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CAA bans Boeing 737 max 8

Charles1948

Old-Salt
The FAA could be described in the timeframe leading up the two B737 MAX crashes as being in Boeing's pocket.

Heads need to roll at Boeing and the FAA.

Then there issues with the B787 and KC-46 to name but two other Boeing products.
Perhaps the basic problem is this: Boeing has kept on building subsonic airliners for the last half-century. The company has made no real progress since it introduced the 707 in the late 1950's. That aircraft was a genuine innovation. It had swept-wings and turbo-jet engines. It looked futuristic and fantastic compared to contemporary straight-winged piston and turbo-prop planes.
But since then - what has Boeing done? Nothing, except make variants of the same old 707 design. All its subsequent designs - the 727, 737, 747, 757, 767,777, and 787 are essentially the same - some bigger, some smaller - but not really different from the 707. This lack of progress is regrettable.

Perhaps most regrettable in the fiasco of the 737 MAX. Instead of creating a new aircraft, Boeing tried to stretch one of its existing planes, the 737, beyond natural limits by installing a computer to compensate for the enlarged plane's aerodynamic deficiencies. With tragic results.
 
Perhaps the basic problem is this: Boeing has kept on building subsonic airliners for the last half-century. The company has made no real progress since it introduced the 707 in the late 1950's. That aircraft was a genuine innovation. It had swept-wings and turbo-jet engines. It looked futuristic and fantastic compared to contemporary straight-winged piston and turbo-prop planes.
But since then - what has Boeing done? Nothing, except make variants of the same old 707 design. All its subsequent designs - the 727, 737, 747, 757, 767,777, and 787 are essentially the same - some bigger, some smaller - but not really different from the 707. This lack of progress is regrettable.

I cant agree with that at all - You could say the same of Airbus.

Commercial airliners are all going to be much of a muchness form and function dictates that.
On top of which many onnovations dont get past - "that doesnt look right i wont fly on it" and the blended wing designs fantastic but it wont fit airports we want a 747 xx.

But all of the aircraft have evolved significantly and with some serious innovations and adaptions under the skin.

Where Boeing has gon wrong is that faced with a new generation A320 - they tried to match it - Knowing that developing a 73 replacement would give airbus dominanance in the market.

Unfortunatly the only way to match it was with new engines and the 737 airframe is more limited as regards what can be (sensibly) fitted.
 
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I cant agree with that at all - You could say the same of Airbus.

Commercial airliners are all going to be much of a muchness form and function dictates that.
On top of which many onnovations dont get past - "that doesnt look right i wont fly on it" and the blended wing designs fantastic but it wont fit airports we want a 747 xx.

But all of the aircraft have evolved significantly and with some serious innovations and adaptions under the skin.

Where Boeing has gon wrong is that faced with a new generation A320 - they tried to match it - Knowing that developing a 73 replacement would give airbus dominanance in the market.

Unfortunatly the only way to match it was with new engines and the 737 airframe is more limited as regards what can be (sensibly) fitted.
There's some interesting stuff about that in the report. It looks as if a complacent Boeing was caught on the hop by Airbus:
Screenshot_20200917-071628.png

Screenshot_20200917-071648.png

Screenshot_20200917-071704.png
 
Perhaps the basic problem is this: Boeing has kept on building subsonic airliners for the last half-century. The company has made no real progress since it introduced the 707 in the late 1950's. That aircraft was a genuine innovation. It had swept-wings and turbo-jet engines. It looked futuristic and fantastic compared to contemporary straight-winged piston and turbo-prop planes.
But since then - what has Boeing done? Nothing, except make variants of the same old 707 design. All its subsequent designs - the 727, 737, 747, 757, 767,777, and 787 are essentially the same - some bigger, some smaller - but not really different from the 707. This lack of progress is regrettable.

Perhaps most regrettable in the fiasco of the 737 MAX. Instead of creating a new aircraft, Boeing tried to stretch one of its existing planes, the 737, beyond natural limits by installing a computer to compensate for the enlarged plane's aerodynamic deficiencies. With tragic results.

no, the fundamental problem at Boeing is they got taken over from within by McDonnell.

Boeing was always run by engineers, not money men, it was a ‘boring’ company, but built boring, safe, dependable products. Boeing never worried about the money, they always know that their latest financial problems would sort themselves out when the next new airliner rolled out.

