The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Oliver Winchester was born 209 years ago...

I got this from Alex at Ammo.com and he asked me if I would post this on my blog and I have no problem doing so.  The Pics are compliments of "Google" and the Garand Pic is mine.

Oliver Winchester was born in Boston, on November 30, 1810. He started his career with a clothing company based out of New York City and New Haven, Connecticut. After successfully running this aspect of his business, Winchester began to look for new opportunities. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (yes, that “Smith & Wesson” who later formed the Smith & Wesson Revolver Company) acquired and improved a rifle design with the help of shop foreman, Benjamin Tyler Henry. Talk about a genius cluster! In 1855, they began to manufacture what would be known as the “Volcanic” lever-action rifle. The company would become incorporated as the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company; its largest stockholder was Oliver Winchester.

 Volcanic Lever Action Rifle
After limited success with this new rifle, Winchester seized the opportunity to take control over the failing company and renamed it the New Haven Arms Company. Although initial returns were slow, Benjamin Henry, the company’s leading engineer, improved the Volcanic repeating rifle’s design by enlarging the frame and magazine to accommodate the all-new brass cased .44 caliber cartridge. This ingenuity put the company on the map, and in 1860, the patent for the infamous Henry rifle was issued. The next  six years of production produced over 12,000 Henry, many of which were used in the Civil War. In the following months, Benjamin Henry, angered over what he believed was inadequate compensation, filed a lawsuit for ownership of the company. Oliver Winchester hastenly reorganized the company as the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to circumvent this issue. 

 Model 1866
The Model 1866 soon rolled out as the first Winchester rifle. Based on the Henry rifle, it came with an improved magazine and a wooden forend. In the following years, larger caliber rifles such as the infamous Model 1873, “The Gun That Won The West”, brought more notoriety and foundation to the company. Although Mr. Winchester would miss the opportunity to see his company’s greatest achievements; he passed away in December of 1880. 

 Model 1873
Winchester Repeating Arms Company’s collaboration with John Browning brought about much success with a host of shotguns, including the still produced Model 1885. The turn of the 20th century hosted a series of new arms developments, many from the top engineer at the time, T.C. Johnson. But it was the start of the First World War that set development and production requirements into full force. The company became a major producer of the .30-06 M1917 Enfield rifle for the United States military, and worked once more with Browning to develop the .50 caliber BMG.

During the war, the company borrowed heavily to finance the expansion. In an attempt to pay down its debt following the war’s end, they used their surplus production capacity to manufacture consumer goods such as kitchen knives, roller skates, and refrigerators. The strategy was a failure, and the Great Depression sent the company into bankruptcy. John M. Olin’s Western Cartridge Company purchased the Winchester Repeating Arms Company at auction in 1931, with plans to restore the brand to its former glory. The Second World War helped this cause tremendously as Winchester produced the U.S. M1 Carbine and the M1 Garand rifle during this time period. 

 My Garand with the Serial Number "Squiggled out"
Over the following decades, the Olin Winchester-Western division struggled with rising labor costs and other companies’ cast-and-stamped production methods. By 1980, Olin decided to sell the company back to its employees, which re-incorporated as the U.S. Repeating Arms Company. Olin retained the Winchester ammunition business. U.S. Repeating Arms went bankrupt in 1989, and after a number of sellouts to forgien holdings companies, the New Haven plant closed its doors on January 16, 2006, after 140 years of producing rifles and shotguns. 

In August of 2006, Olin Corporation, owner of Winchester trademarks, entered a new license deal with Browning to make Winchester brand rifles and shotguns once again. The Model 1885, Model 1892, and Model 1886 are all produced by Miroku Corporation of Japan, then imported to the U.S. by Browning. Currently, Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal (FN) makes the remainder of Winchester’s rifle and shotgun lineup in various locations around Europe.

Winchester-branded ammunition continues to be produced by the Olin Corporation. Some of the most successful cartridges ever invented have been under the Winchester name: the .44-40 WCF, the .30-30 WCF, the .32 Winchester Special, the .50 BMG, the .270 Winchester, the .308 Winchester (the commercial version of the 7.62x51mm NATO), the .243 Winchester, the .22 WMR (aka the .22 Magnum), and the .300 Winchester Magnum. In North America, the .30-30 and .308 Winchester are some of the best selling cartridges in firearm history. 

