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Tags airplane incidents , government shutdown

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Old 13th May 2019, 02:48 PM   #241
smartcooky
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I'm wondering whether this software fix is going to be enough. Already, Ethiopian Airlines have said that their flight crews and cabin staff do not want to fly in the plane again. (For context, Ethiopian is no small airline - its the biggest airline in Africa, and its a long time customer of Boeing, so what they have to say will not be taken lightly.)

Perhaps Boeing should just bite the bullet here, and give up their idea of having the 737 Max run on the 737NG type rating. Remove MCAS altogether, and simply type rate it as a new aircraft with all the conversion training and simulator time that entails.
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Old 13th May 2019, 04:04 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I'm wondering whether this software fix is going to be enough. Already, Ethiopian Airlines have said that their flight crews and cabin staff do not want to fly in the plane again. (For context, Ethiopian is no small airline - its the biggest airline in Africa, and its a long time customer of Boeing, so what they have to say will not be taken lightly.)

Perhaps Boeing should just bite the bullet here, and give up their idea of having the 737 Max run on the 737NG type rating. Remove MCAS altogether, and simply type rate it as a new aircraft with all the conversion training and simulator time that entails.
I agree. In thinking about what type of testing and pilot training would convince me to fly on a 737 Max in the future, it would have to be quite extensive. It would have to be real-life training and real-life testing using the system working together with all the other plane software and hardware. Under multiple scenarios. Not just an iPad app. I am appalled that Boeing thought it not necessary to test the MCAS system, and their check list for to disable it, from the very beginning first using a full function simulator and then in real life. Presumably they would have recognized the immense physical difficulty of manually re-establishing trim at higher speeds. This goes beyond their criminal (IMO) decision to allow a single-point failure of one angle of attack sensor to lethally disrupt control.

Why would anyone trust a "fixed" 737 Max given the story that has emerged so far? What other problems might still be undiscovered given the rush to produce this plane? But frankly I don't see how Boeing as a company can pull up from this nose dive either. Sad to say but the future of Boeing itself seems dim to me.
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Old 13th May 2019, 04:51 PM   #243
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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/e...lanes-n1005196

Gebremariam (EA CEO) said it's not enough for Boeing to only review the "MCAS" anti-stall system believed responsible for the fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. He wants a much more rigorous review of the plane.

"We strongly believe that entire flight control system needs to be reviewed," he said.


And I agree with his standpoint.
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Old 13th May 2019, 05:39 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I'm wondering whether this software fix is going to be enough. Already, Ethiopian Airlines have said that their flight crews and cabin staff do not want to fly in the plane again. (For context, Ethiopian is no small airline - its the biggest airline in Africa, and its a long time customer of Boeing, so what they have to say will not be taken lightly.)



Perhaps Boeing should just bite the bullet here, and give up their idea of having the 737 Max run on the 737NG type rating. Remove MCAS altogether, and simply type rate it as a new aircraft with all the conversion training and simulator time that entails.
Ten bucks says that was the plan all along. Run the MAX as an interim solution, while they develop a new type, based on the learnings from the MAX.
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Old 13th May 2019, 09:35 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ten bucks says that was the plan all along. Run the MAX as an interim solution, while they develop a new type, based on the learnings from the MAX.
Boeing have had several years to develop a new aircraft, yet nothing has been announced. Pity. They need a modern aircraft. Though the costs of this would be huge.
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Old 17th May 2019, 12:08 AM   #246
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People posting here may be interested in this article;
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources...deadly_crashes
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Old 17th May 2019, 08:35 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Boeing have had several years to develop a new aircraft, yet nothing has been announced. Pity. They need a modern aircraft. Though the costs of this would be huge.
I was actually working on that new aircraft in 2005....
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Old 17th May 2019, 08:50 AM   #248
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So serious question... can Boeing as a business survive (in anything resembling it's current form) if the 737 MAX fails?

From everything I've read they've got a LOT invested and sunk into this model and don't have an actual successor for the actual 737 airframe anywhere in the foreseeable future.

I don't know enough about aerospace to know if the sub-system most likely responsible for these incidents is something they can just remove or work around.
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:08 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So serious question... can Boeing as a business survive (in anything resembling it's current form) if the 737 MAX fails?
Well, their business has certainly taken a hit.

