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Tags airplane incidents , government shutdown

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Old 5th December 2020, 10:35 PM   #441
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A flight from New Zealand to Los Angeles on AA costs about $6,000. Airline profit margins are about 9%. That's about $540 you're threatening to keep out of the owners' pockets.
NZ to LA will be a 777 or 787.

The 777 has been remarkably safe, it has survived bad or indifferent piloting more than once even doing a cartwheel once and holding together.

The 787 also had a tough introduction to service. No fatalities but very embarrassing incidents that caused it to be grounded.

You would think after that experience 737 Max would have given them pause to think on how to do things better.
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Old 5th December 2020, 11:11 PM   #442
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Quote:
theprestige
A flight from New Zealand to Los Angeles on AA costs about $6,000. Airline profit margins are about 9%. That's about $540 you're threatening to keep out of the owners' pockets.
Well, your assumptions are interesting, firstly, that its about the money, and secondly, that I would fly on an American airline.

1. I will be flying Air New Zealand, who don't even operate Max-8s, and even if they did, they would not be flying them to the US.

2. I always fly to the US via Hawaii anyway.

3. I will be taking domestic flights in the US (Seattle, Reno, Florida and New Orleans), probably with United Airlines who fly Airbus A320)
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Old 6th December 2020, 02:09 AM   #443
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Personally I'd have no issues at all flying on a MAX-8. The two crashes were caused by Boeing keeping MCAS a secret from the pilots, so when things starting to go haywire their training hadn't included a procedure for correcting the problem. I'd be surprised if any pilot flying a MAX-8 once they return to service has not reviewed the MCAS disable process before getting into the cockpit. As far as I know they've been receiving training, which ironically is what Boeing was attempting to avoid..
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Old 6th December 2020, 04:52 AM   #444
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Personally I'd have no issues at all flying on a MAX-8. The two crashes were caused by Boeing keeping MCAS a secret from the pilots, so when things starting to go haywire their training hadn't included a procedure for correcting the problem. I'd be surprised if any pilot flying a MAX-8 once they return to service has not reviewed the MCAS disable process before getting into the cockpit. As far as I know they've been receiving training, which ironically is what Boeing was attempting to avoid..
Err, not quite. That was only part of the problem.

Even if the pilots had known about MCAS, and known what it did, it is unlikely to have helped them very much because there was no way to disable or turn it off without making the aircraft extremely difficult to trim.

Part of flying the Max 8 without MCAS is the need to turn off the stab trim and manually trim the nose up using the crank handles on the trim wheels. At say 180 to 200 kts just after take-off, that is difficult but not impossible, however, the dynamic forces on the control surfaces increase exponentially with increased airspeed - there is almost three times the force on the horizontal stabilizer at 300 kts that there is at 200 kts.

This is how hard it is to manually trim the 737 at 300 kts



Note in the first second of the gif, the left seat pilot has got his arms around the yoke, pulling it back as far as he can.



On the 737 NG the left "Main Elect" switch turned off the electric power to the trim system. This ability is necessary in the event of a "runaway trim" condition. The right "Auto Pilot" switch turned off autopilot control of the trim. This means the pilot could still electrically control the trim by leaving the left switch up and the right switch down. However, in the 737 Max 8, these switches were rewired so that they BOTH turned off the power to the trim system, turn off either switch and you remove electrical power from the trim motors. This left the pilots with only two options.

1. MCAS and power trim off so the jackscrews have to be turned manually using the trim wheels.

2. MCAS and power trim on, putting MCAS in 100% control of the trim making the pilot fight for control of his aircraft.

There was NO option for the pilot to turn off MCAS and keep the power trim control on.

AIUI, all they have done to fix this is to hook up the second AoA transmitter to make the error condition less likely, included a full description of MCAS in the AFM, included some additional procedures in the QRH and made some modifications to the MCAS software. There will still be no way for the pilots to turn off MCAS without also losing the ability to use the power trim controls on the yoke to control the trim.

Not good enough IMO. There should never be a system that is designed to take away control from the pilot and autonomously point the nose of the aircraft at the ground with no way for the pilot to turn it off and fly the aircraft himself.
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Old 7th December 2020, 03:44 PM   #445
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Err, not quite. That was only part of the problem.
Rather than quote the entirety of your post, I'll just say "thank you" for a well-informed opinion. It certainly gives a nice dose of reality to my starry eyed optimism.