Through its history, the Winchester name has experienced great successes and significant failures; but it’s truly an important story to know in the realm of firearms. Here’s to the man that started it all, happy birthday to Mr. Oliver Winchester.

Red Flag Laws

I haven't posted anything from the JPFO in a long time.  I used to post stuff from them when I first started blogging.  I saw this from JPFO.  I have a lot of issues with "Red Flag" laws, it violates due process and some states  and municipalities that are anti-gun use this as an excuse to disarm their citizens. All it takes is someone "hearsay" and they come over and seize your guns and you have to take them to court to try to get your guns back and usually you don't because the system is rigged against you and tilted to the state.

'Red Flag',
and its Issues

By Tom Knighton. November 25, 2019

I'm not a fan of red flag laws at all.
On the surface, to be frank, I kind of want to be. I want to find some way to take guns from mass murderers before they do horrible things. On the surface, I really do.
However, the problem is that there's no way to do that without infringing on people's rights. We don't really know who is a mass murderer in the making and who isn't. That means a lot of innocent people are going to be messed with who shouldn't be. Couple that with the whole due process thing, and it's a freaking nightmare.
The problem is that some people don't see that nightmare. They see just the surface, and then they defend the law in print.
The thing is, sometimes, their defense of the law illustrates a lot of the problems with that law. .....
The bottom line is lack of due process - guilty even by heresay, not to mention the extreme risks possible from a dawn no-knock raid when LE 'comes to collect'. Stopping mass murders is one thing, laudable in itself - but deprivation of rights by 'pre-crime' is quite another.
"You don't have to be Jewish to fight by our side."
You just have to love freedom.
© 2019 JPFO All rights reserved.

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
America’s most aggressive civil rights organization
We make the NRA look like moderates

Sanctuaries Defend Civil
Rights Across the US

By Rob Morse. November 25, 2019
Original Source

I'm slow, but I eventually put the pieces together. The bad news is that more state governments are infringing on our rights. The good news is that local governments stood up to protect us. We are seeing a large and growing movement across the country where local governments stand up to protect our right of self-defense. We have well established second-amendment sanctuary counties in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, and Washington. We're seeing a new bloom of them in other states. The growth is so rapid, that I know the graphic is out of date.
The second-amendment sanctuary movement started years ago. I remember when counties in Colorado said they would not enforce the recently passed magazine capacity limits. There were many downstate counties in Illinois who told the Chicago-controlled legislature that they would 'keep their guns, thank you'. Counties in New York passed second-amendment sanctuary bills after the infamous New York SAFE Act was passed in the middle of the night. .....

Friday, November 29, 2019

Tim Conway and the "Elephant" Skit.

I am doing a repeat blogpost, I am still recovering from the Thanksgiving Food Coma.  We did go see "Ford Vs Ferrari", an excellent movie.

I have this saved in my favorites on "YouTube", I ran across this a few years ago, the infamous "Elephant Story" from Tim Conway.  I can watch that clip and bust out a laughing everytime.  To try to see everyone try to hold their composure and not let on that they are laughing so hard.  I don't know if they can do humor like this anymore.  They didn't use any bad words except for "Momma", Vicki Lawrence's character,, she said one word toward the end.  