From: https://www.businessinsider.com/boei...-report-2019-5
According to CNN, the company said in a report released on Tuesday that it did not receive any new orders for its 737 Max jets or its other popular aircraft, such as the 787 Dreamliner or the 777 last month.
...
Boeing said it has lost at least $1 billion since the deadly crashes and that it couldn't predict how much worse the future financial effect of the incidents would be. It also said its core profits fell 21% in the first three months of 2019 compared with the same period last year.


They do have their military planes... like the F18 and Osprey, but those are rather limited markets. (and the F18 is being replaced with the F35 in the U.S. navy).
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:39 AM   #250
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From the Badscience thread on this:

Originally Posted by bmforre
More detail on
Reenactment in a flight simulator
Quote:
Countering the notion that U.S. pilots could have overcome the emergencies that brought down the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines jets, the latest issue of trade magazine Aviation Week describes a simulator test flown as part of recurrent training by a U.S.-based 737 MAX crew that re-created a critical part of the crashed Ethiopian flight. The simulation indicated that the pilots “faced a near-impossible task of getting their 737 MAX 8 under control.”

Starting from the point where the Ethiopian pilots hit the cut-off switches and stopped MCAS from operating, the U.S. MAX crew tried in the simulator to recover.

Even though the U.S. crew performed the simulator experiment at a normal speed of 250 knots instead of the more than 350 knots of the Ethiopian jet, the forces on the jet’s tail still prevented them from moving the manual wheel in the cockpit that would have corrected the nose-down attitude.
They did get out of the dive but the same escape wouldn't have been available in Ethiopia:
Quote:
To get out of it, the pilots used an old aviator technique called the “roller coaster” method — letting the yoke go to relieve the forces on the tail, then cranking the wheel, and repeating this many times.

This technique has not been in U.S. pilot manuals for decades, and pilots today are not typically trained on it. Using it in the simulator, the U.S. MAX crew managed to save the aircraft but lost 8,000 feet of altitude in the process. The Ethiopian MAX never rose higher than 8,000 feet, indicating that from that point in the flight, the crew couldn’t have saved it.
More confirmation:
Quote:
A similar experiment, though without the use of the roller-coaster technique, was performed by a European airline pilot and 737 flight instructor who runs a popular Youtube channel called Mentour Pilot about aviator skills.

His simulator session ended as the pilot pulled with all his might on the yoke to try to keep the jet’s nose up, while the co-pilot beside him tried futilely to move the manual wheel.

In response to criticism of the design of MCAS that led to these struggles in the cockpit, Boeing’s leadership has avoided explicitly accepting responsibility for the accidents pending the completion of the crash investigations.
Chauvinism:
Quote:
Three pilots interviewed for this story said the report from McGregor and Cordle is very one-sided, and all objected to what they saw as blinkered chauvinism in this view of U.S. pilots as superior.

“It’s unfair to put the blame on the crew solely,” said the Mentour pilot, who asked not to be named as he doesn’t speak for his airline. “As in any air accident, there are going to be a combination of factors, one being mistakes by the crew. But they shouldn’t have been put in that position in the first place.

“The pilots were put under an enormous amount of pressure and at a very low altitude,” he said. “If you put any number of normally trained crews in that situation, you would have a lot of different outcomes, and most of them wouldn’t be very good.”
Towards a reasonable conclusion?
Quote:
Bjorn Fehrm, a Swedish pilot and aerospace engineer who is an analyst for Bainbridge Island-based Leeham.net, said the report assumes the accidents could have been avoided by “a really proficient pilot … on a good day.”

But he said Boeing and Airbus cannot rely on the roughly 300,000 pilots flying worldwide having a good day and being perfectly trained for every emergency.

“It’s not the reality, and reality rules,” Ferhm said. “The aircraft have to be safe for these 300,000 trained pilots.”

He added it’s clear this is possible, because of how Boeing has developed a software update fix for MCAS.

That update, Fehrm said, “has all the considerations it should have had from the start.”
Respect for one another:
Quote:
The veteran U.S. airline captain said that the American aviation community needs to avoid getting “too cocky about U.S. pilots being immune from mistakes.”

He said he’s spent a lot of time flying with local pilots in western China where the mountains are high and the flying is hazardous.

“I’d put them up against American airline pilots any day,” he said. “They are exceptional airmen.”