Quote:
AIUI, all they have done to fix this is to hook up the second AoA transmitter to make the error condition less likely, included a full description of MCAS in the AFM, included some additional procedures in the QRH and made some modifications to the MCAS software. There will still be no way for the pilots to turn off MCAS without also losing the ability to use the power trim controls on the yoke to control the trim.
Those are certainly improvements over the previous iteration. I agree with you about there being no good way to turn off MCAS without also making the plane almost impossible to control by humans. Provided those humans know about the alternate aerodynamics caused by the larger engines, it should be possible for a trained pilot to fly a 737-MAX without MCAS. But that, of course, requires the pilots be certified for 737-MAX instead of just relying on their existing 737 certification ... which is exactly what Boeing was trying to avoid with MCAS!

Quote:
Not good enough IMO. There should never be a system that is designed to take away control from the pilot and autonomously point the nose of the aircraft at the ground with no way for the pilot to turn it off and fly the aircraft himself.
And yet the entire Airbus series of aircraft is like that. My understanding is the pilot merely gives hints to the software; it's the computers that are really flying the aircraft. That was a factor in the loss of Air France 447: the pilots weren't aware the software had switched to Alternate Law, and were also applying the wrong procedure to recover from the stall. (There was also the problem of the frozen pitot tubes confusing the computers, and this happening at night so the pilots were missing vital visual cues.)
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Old 7th December 2020, 06:06 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
....
Not good enough IMO. There should never be a system that is designed to take away control from the pilot and autonomously point the nose of the aircraft at the ground with no way for the pilot to turn it off and fly the aircraft himself.
Don't airliners have radar that tells the system what's in front of the plane, like a lot of mid-level cars? Whether it's the ground or a mountaintop or another plane, couldn't the prime directive be "Don't hit stuff?"
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Old 7th December 2020, 06:29 PM   #447
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Don't airliners have radar that tells the system what's in front of the plane, like a lot of mid-level cars? Whether it's the ground or a mountaintop or another plane, couldn't the prime directive be "Don't hit stuff?"
Usually no radar capabile of doing what you're asking is installed on commercial craft. That would be a pretty extensive radar system. There are some weather radars and collision avoidance systems that avoid transponder equipped aircraft. No full radar.

Might be better to ask where the GPS based system to do this is at. That should be practical.

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Old 7th December 2020, 06:49 PM   #448
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I don't think most passengers even know what aircraft type they are on. And if they look at the seat pocket information card, it'll say 737-8 so they'll feel safe that they aren't on a Max.
I agree that most passengers don't know the type of plane they are on. And of those that do, some either won't care (thinking that the problem is fixed), or if they do care, find out too late to do anything about it (like right before boarding, or while already seated).

But, things will be rather tight in the airline industry for the next year or 2 until people start travelling again. All they need is for some viral video, or some local news cast talking about "death planes" to start cutting into their profits. (Its even possible that ALL Boeing planes might be tarnished, not just the 737Max.)

I'm not saying that it will definitely be a factor. But I do think it is a not insignificant risk.
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Old 7th December 2020, 07:04 PM   #449
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Quote:
Airline profit margins are about 9%.
Since we are talking about American Airlines, I thought their specific numbers might be more relevant.

At the end of 2019 (i.e. before Covid-19), their gross margins were 27%, but their net margins (taking into account taxes and interest) were 3.7%.

Furthermore, their profit margin over the past decade (pre-covid) has fluctuated from over 18%, to a 13% loss. So there is a lot of variation.

See:
Ycharts
Macrotrends
(Note: I'm not fully familiar with those 2 sites, but they seem to just have financial information)
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Old 7th December 2020, 07:10 PM   #450
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Looks like Boeing has a little bit of good news...

From: NPR
Ireland's Ryanair, a major European carrier, has ordered 75 of the planes, which had been grounded since March 2019...The order — estimated at more than $7 billion — comes just two weeks after the Federal Aviation Administration cleared the 737 Max to resume passenger service

Certainly a bit of a gamble (between the 737Max issue, as well as covid-19 travel problems), but it makes sense, given how long it takes manufacturers to build planes.
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Old 7th December 2020, 09:26 PM   #451
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Rather than quote the entirety of your post, I'll just say "thank you" for a well-informed opinion. It certainly gives a nice dose of reality to my starry eyed optimism.
You're welcome

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Those are certainly improvements over the previous iteration. I agree with you about there being no good way to turn off MCAS without also making the plane almost impossible to control by humans. Provided those humans know about the alternate aerodynamics caused by the larger engines, it should be possible for a trained pilot to fly a 737-MAX without MCAS. But that, of course, requires the pilots be certified for 737-MAX instead of just relying on their existing 737 certification ... which is exactly what Boeing was trying to avoid with MCAS!
Indeed.