 the final season of The Carol Burnett Show during the Password sketch. Cast member Tim Conway ad-libbed a story about elephants and cracked up his cast mates during both the dress rehearsal and the final taping. In the first one he talks about seeing an elephant with a dwarf trainer and mentioning that there was a rumor going around the circus that the elephant and the trainer were lovers, pushing Burnett, Lawrence, and Van Dyke to a breaking point and hiding their faces from the audience. At one point the camera focuses on Burnett and Lawrence staring at him in exasperation. Finally, Burnett started swatting at Conway with the game card to get him to stop. In the second one he talks about seeing a pair of Siamese elephants during a trip to a freak show, describing in detail how they were connected at the trunk and the sounds they made. The audience was in hysterics the entire time while Burnett, Lawrence and Dick Van Dyke desperately struggled to maintain composure, and even Conway is seen trying to stifle his laughter numerous times. At one point Lawrence looked at Burnett, started to look away, then did a quick look back at her and had to turn away, breaking character and laughing. Several times when Conway would stop, the rest of the cast would collect themselves, at which point Conway would continue with his ad libbing, pushing them again to the edge of breaking up. When Burnett managed to gain her composure one last time, she turned to Lawrence to help get the script moving again, to which Lawrence quipped (in character), "You sure that little asshole's through?" At that point chaos ensued with the entire cast breaking up and the audience was screaming with delight. Conway and Van Dyke both fell off the ends of the couch to the floor laughing, with Conway rolling around and Van Dyke lying flat on his back and eventually sitting up. Burnett fell back onto the couch and can be seen muttering to herself while shaking with laughter. Lawrence herself managed to keep it together for only a few seconds after everyone fell apart before cracking up herself. In an interview, Lawrence talks about the famous sketch, recalling that it was her husband's suggestion to "get" Conway when she found out between tapings that the elephant story part of the sketch was being changed but was not given any details. The director's only advice on it was "good luck". She also noted that it was one of the rare occasions when she really cut loose on the show.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!!

  Remember to have fun, enjoy the camaraderie of Family and Friends and don't talk politics, unless your liberal Aunt or Uncle start it, then have fun stirring things up, LOL

I clipped this compliments of alex@ammo.com
Thanksgiving is the oldest national holiday in the United States. However, it’s observation is not a continuous presence in American history. While the celebration of Thanksgiving predates even the founding of the nation, it was proclaimed by George Washington, then ignored by Thomas Jefferson. From then on, it was sporadically observed until Abraham Lincoln, who once again introduced a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving to the United States.
Indeed, it was Lincoln who set the day as the last Thursday in November. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the day between 1939 and 1941, which was highly controversial. The days were called “Franksgiving.” Roosevelt changed the date because retailers communicated to him through the Retail Dry Goods Association and the Secretary of Commerce, that the late date of Thanksgiving that year (the last day of November) might negatively impact retail sales. It was considered bad form to put up Christmas decorations or put on Christmas sales before Thanksgiving.
If only we still lived in such times.
In 1942, Congress set Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of the month, and here it has stood since then.

The Early Days of Thanksgiving

Harvest feasts date back centuries, with the earliest “thanksgiving” celebrations in the New World dating to the 16th Century with the French and the Spanish. The Commonwealth of Virginia had regular celebrations of this type dating back to 1607. The first permanent settlement, Jamestown, Virginia, had a thanksgiving celebration in the year of its founding, 1610. 
Of course, anytime someone says “Thanksgiving,” one immediately thinks of the Pilgrims. “Thanksgiving” as we know it is generally dated back to when the Pilgrims first celebrated it in 1621. This was in response to a successful harvest, however, it was not the first of a consistent celebration. The Pilgrims celebrated this only sporadically.
No one is entirely sure when the Thanksgiving celebration took place. There was a three-day celebration following their harvest, sometime between September 21 and November 11, with the Feast of Michaelmas (September 29) being the most likely date. We do, however, know that all 50 surviving Mayflower passengers were there, as well as 90 Native Americans. The feast was cooked primarily by four women, all of whom were on the Mayflower. Two years later, in 1623, following another boat of colonists arriving, the first civil (not religious) Thanksgiving took place in July.

