “The Max production ramp-up continues” (Josephs, 2019). Meanwhile, there was an incredible upward market pressure on the production of 737 Max, and the company was struggling to keep up with orders for the airplane from global airline companies.
The CEO Muilenburg assures investors and analysts how Boeing would be churning out more orders in subsequent years. Nevertheless, five days later, a 737 Max jet operated by Lion Air crashed and killed all 189 passengers and crew onboard outside Jakarta, Indonesia. Before the dust could settle down, less than five months later, another 737 Max operated by Ethiopian Airline crashed few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa Airport, killing all 157 persons on board. The twin crashes plunged Boeing Company into one of its biggest crises as the aviation industry was shocked, with 737 Max models being grounded worldwide and orders canceled. In the Lion Air Flight 106 crash, Boeing implied it was caused by human error as the company embarked on a procedure of updating online software for pilots (Naor et al., 2020). However, after the second crash of flight 302 Ethiopian Airline, queries started emerging on the safety of 737 Max, whereby investigations in both accidents showed a similarity.
Why This Organization
Ethical issues of commercial companies influenced the selection of the Boeing Company as they conduct their business. There are queries on whether the company undertakes ethical measures seriously by approving the production and sale of 737 Max models. The two crashes that happened less than five months apart raised several questions on the company’s management and staff handling of the safety measure in their endeavors. The disasters claimed 346 lives of passengers and crew. Furthermore, the recovered data from both black boxes indicated inappropriate engineering practices as simple design errors, which caused the two tragedies.
The 737 Max was an upgraded version of the 737 workhorses that commenced flying in the early sixties. The accidents were occasioned by a malfunctioning of an Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor and the subsequent activation of flight control software (Herkert et al., 2020). As its response to previous tragedies, the company has been unwilling to acknowledge design faults in its aircraft model. Instead, Boeing blamed the pilot’s alleged incapacity for controlling planes when they were under stall conditions. Nevertheless, after the Flight 302 crash in the outskirt of Addis Ababa, the company admitted for the first time that Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was the cause.
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In 2019, one of the senior engineers at Boeing Company filed an internal ethics objection. He indicated that during the design of the 737 Max jet, the company quashed away a safety system to decrease the production cost. The alteration ignored equipment deemed suitable in minimizing risks contributing to Lion and Ethiopian Airlines crash (Kitroeff et al., 2019). The alleged ethical issues prompted the Federal investigators to question one former employee about the assertions. The culmination of the investigation will shed light on the real cause of the famous Boeing MAX 737.
Herkert, J., Borenstein, J., & Miller, K. (2020). The Boeing 737 MAX: Lessons for engineering ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 26(6), 2957-2974. Web.
Josephs, L. (2019). The year that changed Boeing: Airplane maker struggles to regain footing since first 737 Max crash. CNBC. Web.
Kitroeff, N., Gelles, D., & Nicas, J. (2019). Boeing 737 Max safety system was vetoed; engineer says. New York Times. Web.
Naor, M., Adler, N., Pinto, G., & Dumanis, A. (2020). Psychological safety in aviation new product development teams: Case Study of 737 MAX Airplanes. Sustainability, 12(21), 8994. Web.
O’Connell, B. (2020). History of Boeing: Timeline and facts. The Street. Web.
Petrescu, R., Aversa, R., Akash, B., Bucinell, R., Corchado, J., & Berto, F. et al. (2017). History of aviation-a short review. Journal of aircraft and spacecraft technology, 1(1), 30-49. Web.