McDonnell was the fighter mafia writ large, it was bleeding edge, building huge numbers of fighters where penny’s counted and the bean counters were king, And if there was a problem caused by an oversight or corner cut? there was always an ejection seat for the end user.

you’ve now got the perfect storm, a company that needs to build dependable and safe, run by men who try to chisel and save every penny they can.
 
Boeing never worried about the money, they always know that their latest financial problems would sort themselves out when the next new airliner rolled out.
.

That was killed by the A340

Up until that point they could use the 74 to "subsidise" 73s etc thus ensuring market share.
The A340 meant the 74 had competition which in turn meant competitive pricing for the 737 -.

Its also why the 747xx was developed despite Boeing going 787 it was a hedge against Airbus being correct and so having a reasonable competitir to the 380. What it lacked being offset by being common with many existing fleets.
 
I've read some of the report and it's very open and exceptionally damning. When I was involved with the regulator in UK (new Prestwick Air Traffic Control Centre) I invited them to every meeting, every live demonstration, sent them copies of every report. They seen and heard everything warts n all. It's the only way to do it. Include in there Just Culture, where mistakes or errors are not hidden because management are not looking to point fingers but to identify what went wrong and fix it. People don't go in to work to do a shit job, sometimes things are designed wrongly or just aren't fit for purpose and that needs to be sorted.
One thing I hadn't realised with Boeing was just how dollar oriented they are :-(
 
That was killed by the A340

Up until that point they could use the 74 to "subsidise" 73s etc thus ensuring market share.
The A340 meant the 74 had competition which in turn meant competitive pricing for the 737 -.

Its also why the 747xx was developed despite Boeing going 787 it was a hedge against Airbus being correct and so having a reasonable competitir to the 380. What it lacked being offset by being common with many existing fleets.

oddly enough, Boeing didn’t listen to its own engineers and panicked over the 380.
the original ‘747’ concept in the 60’s was a double stack design, And all the problems Boeing identified as ‘no, don’t do it this way’, were exactly the same problems that have now killed the A380.

money men driving an engineering agenda.
 
No - Go back and re read the wiki article you are cherry picking from and you will see that isnt the case
 
No - Go back and re read the wiki article you are cherry picking from and you will see that isnt the case

If you can find the wiki article, I'll go read it for you.
Or I can carry on going by an what was said interview with Boeing engineers.
 
If you can find the wiki article, I'll go read it for you.
Or I can carry on going by an what was said interview with Boeing engineers.

What was quoted possibly out of context but was also said with individuals arguing against a VLA.

But lets just compare quickly

Origional 747 idea was indeed 2 full decks - as you said (and as per wiki -)

Killed off by concerns over evacuation and cargo capacity - so they went with a wider single deck - with a hump up top allowing a nose door to be fitted

Evacuation was never a concern on the 380 and has had no impact on its life or viability.
Cargo capacity again never an issue è its wider than a 74 with plenty of capacity - granted it cant have a nose door but equally thats never really been popular.

Instead Fuel costs of 1 vla flying from a central hub - vs more efficient smaller aircraft flying from smaller airports were its killer.
Nothing wrong with the aircraft - just arrived at the wrong time - If anything killed it - it was ETOPS.
 

Tool

LE
One thing I hadn't realised with Boeing was just how dollar oriented they are :-(

Unfortunately, not a problem unique to Boeing. American companies are beholden to the mighty dollar and making a quarterly target is seen as being a better option than the larger picture. Typically the senior figures are on targets for each quarter, and their salaries and/or bonuses are dependant on those figures.
 
(...) One thing I hadn't realised with Boeing was just how dollar oriented they are :-(
Yes, this is the key to understanding Boeing. The current management are very focused on bean counting. I think this has already been addressed on either this thread or the one on the Boeing-Bombardier tiff.

Boeing moved their headquarters from the Seattle region to Chicago a while ago, partly because the head of the company liked living in Chicago more than he liked living in Seattle, but also to reduce the influence the engineering department had on how the company was run. The new plan was that everything was to be accounting driven, with as much manufacturing being outsourced to lower wage places as possible.

The 737 Max came about because Boeing didn't want to spend the time or the money on developing a new aircraft, but faced new competition from Bombardier, whom they were afraid would extend their new C Series aircraft into the size range held by Boeing's big selling 737.

Boeing had been negotiating to try to either buy Bombardier or to get exclusive distribution rights for their aircraft, but couldn't reach an agreement they were happy with. They were also negotiating with Embraer, which also eventually failed. Either of these were to allow Boeing to have access to a new plane to sell without having to invest money into R&D or tooling. The bean counters were very much against investing money into R&D or fixed assets, so any sort of all new design to replace the ageing 737 was out of the picture.