The Revolution to the Civil War

The day of national Thanksgiving jumped around until the founding of the nation. During the late Colonial period, the Continental Congress merely recommended the day be celebrated by the various colonies. Samuel Adams drafted the first national proclamation, issued in 1777 – something to remember when you tip back one of his beers while watching the game. Revolutionary Commander General George Washington set the date in December of that year to celebrate early revolutionary victories. 
In 1789, President George Washington would proclaim November 26, 1789, to be a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving. This day also provides the roots for America’s National Day of Prayer. In 1795, Thanksgiving was celebrated, again by presidential proclamation, on February 19. President John Adams continued the tradition in 1798 and 1799. The tradition was undone by deist and skeptic President Thomas Jefferson. President James Madison revived the tradition in 1814, but it remained sporadic until the Civil War. Many governors proclaimed celebrations statewide. 
In November 1863, however, President Lincoln made the celebration national again. He was inspired by an editorial series written by “Mary Had a Little Lamb” author Sarah Josepha Hale. Secretary of State William H. Seward wrote the proclamation. During this period, traditions were regional and some of the food is decidedly not what we would consider to be traditional Thanksgiving fare today (pigeon pie, for example).


Franksgiving is one of those things like the court-packing plan that made FDR’s opponents squeal with laughter. FDR’s moving of the date of Thanksgiving caused his opponent in the previous election, Alf Landon, to compare him to Hitler. James Frasier, chairman of the Plymouth, Massachusetts board of selectmen heartily disapproved of the change. 
The change caused a number of problems, not least of all holiday travel plans. Football teams around the nation played before empty stadiums because they couldn’t change their schedule. Many games were cancelled. In what is a familiar scenario to anyone who has followed 21st-century politics, Democrats narrowly supported Franksgiving (52 to 48), Republicans widely despised it (79 to 21) and most of America didn’t like it (62 to 38). 
All told, 23 states and the District of Columbia recognized the new date, while 22 preferred the traditional date. The remaining three (Colorado, Texas and Mississippi) went with both dates, meaning there was plenty of time off for everyone. In 1940, 32 states and the nation’s capital went with Franksgiving, while the remaining 16 opted for what was called “Republican Thanksgiving.”
A report from the Department of Commerce issued in 1941, found that there was no difference in retail sales due to the day of the month. Indeed, barely more than a third of all retailers even observed Franksgiving. What’s more, only two out of every seven Thanksgivings would fall on a fifth Thursday rather than a fourth. Still, a joint resolution of Congress, signed into law by President Roosevelt, permanently moved the date to the fourth Thursday, where it has stood ever since. Most states concurred, and while revelry was on the back burner thanks to the war, Thanksgiving in its final form took root by 1945. 
If you ever find yourself watching the Merrie Melodies cartoon Holiday Highlights, you’ll notice a reference to two different Thanksgivings – one for Republicans and one for Democrats – that will now make sense to you. 
Texas was the last state to observe the traditional “last Thursday” Thanksgiving in 1956.

Thanksgiving Haters

While it has its roots in European harvest festivals, there is perhaps no more quintessentially American holiday than Thanksgiving. Americans eat more food this day than they will any other day of the year, including the Fourth of July and Christmas Day. Unsurprisingly, there are people who think that the celebration of Thanksgiving is shameful and should be abandoned. 
Both liberal college professors and some Native American activists believe the traditional story of Thanksgiving has been whitewashed by conquerors. They believe in replacing the day with a National Day of Atonement and fasting. Other prominent Native Americans such as Tim Giago, who founded the Native American Journalists Organization, believe that the celebration of Thanksgiving is a synthesis of both European and Native American traditions and is, as such, uniquely American. 
The rest of us, however, will enjoy stuffing ourselves with turkey, slipping into a tryptophan coma, and waking up just in time to catch the big game or the parade. Real Americans, as it turns out, would much rather enjoy a day off than complain.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Boeing 777X fuselage splits during testing.....

I did a post yesterday on Boeing and the "Miscues", I saw this pop up on my facebook feed about an event that happened to the test plane.   I want the company to get their "Mojo" back. 
     I clipped this from CNBC

777X Folding Winglet

The fuselage of a Boeing 777X split open during a stress test in September, according to the Seattle Times, damage that was more severe than was previously disclosed.
A Boeing spokesman told CNBC that the result occurred in the final minutes of the aircraft test and it won’t impact its already-delayed delivery timeline of the wide-body planes. He added that the incident involved a depressurization of the fuselage and that it happened when the plane was bearing 99% of the test load.
While Boeing previously acknowledged an issue with the test of the plane, during which a door blew off the aircraft, in September, the Seattle Times said on Wednesday that it obtained photos suggesting that the damage was worse than originally reported.

