Internal emails from Boeing staff members working on the 737 MAX were made public earlier this month have revealed new safety problems for the company's flagship 777X, a long-range, wide-body, twin-engine passenger jet, currently in development that is expected to replace the aging 777-200LR and 777-300ER fleets, reported The Telegraph.
Already, damning emails released via a U.S. Senate probe describes problems during the MAX development and qualification process. The emails also highlight how Boeing employees were troubled by the 777X – could be vulnerable to technical issues.
Emails dated from June 2018, months before the first MAX crash, said the "lowest ranking and most unproven" suppliers used on the MAX program were being shifted towards the 777X program.
The email further said the "Best part is we are re-starting this whole thing with the 777X with the same supplier and have signed up to an even more aggressive schedule."
Another Boeing employee warned about cost-cutting measures via selecting the "lowest-cost suppliers" for both MAX and 777X programs.
"We put ourselves in this position by picking the lowest-cost supplier and signing up to impossible schedules. Why did the lowest ranking and most unproven suppliers receive the contract? Solely based on the bottom dollar. Not just the Max but also the 777X! Supplier management drives all these decisions."
Like the MAX, the 777X is an update of an outdated airframe from decades ago, which is an attempt by Boeing to deliver passenger jets that are more efficient and provide better operating economics for airlines.
Back in September, we noted how the door of a new 777X flew off the fuselage while several FAA inspectors were present to evaluate a structural test.
Boeing's problem could stem from how it used the "lowest-cost suppliers" to develop high-tech planes on old airframes to compete with Airbus. The result has already been devastating: two MAX planes have crashed, killing 346 people, due to a malfunctioning flight control system, and 777X failing a structural ground test.
Boeing's C-suite executives push for profitability (at the apparent expense of safety) has, by all appearances, been a disaster; sacrificing the safety of the planes to drive sales higher to unlock tens of billions of dollars in stock buybacks - that would allow executives to dump their stock options at record high stock prices.