The "attitude change with power change" aspect is a part of flight dynamics that pilots have had to deal since the beginning of powered flight. Everything from single engine aircraft (roll changes with power) through to aircraft like the DC-10 and L-1011 (pitch changes with power). I have an acquaintance who flies a PBY Catalina which, as you know, has the engines on high wings well above the fuselage. He tells me its tendency to pitch down on application of power is quite disconcerting if you're not used to it.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
And yet the entire Airbus series of aircraft is like that. My understanding is the pilot merely gives hints to the software; it's the computers that are really flying the aircraft. That was a factor in the loss of Air France 447: the pilots weren't aware the software had switched to Alternate Law, and were also applying the wrong procedure to recover from the stall. (There was also the problem of the frozen pitot tubes confusing the computers, and this happening at night so the pilots were missing vital visual cues.)
That's true, but in the case of AF447, the aircraft was never in an unflyable state. That was pure pilot error - the aircrew were poorly trained - they should have realised what was happening and taken the necessary steps. IIRC, the captain was out of the cockpit when most of this happened. On his return, he recognised the problem, but the aircraft was too low and descending too fast, and he didn't have enough time left to get them out of trouble.

In the Airbus, even if the entire fly-by-wire system fails, the aircraft can be flown safely through a backup system. The whole philosophy of Airbus control systems is passive - to not let the pilot fly the aircraft outside its flight envelope. That is very different from what MCAS did, which is actively took control from the pilot, and pointed the nose down.
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Old 29th December 2020, 08:12 AM   #452
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Another minor problem with the 737Max...

From: CTV News
An Air Canada Boeing Co 737-8 Max en route between Arizona and Montreal with three crew members on board suffered an engine issue that forced the crew to divert the aircraft...

(The plane wasn't carrying passengers... instead, it seems like it was being flown from an area where it had been in storage to where it would be put into active duty.)

I doubt it will be a significant problem. It doesn't appear to have anything to do with the MCAS system that caused the earlier crashes. (I'm not an expert, but it may have something to do with the fact that the plane had been in storage, so there may have been an issue getting it ready for active flight.) Still, with all the scrutiny Boeing has been under, even a small glitch like that would embarrass them.
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:58 AM   #453
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Some 737 Max's will be grounded in order to be grounded.


https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/09/busin...lem/index.html
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Old 25th September 2021, 08:57 PM   #454
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Boeing's Fatal Flaw

If, like me, you have more than a passing interest in aviation, then this documentary from PBS Frontline is well worth the 53 minutes to watch. It exposes a litany of deceit, carelessness, incompetence and cover-ups from Boeing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_rFQkTFJkk

Back in December 2019, I made this post about "normalisation of deviance", in which minor problems are not investigated on the basis of "no harm no foul", a culture within NASA that led to the deaths of 14 astronauts. I concluded that a similar culture existed in Boeing. Everything I gleaned from this documentary leads me to believe I was right.
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Old 14th October 2021, 04:06 PM   #455
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Federal grand jury indicts former Boeing pilot in connection with 737 Max jet.

At last, we might be going to see some real consequences.


hhttps://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/1...eing-737-pilot


Mark Forkner was mentioned several times in the documentary I posted in my last post.
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Old 14th October 2021, 04:44 PM   #456
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Broken link alert!

http://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/10/...eing-737-pilot

Fixed it
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:20 PM   #457
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
At last, we might be going to see some real consequences.


hhttps://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/1...eing-737-pilot


Mark Forkner was mentioned several times in the documentary I posted in my last post.
Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Your link does not go to the article you refer to. This is the correct link.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/b...737-pilot.html
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Old 14th October 2021, 07:32 PM   #458
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Your link does not go to the article you refer to. This is the correct link.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/b...737-pilot.html
Thanks. I had both tabs open at the time - must have clicked on the wrong tab
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Old 20th February 2022, 01:14 PM   #459
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"Downfall: The Case Against Boeing"

Just finished watching the Netflix doco "Downfall: The Case Against Boeing"

Lengthy (90 minutes) but it is a very complex subject. It details some of the things that members here who worked at Boeing have mentioned, especially the way its legacy as an engineering-led, quality-driven company was comprehensively destroyed after its 1997 merger with McDonnell-Douglas, where profits were put ahead of safety. This includes thing like

- Boeing engineer or worker who reported safety concerns were mocked and pilloried, and if they persisted, were fired, retired, demoted or moved on.

- Boeing workers were forbidden to make any written reports regarding safety because executives didn't want any documentation on record.