“The test plane is a complete write-off, its fuselage skin ripped wide open just behind the wing,” the Seattle Times wrote.
The test involved bending the wings to an angle “beyond anything expected in commercial service,” a Boeing spokesman said, a routine test for new aircraft.
Boeing does not anticipate that this incident will impact the timeline of the 777X’s first flight or deliveries.

<iframe width=560 height=349 src=https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000110797 frameborder=0 scrolling=no allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen ></iframe>

Boeing said it still it expects to start delivering the planes in early 2021, later than the end of 2020 it was originally targeting, due to delays with the General Electric GE9X engines.
“As we’d said for some time, there had been significant risk to the late 2020 timeline,” the company said in a statement. “For example, the timing of engines for the remaining flight test airplanes will affect when they begin flying, which in turn affects our detailed test schedules.”
Boeing shares were down less than 1% in afternoon trading. On Wednesday there was also ews that the FAA would maintain even tighter control over safety checks of the manufacturer’s beleaguered 737 Max planes, which have been grounded since mid-March after two fatal crashes.
— CNBC’s Phil LeBeau contributed to this report.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The flight that changed Boeing..

I saw this article surfing Facebook.  I had wondered what had been going on with Boeing.  I am a Chemtrail Technician and the phrase on a lot of toolboxes at work was...
I personally prefer Airbus because as a Mechanic the plane is maintenance friendly.  Boeing builds some really good airplanes I am a huge fan of the B757 series of airplanes.  I am pushing for my employer to send me to 757 school so I can learn about that airplane.  I have been to Airbus 319/320/321 school and I learned a lot but I digress.  Well anyway Boeing builds some damm good planes, they are legendary, but I couldn't understand the missteps  lately with the Boeing 787 which is a beautiful plane and now the Boeing 737 MAX.  My employer has a bunch of Boeing 737 but no MAX's.  We also have a bunch of Boeing 757 and Boeing 767's. 
    I remember the story of the Boeing 707 Prototype called the "Dash 80"
My Pic when I and my son went to Udvar-Hazy in 2012

The Dash 80 rolled out of the factory on May 15, 1954, two years after the project was approved and 18 months after construction had started. During a series of taxi trials the port landing gear collapsed on May 22; the damage was quickly repaired and the first flight was on July 15, 1954.
Following flights revealed a propensity to "Dutch roll" - an alternating yawing and rolling motion. Boeing already had experience with this on the B-47 Stratojet and B-52 Stratofortress and had developed a yaw damper system on the B-47 that could be adapted to the Dash 80. Other problems were found with the engines and brakes, the latter once failing completely on landing causing the aircraft to overshoot the runway.
Boeing used the Dash 80 on demonstration flights for airline executives and other industry figures. These focused attention on the question of what the cabin of a passenger jet should look like. In a departure from its usual practice Boeing hired industrial design firm Walter Dorwin Teague to create a cabin as radical as the aircraft itself.
Prior to demonstration for passenger airlines, Dash 80 was fitted with Boeing's Flying Boom for aerial refueling which served as a prototype for the KC-135 Stratotanker and its later derivatives

   Another pic of the "Dash 80" at the museum,   This pic was taken with my older smart phone and the pictures are a bit lacking.
As part of the Dash 80's demonstration program, Bill Allen invited representatives of the Aircraft Industries Association (AIA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) to the Seattle's 1955 Seafair and Gold Cup Hydroplane Races held on Lake Washington on August 6, 1955. The Dash-80 was scheduled to perform a simple flyover, but Boeing test pilot Alvin "Tex" Johnston instead performed two barrel rolls to show off the jet airliner.
The next day, Allen summoned Johnston to his office and told him not to perform such a maneuver again, to which Johnston replied that he was simply "selling airplanes" and asserted that doing so was completely safe. The barrel roll story appears on a video called Frontiers of Flight – The Jet Airliner, produced by the National Air and Space Museum in association with the Smithsonian Institution in 1992.
Boeing Chief Test Pilot John Cashman stated that just before he piloted the maiden flight of the Boeing 777 on June 12, 1994, his last instructions from then-Boeing President Phil Condit were "No rolls."

