Why Boeing lost the big contract

Many in both Oregon and Washington are asking how Boeing could have possibly lost the contract for the air-to-air refueling tankers. Here are some thoughts:

1. Boeing specified a plane that is at the very end of its life cycle and that would be difficult to maintain.
2. Boeing specified a less flexible plane could only carry 80% of the fuel the winning plane could carry.
3. Boeing played dirty with the previous tanker lease deal in 2004 and lost that lease and had its CFO land in jail due to that fact.4. Boeing thought they had it in the bag, so did not work hard to provide the best tanker at the best price, nor did they even consider newer, better ways to perform the air-to-air refueling. They simply took a dead airframe off the shelf and popped a couple fuel tanks in it.
5. Boeing completely messed up the virtual border fence and has not stepped forward to correct that situation in any way.

Hubris comes in many forms, but more often than not, it does not serve its holders well. Boeing is a perfect example. My only hope is that they will learn from this fiasco, as many jobs in both Oregon and Washington depend on a healthy Boeing.