- Boeing moving their corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago to put distance between the executives and he Engineering Division, so they would have to face them over safety issues.

The documentary uses the documentation presented to the Congressional investigation to show that Boeing deliberately and systematically concealed the existence of MCAS and intentionally underplayed its significance, all for the sake of profit. It also shows how Boeing tried to smear the Indonesian and Ethiopian aircrews and airlines in an attempt to deflect blame onto what Trump would call "****-hole countries".

It also has comments from veteran major airline, corporate and general aviation pilots Captain John Cox, and Captain Dan Carey (both of whom viewers of "Air Crash Investigation" will recognize) as well as Captain Chesley Sullenberger of "Miracle on the Hudson" fame, Rep Peter DeFazio, the chairman of the Congressional investigation committee, and a number of former NTSB investigators and officials.

For those who have the attention span and are aviation enthusiasts, it is well worth the time to watch.
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Old 20th February 2022, 03:24 PM   #460
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I don't do Netflix, but it sounds good.
The latest Aviation Week I read has an article about Boeing titled "Rock Bottom". In addition to the Max fiasco, they aren't delivering 787's because of production quality issues (from non-union workers in South Carolina) which mean the program will never make a profit. 767 tanker woes are going from bad to worse. 777X is falling further behind.

It makes me very sad.
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Old 23rd October 2022, 03:16 AM   #461
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Passengers in fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes are ‘crime victims,’ US judge says

Quote:
A US judge in Texas ruled on Friday that people killed in two Boeing (BA) 737 MAX crashes are legally considered “crime victims,” a designation that will determine what remedies should be imposed.
Quote:
O’Connor ruled on Friday that “in sum, but for Boeing’s criminal conspiracy to defraud the (Federal Aviation Administration), 346 people would not have lost their lives in the crashes.”

Paul Cassell, a lawyer for the families, said the ruling “is a tremendous victory” and “sets the stage for a pivotal hearing, where we will present proposed remedies that will allow criminal prosecution to hold Boeing fully accountable.”

Boeing did not immediately comment.
Apparently the cost to Boeing so far has already exceeded $20 billion.
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Old 11th November 2022, 02:46 AM   #462
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Cheeky, Arrogant bastards!

Boeing Threatens To Cancel Boeing 737 MAX 10


And the reason? Stunning arrogance!

https://onemileatatime.com/news/boei...ng-737-max-10/

In late 2020, Congress passed the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act, requiring planes certified as of 2023 to comply with the latest crew alert regulations mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The 737 MAX is the only new Boeing jet not to feature this technology, given that the plane is based on an aircraft that was designed in the 1960s. So Boeing is in a tricky situation — if the 737 MAX isn’t certified by the end of 2022, the plane will need to feature all new safety technology, which will be costly, further increase the timeline for certification, and will also require additional training for pilots on the jet (and a big selling point of the 737 MAX in the first place was the lack of additional training required).

Of course it’s possible that the plane gets certified before the end of the year, though at this point it seems unlikely.

Aviation Week reports that Boeing CEO David Calhoun has hinted that the aircraft manufacturer would just scrap the 737 MAX 10 project if certification isn’t granted without this updated system. Calhoun stated that “even a world without the -10 is not that threatening,” and “it’s just a risk” that the project may need to be scrapped.

So the message from Boeing is clear — either certify the aircraft with the current technology, or Boeing just won’t bother.


The bastards are trying to blackmail the FAA into certifying this year so that they can avoid the cost of installing safety features that will be required from Jan 2023. It seems the lessons of Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302 have not been learned.

At this point, you couldn't ******* pay me to fly on a Boeing Max, just on principle alone!!
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Old 11th November 2022, 03:23 AM   #463
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The article in the above link is dated 7 July 2022. This is 16 months ago.

Have they walked away?
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Old 11th November 2022, 03:31 AM   #464
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
The article in the above link is dated 7 July 2022. This is 16 months ago.

Have they walked away?
I know you are slightly ahead of the rest of the world but hadn't realised by how much.

It is still 2022 for the rest of us.
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Old 11th November 2022, 08:04 AM   #465
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The bastards are trying to blackmail the FAA into certifying this year so that they can avoid the cost of installing safety features that will be required from Jan 2023.
Are they trying to blackmail the FAA? What's their leverage? What does the FAA care if the plane is cancelled?

And BTW, it's only the MAX 10 that's having this certification issue, not the MAX 7, 8, and 9. The article mentions that there's ~600 orders for the MAX 10, but it seems like a lot of those orders could be switched over to MAX 9's pretty easily. There's something like a 10 seat difference between the two, which really isn't much.
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Old 11th November 2022, 08:29 AM   #466
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I know you are slightly ahead of the rest of the world but hadn't realised by how much.

