Philip Condit and the Boeing 777

2073 Words Dec 9th, 2012 9 Pages
Philip Condit and the Development of the 777
Daniel W. Sobel
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Abstract
This paper of Philip Condit and the Development of the 777; describes the management, and technological changes that Philip Condit made to the development style of the Boeing Company. Before Philip Condit took over the 777 program, Boeing had been making airplanes in the same fashion as it had been doing for 70 years prior. Mr. Condit saw the chance to bring Boeing into the 21st century not only with the new technology of computer aided drafting, but with modern management techniques as well. The 777 program proved to be the perfect testing ground for a companywide change in the way Boeing did its business.

Philip Condit
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Having the Government subsidize Airbus’s development phase gave Airbus company a great advantage (Lawrence, 2008). Airbus at the time also had the advantage in terms of technology. The fly by wire technology had been in use for some time in the Airbus A320. The two new models; A330 and A340; also used this technology. Boeing had yet to produce a fly by wire system (Richards, 1990). The industry environment was also in Boeings favor at the time. Boeing had a history of dedicated customers. The company had been making commercially successful jet aircraft since it first developed the “707”. Boeing was so successful at manufacturing the jet aircraft, that it was one of two companies left making them. This advantage gave them the ability to be a powerful supplier. The expense of the development process also made it extremely difficult for new companies to even enter the market. Boeing faced only one competitor at this point; Airbus (Pearce, Robinson, 2003). This was where Philip Condit stepped in. He had been an engineer with Boeing since 1965; and assisted in the design of the 707, 727, 737, 747, and 757. He understood how the company operated. One of the first things he changed was how the aircraft was to be physically designed. Previously, the engineers would design a wing on paper, build it out of wood or foam, and then add it to a mockup of the aircraft. The people designing the fuel tanks would then add in their