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July 06, 2014


While enlisted in the Marines my son got 2 tattoos, but he kept them where they did not show while in PT gear in case he wanted to come back in as an officer.
The military is downsizing and they can be picky who they let in or not allow people to re-enlist. So there are many reasons being given and tattoos are one of the common ones. During a time of war they are less picky about the rules.

Did you see the news about the Boeing fuselages from Wichita ending up in a river in Montana?

Ingineer--I can't say that I've ever known a Marine with tattoos. Of course, the tattoos may have been well hidden. As to down-sizing, a smaller force really needs to comprise the better qualified or more able members. I once had the bewildering assignment at Naval Air Station New Orleans of accompanying a slick-sleeved sailor through out-processing. How she had ever been allowed to enlist was beyond me. They gave her a medical discharge, but it was a case of her not having basic intelligence. What a shame to have put the USNR and her through the experience.

Yes, photos of the three fuselages were on the news that evening - a couple of hours after the incident. I had sent an email on the subject to Stu but did not think to include you. I was so late getting the email out that you had surely seen the reports by then. I was twitting Stu because I was surprised that he hadn't hopped right on that. I usually get an email from him concerning anything that is aviation related - especially when it concerns the Wichita area or Kansas.

FYI: From the email to Stu:
"From Slashdot.org: Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River 172
"Posted by timothy on Friday July 04, 2014 @07:56PM
"from the fell-off-the-truck dept.
"McGruber (1417641) writes "Boeing builds its 737 airplane fuselages in a Wichita, Kansas factory. The fuselages are then shipped on top of railroad flatcar (as shown in this photograph) to Boeing's Renton, Washington plant, where assembly is completed. Unfortunately, a train carrying two fuselages to Renton derailed approximately 18 miles east of Superior, Montana. The 737s slid down a steep embankment and ended up in the Clark Fork River. That'll buff right out." "

"Since this was on the news (with photos) last evening, I expected to hear about it from you. In the photos shown on TV (and those at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-05/train-derails-montana-dumps-boeing-fuselages-river) three fuselages are shown. I’m not positive that the one mostly in the water is a 737; but, it probably is. They also ship 777 fuselages from here in Wichita. One minor detail: Boeing builds nothing in Wichita. Spirit Aerosystems (a spinoff from Boeing) assembles the fuselages. At times, traffic is stopped on one of the hi-ways that I habitually travel to allow passage of a few train cars with assemblies on them."

Since sending the email I've realized and confirmed that Spirit does not make 777 fuselages and that all three had to have been 737s. From Spirit's website.:
"Spirit designs and builds the fuselage for the 737, demonstrating considerable experience in this area. Spirit also designs and produces the forward cab assembly for the 747, 767 and 777 airplanes. Spirit’s expertise extends well beyond metallic structures, with one example being the composite contoured one-piece barrel for the 787 program."

I figured that you knew about it. I was somewhat off the grid while enjoying the holiday weekend in Santa Barbara, so I was late to the party. The first article that I read shows what passes for journalism these days. The person wrote about how the fuselages show how massive these airplanes are. I wonder what adjectives would have been used had 777's or other large planes ended up in the river.

You remind me of a fiction book (that my husband wanted to get rid of, but I read it, first) wherein the author made a point about the huge aircraft they used - a C-130! Later in the story, a C-5A appears - without the benefit of adjectives. Of course, the same author at the end of the tale had a "gander" being a female goose. Otherwise, the guy did a decent job on most tech.

P.S. In yesterday's news, they were talking about retrieving the six fuselages that had left the rails. I had only heard about (or paid attention to) the three that had slipped down the embankment. It had taken 12 hours to retrieve the first one.

I had heard more than 3 were involved. I have been around a few train derailments. Normally very large equipment comes from Roseville, CA or Omaha to collect the pieces. And it is typically in scrap pieces when they are done. This time the cargo is a bit different and I am guessing they don't want it smashed worse during the retrieval.

They may salvage some sub-assemblies and parts, but I'm doubting that any of the 3 fuselages ever fly - as complete fuselages.

About 15 years ago, I led a team to evaluate damage done to a pre-delivery business jet (that had survived a run-in with a concrete jet blast barrier only to be damaged much worse by the people who, failing to follow my boss's directions, used one of the wrong lift points in lifting the plane off the barrier). My recommendation was to scrap the plane ($7M airplane in about 1998 dollars) which the insurance company did. Unfortunately, the line on that model had already partially shut down - it was the third-to-last airplane of that model to be built. The company made the buyer a really great deal on a newer, but slightly smaller, model.

For a few years afterward, I got inquiries from manufacturing or maintenance to see if they could use certain parts/sub-assemblies off of the scrapped plane. Some could be used, some could not.

"...inquiries from manufacturing or maintenance to see if they could use certain parts/sub-assemblies off of the scrapped plane. Some could be used, some could not."

How do you think the F-35 is made? ;-)

Nah, Stu. These parts went on helicopters.
; )

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