And he criticized Boeing for designing an airplane in which a system triggered by a single sensor failure would present such challenges and require such a high-performance response from the pilots.

“That can’t be good,” he said. “I cannot believe Boeing is proud of this.”
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:44 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So serious question... can Boeing as a business survive (in anything resembling it's current form) if the 737 MAX fails?

From everything I've read they've got a LOT invested and sunk into this model and don't have an actual successor for the actual 737 airframe anywhere in the foreseeable future.

I don't know enough about aerospace to know if the sub-system most likely responsible for these incidents is something they can just remove or work around.
I would say 'Yes', the Boeing Company will survive even if all of the 737 Max planes fail.

After all, Boeing has already many billions of dollars worth of military contracts to fill and their other civilian planes are doing well.

So while a 737 Max failure will hurt Boeing, I seriously doubt if such a failure could actually kill Boeing.
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:47 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I'm wondering whether this software fix is going to be enough.

Can software fix the single sensor issue? Is a second sensor "wired up" already, but just ignored by current software?
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:14 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Can software fix the single sensor issue? Is a second sensor "wired up" already, but just ignored by current software?
Yes. In fact the MCAS was set up to switch from one to the other each flight.
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Old 19th May 2019, 04:38 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
I would say 'Yes', the Boeing Company will survive even if all of the 737 Max planes fail.

After all, Boeing has already many billions of dollars worth of military contracts to fill and their other civilian planes are doing well.

So while a 737 Max failure will hurt Boeing, I seriously doubt if such a failure could actually kill Boeing.
Boeing is sort of "Too Big to Fail" too. Just as General Motors was bailed out by the government when they went bankrupt, so too would Boeing, if it ever comes to that. Basically two companies supply almost all large commercial aircraft these days, Boeing and Airbus.
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Old 23rd June 2019, 05:17 PM   #255
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The story just keeps getting worse for Boeing.


https://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticl...s#.XRAU9o9S-Um


Quote:
While the changes were dramatic, Boeing did not submit documentation of the revised system safety assessment to the FAA.
An FAA spokesman said the safety agency did not require a new system safety analysis because it wasn't deemed to be critical.
"The change to MCAS didn't trigger an additional safety assessment because it did not affect the most critical phase of flight, considered to be higher cruise speeds," he said.
The person familiar with the details of MCAS' evolution said Boeing did the extra analysis of the new low-speed, higher-authority changes. He said the effect of the potential failures at low speed was less, and so didn't add any risk to the prior analysis. So the documents sent to the FAA with the failure analysis were not revised.
"You turn in the answer," he said. "You don't have to document all your work."
MCAS as it was actually implemented differed in another way from what was described in the safety analysis turned in to the FAA.
The failure analysis didn't appear to consider the possibility that MCAS could trigger repeatedly, as it did on both accident flights. Moving multiple times in 0.6 or 2.5 increments depending on the speed, it effectively had unlimited authority if pilots did not intervene.
Discussions around this new MCAS design appear to have been limited during flight testing.
Two former Boeing test pilots described a culture of pressure inside the company to limit flight testing, which can delay projects at a time when orders are stacking up, costing the company money.
Matt Menza, a different pilot who did test flights on the MAX, recalled times when test pilots at Boeing would have the chance to thoroughly examine systems in what he called a "system-safety murder board" to explore all the potential failures. But he reported that the general corps of test pilots didn't have a lot of technical details about the MCAS design, such as the single-sensor input.
Boeing never flight-tested a scenario in which a broken angle-of-attack sensor triggered MCAS on its own, instead relying on simulator analysis, according to a person familiar with the process. One of the former test pilots expressed bewilderment that the angle-of-attack failure was never explored in the air.
A variety of employees have described internal pressures to advance the MAX to completion, as Boeing hurried to catch up with the hot-selling A320 from rival Airbus.
Mark Rabin, an engineer who did flight-testing work unrelated to the flight controls, said there was always talk about how delays of even one day can cost substantial amounts. Meanwhile, staff were expected to stay in line, Rabin said.
"It was all about loyalty," Rabin said. "I had a manager tell me, 'Don't rock the boat. You don't want to be upsetting executives.'"