It is still 2022 for the rest of us.
Shhhh, don't tell him! I'm hoping to get the results of the upcoming World Cup matches from him so I can make a lot of money!
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Old 11th November 2022, 10:20 AM   #467
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Cover article in the latest Aviation Week on this. The bigger problem is the Max7, for which they have hundreds of orders.
The root cause of all this is trying to maintain cockpit commonality with a product from 1965.
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Old 11th November 2022, 11:32 AM   #468
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Cover article in the latest Aviation Week on this. The bigger problem is the Max7, for which they have hundreds of orders.
The root cause of all this is trying to maintain cockpit commonality with a product from 1965.
This person seems to think it's the Max10 which has the laarge order book.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


Edit - arghh..

Try this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVus_ePZ9lM So much for trying to use the forum formatting.
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Old 11th November 2022, 12:11 PM   #469
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Are they trying to blackmail the FAA? What's their leverage? What does the FAA care if the plane is cancelled?

And BTW, it's only the MAX 10 that's having this certification issue, not the MAX 7, 8, and 9. The article mentions that there's ~600 orders for the MAX 10, but it seems like a lot of those orders could be switched over to MAX 9's pretty easily. There's something like a 10 seat difference between the two, which really isn't much.

Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Cover article in the latest Aviation Week on this. The bigger problem is the Max7, for which they have hundreds of orders.
The root cause of all this is trying to maintain cockpit commonality with a product from 1965.
According to Mentour Pilot, Boeing has over 900 orders for the Max 10 (that will be their leverage Ziggurat, disruption of the airline industry) especially for US carriers who make up the bulk of those orders.) If the Max 10 is scrapped, many US carriers may start looking to Airbus for replacements.

I disagree somewhat with Trebuchet. Sure the root technical cause was the cockpit commonalty issue, but IMO, the overall cause was corporate greed.

To quickly recap, Boeing tried to fit an old design (one with short undercarriage legs) into the modern era in which fuel-efficient engines with high bypass ratios were too big to fit under the wings. This meant moving the engines forward and up, changing the aircraft's flight characteristics, leading to them using a cheap software gimmick in the flight control system to make the plane handle like previous models. This was supposed to eliminate the need for costly type-rating training by airlines, making the Max 8 a more attractive option, therefore selling more aircraft and making more money. And that is what it all boils down to, compromising passenger and aircraft safety for the sake of profit.

I find that approach completely unacceptable.
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Old 18th November 2022, 03:42 AM   #470
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Just finished watching the Netflix doco "Downfall: The Case Against Boeing"
I finally got around to watching that recently (on your recommendation). It was quite an eye-opener.

The thing that sticks with me is that basically the pilots and the aircraft were doomed if they did not turn off MCAS within 10 seconds of the fatal malfunction. After that, there was no way to fix the problem because the jackscrew was maxed out and pressure on the elevators would be too much to correct manually. The plane would inevitably fly into the ground at that point.
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Old 19th November 2022, 06:29 PM   #471
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post

I disagree somewhat with Trebuchet. Sure the root technical cause was the cockpit commonalty issue, but IMO, the overall cause was corporate greed.
No argument there. It pretty much always is. And it extends farther than Boeing, who went very far out on the cockpit commonality limb at the instance of Southwest Airlines. And it goes back farther than the Max, to at least the 737NG.
The issue of excessive trimwheel forces was known pretty early in the NG days. Boeing COULD have installed a more modern system, but did not for commonality. Unfortunately the new instrument panel was too close to the trim wheels, creating a nasty pinch point. And the new electric trim motor had different start/stop characteristics from the previous hydraulic one, resulting in trimwheel bounceback. The first problem required a smaller wheel, the second a friction damper. Both made the forces worse. But it got judged to be acceptable.* And, I suppose, it was, until yet another kludge made stab runaways inevitable.
*I was there watching as a very fit female pilot struggled to turn the crank on smaller radius wheels on a test rig. And she knew what was coming.
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Old Yesterday, 08:01 AM   #472
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Book about this on sale at Amazon at the moment:

Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing - Kindle version 99p

"In this richly reported exposé, a journalist examines the history of the Boeing 737 aircraft and uncovers how the manufacturer’s management choices led to two tragic and deadly crashes — ultimately grounding the plane worldwide. “An authoritative, gripping and finely detailed narrative” (The New York Times)."
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM   #473
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Link to the above, if you're interested.
Dunno if I want to read it, having lived it until 2010.
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