The Dash 80's final flight was to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. on August 27, 2003. Repainted to its original yellow and brown Boeing livery, it was put on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, located adjacent to Dulles Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.

     I couldn't figure out what caused such a storied company that made brilliant machines could so mess things up.  I then read this article from the Atlantic and it did explain much.  Any company that forgets what "brought it to the table" will make mistakes, and some of them are costly.  According to the article the company changed from being run by engineers to bean counters.  

The Long-Forgotten Flight That Sent Boeing Off Course

Hermes Images / AGF / Universal Images Group / Getty
The flight that put the Boeing Company on course for disaster lifted off a few hours after sunrise. It was good flying weather—temperatures in the mid-40s with a slight breeze out of the southeast—but oddly, no one knew where the 737 jetliner was headed. The crew had prepared three flight plans: one to Denver. One to Dallas. And one to Chicago.
In the plane’s trailing vortices was greater Seattle, where the company’s famed engineering culture had taken root; where the bulk of its 40,000-plus engineers lived and worked; indeed, where the jet itself had been assembled. But it was May 2001. And Boeing’s leaders, CEO Phil Condit and President Harry Stonecipher, had decided it was time to put some distance between themselves and the people actually making the company’s planes. How much distance? This flight—a PR stunt to end the two-month contest for Boeing’s new headquarters—would reveal the answer. Once the plane was airborne, Boeing announced it would be landing at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

 On the tarmac, Condit stepped out of the jet, made a brief speech, then boarded a helicopter for an aerial tour of Boeing’s new corporate home: the Morton Salt building, a skyscraper sitting just out of the Loop in downtown Chicago. Boeing’s top management plus staff—roughly 500 people in all—would work here. They could see the boats plying the Chicago River and the trains rumbling over it. Condit, an opera lover, would have an easy walk to the Lyric Opera building. But the nearest Boeing commercial-airplane assembly facility would be 1,700 miles away.

The isolation was deliberate. “When the headquarters is located in proximity to a principal business—as ours was in Seattle—the corporate center is inevitably drawn into day-to-day business operations,” Condit explained at the time. And that statement, more than anything, captures a cardinal truth about the aerospace giant. The present 737 Max disaster can be traced back two decades—to the moment Boeing’s leadership decided to divorce itself from the firm’s own culture.
For about 80 years, Boeing basically functioned as an association of engineers. Its executives held patents, designed wings, spoke the language of engineering and safety as a mother tongue. Finance wasn’t a primary language. Even Boeing’s bean counters didn’t act the part. As late as the mid-’90s, the company’s chief financial officer had minimal contact with Wall Street and answered colleagues’ requests for basic financial data with a curt “Tell them not to worry.”
By the time I visited the company—for Fortune, in 2000—that had begun to change. In Condit’s office, overlooking Boeing Field, were 54 white roses to celebrate the day’s closing stock price. The shift had started three years earlier, with Boeing’s “reverse takeover” of McDonnell Douglas—so-called because it was McDonnell executives who perversely ended up in charge of the combined entity, and it was McDonnell’s culture that became ascendant. “McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing’s money,” went the joke around Seattle. Condit was still in charge, yes, and told me to ignore the talk that somebody had “captured” him and was holding him “hostage” in his own office. But Stonecipher was cutting a Dick Cheney–like figure, blasting the company’s engineers as “arrogant” and spouting Harry Trumanisms (“I don’t give ’em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell”) when they shot back that he was the problem.
McDonnell’s stock price had risen fourfold under Stonecipher as he went on a cost-cutting tear, but many analysts feared that this came at the cost of the company’s future competitiveness. “There was a little surprise that a guy running a failing company ended up with so much power,” the former Boeing executive vice president Dick Albrecht told me at the time. Post-merger, Stonecipher brought his chain saw to Seattle. “A passion for affordability” became one of the company’s new, unloved slogans, as did “Less family, more team.” It was enough to drive the white-collar engineering union, which had historically functioned as a professional debating society, into acting more like organized labor. “We weren’t fighting against Boeing,” one union leader told me of the 40-day strike that shut down production in 2000. “We were fighting to save Boeing.”