Quality processes were woefully inadequate, communication between teams was missing, management was insisting on tight deadlines at the expense of safety. All three problems can be traced back to senior managment cutting budgets to the detriment of safety at Boeing.
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Old 23rd June 2019, 06:03 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The story just keeps getting worse for Boeing.
Quote:
"The change to MCAS didn't trigger an additional safety assessment because it did not affect the most critical phase of flight, considered to be higher cruise speeds,"
Wait!

The most critical phases of flight are the bits at each end; take-off and landing. MCAS most definitely does affect one of those. ANYTHING that fiddles with aircraft pitch control, especially at take off, ought to be regarded as a critical system.


This whole culture in Boeing looks very much like the culture in NASA preceding the Challenger launch disaster in 1985; a bunch of engineers telling their mid-level chiefs that there are serious problems with the safety of the SRB's (O-ring integrity) and the mid-level chiefs telling them not to rock the boat for fear of annoying the big cheeses.
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Old 23rd June 2019, 06:47 PM   #257
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Geez, it just keeps getting worse. I am SO glad I'm not there any more even though I wouldn't have been associated with this*. But people I knew probably are.

*Other than having had to make the trim wheels smaller and harder to turn.
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Old 23rd June 2019, 11:49 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The story just keeps getting worse for Boeing.


https://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticl...s#.XRAU9o9S-Um





Quality processes were woefully inadequate, communication between teams was missing, management was insisting on tight deadlines at the expense of safety. All three problems can be traced back to senior managment cutting budgets to the detriment of safety at Boeing.
Nailed it.

I'd forgotten that particular example, but yes.
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Old 24th June 2019, 12:28 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
All three problems can be traced back to senior managment cutting budgets to the detriment of safety at Boeing.
I personally feel that this issue is now systemic in many aviation companies across the US, large and small. I feel aviation in general has given ground to corporate interests at the expense of safety.

Engineering improvements have kept aviation in general trending towards greater safety in spite of shortcuts and greed creeping in.

I personally think US aviation in general is ready for an intervention.
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Old 24th June 2019, 05:06 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Boeing is sort of "Too Big to Fail" too. Just as General Motors was bailed out by the government when they went bankrupt, so too would Boeing, if it ever comes to that. Basically two companies supply almost all large commercial aircraft these days, Boeing and Airbus.
I can't imagine the US letting Boeing fail, no matter how badly they screw up here. Boeing might as well be renamed "the entire US aviation industry". Boeing also produces a wide variety of military aircraft. For how closely they work with the US government, it may as well be a nationalized industry, except the profits are private.

If an argument could be made to bail out american auto companies or wall street, certainly the argument can be made to save Boeing.
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Old 24th June 2019, 05:12 AM   #261
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So is there a future for Boeing?
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Old 24th June 2019, 05:26 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
So is there a future for Boeing?
Oh yes, it is too big to fail. Even the airlines wouldn't want it to fail then Airbus would be the only manufacturer in the world.
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Old 24th June 2019, 05:33 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Oh yes, it is too big to fail. Even the airlines wouldn't want it to fail then Airbus would be the only manufacturer in the world.
And nobody has apparently sufficient manufacturing capacity to replace Boeing. Not even to replace 737 orders. (Airbus is IIRC already at maximum capacity)
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Old 24th June 2019, 05:56 AM   #264
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Prediction. Long term the American airline industry will be hit harder by this then Boeing.
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:13 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
So is there a future for Boeing?
British Airways announced they are ordering a couple of hundred 737 Max aircraft.
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:18 AM   #266
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Also the 737 overall, outside of the MAX variant is still massively popular.

The 737 MAX series has only produced about 400 airframes. The 737 Next Generation Series is still in active production and sits at almost 7,000 airframes and the overall 737 series as a whole is well over 10,000 airframes produced.

Losing the 737 series entirely... yeah Boeing might not have survived in any recognizable form as a civilian aircraft manufacturer in anything resembling it's current corporate structure if that had happened, but it can survive the 737 MAX getting grounded.
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:23 AM   #267
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Given the information that has come out as to Boeing's decisions during development of the 737 Max: might there be criminal charges against one or more of the individuals involved?
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:24 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Given the information that has come out as to Boeing's decisions during development of the 737 Max: might there be criminal charges against one or more of the individuals involved?
I'd be really, really shocked if that happened.
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Old 24th June 2019, 08:25 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Given the information that has come out as to Boeing's decisions during development of the 737 Max: might there be criminal charges against one or more of the individuals involved?
Probably but it isn't going to. Holding individuals accountable is not something that is big in the justice department after all. They will just fine the company a token fee and that will be that.
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Old 24th June 2019, 01:19 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
British Airways announced they are ordering a couple of hundred 737 Max aircraft.
Err, I would be cautious about believing this...

