Re: Re:Only one safe plane builder
This is almost case study, why planes are getting less safe:
"Or, more specifically, the bolts holding the engines on." - Yep, they did fail, on DC-9. And that was insident that ended Douglas Aviation.
But they failed because mechanic had not followed service manual while giving the engine once-over. And even then the plane would have been fine if pilot, for reason now know only by his ghost, hadn't switched the emergency autopilot off and kept switching it off as it tried to compensate the loss off power with flaps.
End result was huge fireball in evening news and even after FAA report revealed six months later, that it had been sloppy mechanic and pilot, who seemed to behave against his simulator-training that killed the plane, people still say: "It was the bolts", because that is what newspaper headlines were.
McDonnel bought Douglas soon after that and thus ended the last aircraft manufacturer that used safety as sellingpoint: Since then nobody has tested their airframes to 1,5 times the time and stress demanded by FAA. DC-10 was never built by Douglas standrads and it shows. After it failed, even the DC-brand was buried.
As for comparing the DC-3 being unfair, note that there was lot of competition to DC-3 during its prime. Where are they now? Same can be said about DC-4s, -5s, -6s and so on. Douglas aircrafts are always capable of keeping up and running about 20-30 years longer than competition's models.
Douglas tested its airframes to the limit of their endurance, while others tested them to limit set by FAA. They were most tested civil aircrafts ever built.