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is this where we fall behind other countries?

I visited the excellent Boeing website, and made a suggestion:

Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2013 9:57 AM

To: GRP Boeing, WWWMail

Subject: Feedback - Aviation enthusiast


Name: Nicholas Bonham-Carter

Country: US

Relationship with Boeing: Aviation enthusiast

Subject: Other

Comment/Question: All your design emphasis is now on fuel economy during flight, but you could save more fuel on the ground as well, if there were a waiting tractor to tow the plane to the gate, or if there were buses which would go out to meet the plane, and pick up the passengers, and luggage. Nicholas Bonham-Carter

to which they replied:

Hello Nicholas,


Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, The Boeing Company receives hundreds of unsolicited ideas each year. While we are always interested in improvements to our products and processes, the volume of such unsolicited communications has grown to the point where we cannot evaluate them. Please do not submit unsolicited ideas for consideration.


Kind regards,

Boeing Webmaster

perhaps if I had a suggestion related to battery fires they would have been more responsive!!




  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Hear Nothing, See Nothing!

    Hi Nick- I was at first rather surprised by the abrupt (rude?) reply but then after thinking it over think it probably has some legal angle involved. If they can say that their strict policy to email suggestions is "we hear nothing, see nothing" then that is a defense against someone suing them by claiming that their emailed idea was stolen by Boeing and Boeing owed them royalties.  No matter how ridiculous the claim, there are many bottom feeding lawyers would take such a case just for a "get lost" settlement. I think one could make a good argument the reason we fall behind other countries is that we have a multitude of scum bag lawyers that far out weigh the good ones.

    - Rod
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 649
    Well said!

    "Like Button" pushed!  There seems to be no trust among people and no ethics toward others.  People always seem to be out to make a free buck on someone they think can afford it ie. Bowing.  Sad.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Member Posts: 179
    edited April 2013
    I don't know about other countries but...'s been this way in the US for at least 30 years.  As an avid photo hobbyist, i sent several snail-mail suggestions to Kodak in the 80s.  They were returned with a release form I had to sign before anyone at the company would even read them. Unless I gave up any right to compensation should my ideas be implemented, into the trash they would go.  Given the ease of sending email and even greater litigiousness today, I suspect it's easier to totally refuse inputs from outside a corporation.  The formalization of "not invented here."  :)

    I don't think the response would have been any different if you had written about battery fires.  That's a personal opinion, not one derived from my status as a Boeing retiree.  ;-)

    PS  Expanded use of tugs for taxi is really an operational concept of potential use to the air carriers, not an airframe manufacturer.  However, they're probably too busy with bankruptcy and merger lawyers to bother thinking about your idea.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,708
    Potentially interesting thread

    but a bit possibly controversial?

    One thing to remember if one is to send in a suggestion to a company, and they implement it -- is that you own it.  Not them.  Which is good in one way -- there is always the chance for a cash settlement -- but not so hot in another way -- if something goes amiss, one may find one's self liable for a lot more than one bargained for...

    On the buses for airplanes -- there are airports, actually a surprisingly large number -- which do do that.  Dulles does (and has the most amazing contraptions); London Heathrow does for some flights; Toronto does for some flights.  There are a lot of others.  It does work, but adds a good bit to the time involved for the passengers in loading and unloading.  Tugs for aircraft, too, although almost always the tugs are limited to just in the immediate gate area, with at least one and usually two wing walkers.  Speaking as a pilot, I'd be less than keen on large scale distant tug operations -- for three reasons.  First, that taxi is a nice time to find out that all systems are more or less go; much better than between 0 and 80 mph on the runway.  Second is that the thought of a horde of tugs milling about under my landing gear and around my engines is real scary.  And third, tugs have a habit of not being all that careful, sometimes, about keeping my wing clear of your tail... which can mess up your whole day.  But that's just me!

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,457
    This is all a depressing

    statement about our country. That any company's first consideration has to be about protecting themselves from legal actin just proves the Bard was right.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    Jammie brings some good points to the discussion

    From a pilots view he is correct. There is enough on the check list to worry about with out worrying about everything Jammie has pointed out. I have a close friend who flew P3s in the navy, and went on as a commercial pilot. I'm well aware of cockpit activity even in the taxi way.

    I can also tell you I have three family members that work for Boeing. One helped design the minuteman missile remember those. They the employees of Boeing do get monetary rewards for suggestions in streamlining the company. Rewards are a percentage of how well their idea either saves, or makes the company money so there is incentive there. They won't even hire you unless you have a major in business coupled with engineering degree.

    It's funny how aviation has evolved in phases.

    First it was just being able to fly.

    Then it was jet, and rocket propulsion.

    Then it was about how fast, and high you can push the limits of design with the technology at hand.

    Then it was not so much about speed but maneuverability.

    Then it was about carrying a big payload as fast as you can.

    Now it's about carrying the most payload with the most economy.

    I still admire the skunkworks spear headed by Kelly Johnson, and the design of the sr-71

    That is still quite a marvel of an aircraft to this day for being conceived in the late 50's early 60's.

    Aviation moved so fast that Orville Wright, and Neil Armstrong were actually alive at the same time for 18 years.

    I also really don't see how Boeing should, or could have much say in how their plane is taken beyond the envelope of its economical aircraft design in how it's handled by the purchaser to help save more fuel. I mean really they are in the airplane building business not airport efficiency. From their stand point once a plane is sold is that it performs as promised. Telling, or suggesting how facilities should handle their aircraft about the Tarmac, and taxi ways is opening up liability to any aircraft manufacturer.

    So to answer the question yes this is what the US has evolved into.....why......liability.....why liability.......lawyers!
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    At least someone listened to a suggestion!

    This was not my doing but at least someone listened!--NBC
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Member Posts: 179
    Interesting idea...

    ...but I have a few questions and a comment.

    *  It appears to be permanently attached to the gear.  How much does it weigh and what is the impact on airborne fuel consumption of always carrying that additional weight?

    *  In use during taxi, it draws power from the aircraft's electrical system, i.e. APU.  How much additional fuel is consumed by the APU as a result?

    *  Regulatory agency certification of something like this will require a long and expensive effort by the airframe manufacturers and/or carriers.  Who will pay for that?

    It will be interesting to see what the Air France analysis shows with respect to these factors.
  • bill nyebill nye Member Posts: 307

    I did a search  " US falls behind....." it was very long list of many different things. Wealth , education, time off from work , etc., etc.

    It is probably time to turn off the TV, put away the video games, and stop the incessant texting.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    edited June 2013

    Keeping college affordable.

    And being able to get a job in the field you hold a degree in!
This discussion has been closed.


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