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...nounced-today/

"These aren’t real orders. There’s a “letter of intent” which doesn’t obligate IAG [BA's parent company] to much. There’s not even a firm outline of how many MAX 8s versus MAX 10s the order is supposed to be. There’s no announced plan for which airlines get how many of the aircraft (although low cost carrier LEVEL, and Aer Lingus, using these transatlantic makes some sense). The order could ultimately turn out to be real, because pricing is so good, but it could just as easily be a mirage."
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Old 26th June 2019, 01:13 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
British Airways announced they are ordering a couple of hundred 737 Max aircraft.
To cater for the post-Brexit exodus?

I wonder just how large the substantial discount" was?
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Old 26th June 2019, 09:56 PM   #272
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FAA has found new problems with the MAX flight software. Could be the old processor can't keep up with the new code. The grounding is now going to be delayed much longer.
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Old 27th June 2019, 01:12 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
FAA has found new problems with the MAX flight software. Could be the old processor can't keep up with the new code. The grounding is now going to be delayed much longer.
Who pays for the grounding?
1. Boeing?
2. The airlines and their shareholders?
3. Insurance?
4. The customer?
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Old 27th June 2019, 02:26 AM   #274
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Boeing will pay the most. It will interesting to see what the insurance covers. The airlines will not be paying for what hasn't been delivered but they will be missing out on income and will be looking to Boeing for reimbursement.
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Old 27th June 2019, 02:33 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
And nobody has apparently sufficient manufacturing capacity to replace Boeing. Not even to replace 737 orders. (Airbus is IIRC already at maximum capacity)
To an extent this can be fixed by investing into new capacity. Perhaps Airbus could buy a mothballed factory for similar-sized airliners that used to produce, say 737 MAX (chosed randomly of course ), and refit it for A320 Neo instead.

But it wouldn't be good in the long run, not just for the US.

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Old 27th June 2019, 05:37 AM   #276
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Airbus has a five year backlog for the A320. Ditto for Boeing. No way Airbus can take up the manufacturing demand.
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Old 27th June 2019, 05:42 AM   #277
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Yeah it's... weird to say this from a business sense but Airbus might not be "Oh yay, our only competitor is having issues that's a total win for us!" as much as you'd think.

Business, especially duopolies like Boeing and Airbus, are complicated sometimes.
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:24 AM   #278
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And the duopoly has lately gotten even more so, with Airbus taking over the Bombardier C-series, and Boeing taking over at least the marketing for Embraer.
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:38 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
And the duopoly has lately gotten even more so, with Airbus taking over the Bombardier C-series, and Boeing taking over at least the marketing for Embraer.
Like I'm trying to image who could even fill the gap theoretically.

Like here in the states we still have some major players in the smaller jet and military aircraft businesses; Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Gulfstream... but the bulk of what they build are no bigger then fighters or business jets and the odd "Big plane" they make (like the B-2 Bomber) isn't exactly something you could convert the tech/design into a passenger plane.

I guess Lockheed could maybe crap out a passenger jet loosely based on one of their military transport designs (They tried to sell the L-500, a 1,000 passenger version of the C-5 Galaxy Heavy Transport, to airlines in the late 70s but nobody would bite) and they have had very, very limited success (114 airframes sold) of a civilian version of the venerable old C-130 Hercules.
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:40 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yeah it's... weird to say this from a business sense but Airbus might not be "Oh yay, our only competitor is having issues that's a total win for us!" as much as you'd think.

Business, especially duopolies like Boeing and Airbus, are complicated sometimes.
And it's not just the duopoly aspect. Customers don't track airplane models closely. If Boeing planes have a safety risk, that reflects badly on the industry as a whole, which may lead to reduced ticket sales. And if the industry as a whole suffers, that can hurt Airbus too with reduced orders. Airbus isn't going to celebrate that even if Boeing suffers more.
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