Engineers were all too happy to share such views with executives, which made for plenty of awkward encounters in the still-smallish city that was Seattle in the ’90s. It was, top brass felt, an undue amount of contact for executives of a modern, diversified corporation.
One of the most successful engineering cultures of all time was quickly giving way to the McDonnell mind-set. Another McDonnell executive had recently been elevated to chief financial officer. (“A further indication of who in the hell was controlling this company,” a union leader told me.) That, in turn, contributed to the company’s extraordinary decision to move its headquarters to Chicago, where it strangely remains—in the historical capital of printing, Pullman cars, and meatpacking—to this day.
If Andrew Carnegie’s advice—“Put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket”—had guided Boeing before, these decisions accomplished roughly the opposite. The company would put its eggs in three baskets: military in St. Louis. Space in Long Beach. Passenger jets in Seattle. And it would watch that basket from Chicago. Never mind that the majority of its revenues and real estate were and are in basket three. Or that Boeing’s managers would now have the added challenge of flying all this blind—or by instrument, as it were—relying on remote readouts of the situation in Chicago instead of eyeballing it directly (as good pilots are incidentally trained to do). The goal was to change Boeing’s culture.
And in that, Condit and Stonecipher clearly succeeded. In the next four years, Boeing’s detail-oriented, conservative culture became embroiled in a series of scandals. Its rocket division was found to be in possession of 25,000 pages of stolen Lockheed Martin documents. Its CFO (ex-McDonnell) was caught violating government procurement laws and went to jail. With ethics now front and center, Condit was forced out and replaced with Stonecipher, who promptly affirmed: “When people say I changed the culture of Boeing, that was the intent, so that it’s run like a business rather than a great engineering firm.” A General Electric alum, he built a virtual replica of GE’s famed Crotonville leadership center for Boeing managers to cycle through. And when Stonecipher had his own career-ending scandal (an affair with an employee), it was another GE alum—James McNerney—who came in from the outside to replace him.
As the aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia recently told me, “You had this weird combination of a distant building with a few hundred people in it and a non-engineer with no technical skills whatsoever at the helm.” Even that might have worked—had the commercial-jet business stayed in the hands of an experienced engineer steeped in STEM disciplines. Instead McNerney installed an M.B.A. with a varied background in sales, marketing, and supply-chain management. Said Aboulafia, “We were like, ‘What?’’’

The company that once didn’t speak finance was now, at the top, losing its ability to converse in engineering.
It wasn’t just technical knowledge that was lost, Aboulafia said. “It was the ability to comfortably interact with an engineer who in turn feels comfortable telling you their reservations, versus calling a manager [more than] 1,500 miles away who you know has a reputation for wanting to take your pension away. It’s a very different dynamic. As a recipe for disempowering engineers in particular, you couldn’t come up with a better format.”

And in some of the internal exchanges now coming to light, you can see the level of estrangement among engineers, operators, and executives that resulted. A Boeing vice president, Mike Sinnett, told American Airlines pilots that the MCAS software system implicated in the 737 Max crashes didn’t have “a single-point failure,” as reported—asserting that the pilots themselves constituted a second point of backup—showing both a misunderstanding of the term and a sharp break from Boeing’s long-standing practice of having multiple backups for every flight system. Meanwhile, experienced Boeing engineers rolled their eyes as some software-development tasks (not specific to MCAS) were outsourced to recent college grads earning as little as $9 an hour, who were employed by an Indian subcontractor set up across from Seattle’s Boeing Field.
The current Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, is being pilloried for his handling of the disaster, and accused of harming the company by prioritizing profit. But the criticism misses the point, Aboulafia told me. “The difference between doing MCAS right and MCAS wrong was not an economic thing. It’s a culture thing.”