While negotiations were proceeding, Boeing needed a backup plan to address potential competition from Airbus in the critical 737 market segment. Airline trends had changed from "hub and spoke" with large aircraft to more point to point operations with smaller but more efficient aircraft.

Bombardier was seen as a threat in that market segment, in terms of having better technology than Boeing, while Embraer were seen as a threat in terms of having manufacturing in a low wage country. Boeing went to Washington to lobby and Bombardier then got the "Huawei treatment" and were effectively banned from the US market. I don't recall if the US actually declared Bombardier to be a "threat to national security" like other Canadian companies who compete a bit too vigorously with American companies have been declared, but the effect was the same to keep them from competing with a US national champion. Boeing then redoubled their efforts to buy Embraer (or at least take over distribution of their civilian aircraft, as they were already doing with their military aircraft), although that was to fall through in the end.

During all this the US FAA were aware of the commercial importance of getting Boeing's product out onto the market, and so were bending over backwards to accommodate them, basically rubber-stamping Boeing's paperwork. At the time other regulators were effectively rubber-stamping the US FAA's paperwork. Meanwhile Boeing's own internal design review processes were being bent to hit the time to market targets. So, there was nobody really doing any sort of independent review of the aircraft.

The design changes to the plane were being swept under the carpet to avoid airline pilots having to re-qualify on simulators. This saved airlines who were existing customers millions and was enough to tilt sales in Boeing's direction. This was an entirely bean counting and marketing decision, not a technical one.

The above covers a lot of ground, but it all has to be understood together in context in order to understand what happened. The Boeing 737 Max disaster was the result of a series of business decisions that were central to Boeing's financial and market share future in the face of competition with other countries, and a US government who saw their role as being promoting one of the top US national champions who were a keystone of US industrial policy.
 
The 737 Max came about because Boeing didn't want to spend the time or the money on developing a new aircraft,

Broadly agree with your comment except with the bit quoted.

There were plans for a 737 replacement - I dont think its fair to say they werent willing to invest in a new design.

Rather Neo wrong footed them badly and a new aircraft would result in a big loss of market share whilst in development see (AA). the Max was the quick dirty response to this so as to have something out their to compete woth airbus.

As you say every decision driven by market share and how thats perceived to relate to the company
 
Broadly agree with your comment except with the bit quoted.

There were plans for a 737 replacement - I dont think its fair to say they werent willing to invest in a new design.

Rather Neo wrong footed them badly and a new aircraft would result in a big loss of market share whilst in development see (AA). the Max was the quick dirty response to this so as to have something out their to compete woth airbus.

As you say every decision driven by market share and how thats perceived to relate to the company
I would put the situation as a bit more complex and nuanced than you have. Boeing were pursuing multiple options in parallel, and planned to pick the one that looked the most profitable. When I say "pursuing", I am referring to looking at each one, but stopping short of actually investing money into it until they made their final choice.
  1. Design an all new replacement for the 737.
  2. Cut a deal with Bombardier to either acquire a stake in the company or to otherwise gain control of their sales, and have them develop a stretch version of their C Series to fit in the 737 market niche.
  3. Cut a deal with Embraer, as described above for Bombardier. Boeing already had a deal with them to distribute and service their military transport aircraft.
  4. Hack together a warmed over version of the 737 (again).

As I understand it #3 (an acquisition of or partnership with Embraer) was the most favoured option, but negotiations were slow due to opposition in Brazil to the takeover. There were similar problems with #2, along with the shareholding structure of the company making it difficult to get control of.

#1 was the least preferred option, as it would involve the greatest investment in R&D and fixed assets. It could be pursued, but only as a last resort.

#4 could only be a stop-gap measure, as a warmed over 737 was just a warmed over 737. Eventually some other option would be needed.

However, with Airbus breathing down their necks, deals with Bombardier or Embraer not showing enough progress, and a whole new design taking too long and costing too much money, Boeing were forced into option #4 as the only near term answer they had.

With options # 2 and 3 having pretty decisively fallen through at this stage, #1 will probably have to be resurrected, but that will take years.

This is why I said the whole picture has to be taken into account in order to understand the Boeing 737 Max fiasco.
 
The big question is, how does Boeing come back from this (after paying billions in compo)?
 
McDonnell was the fighter mafia writ large, it was bleeding edge, building huge numbers of fighters where penny’s counted and the bean counters were king

And McDonnell had ready ruined the engineering-run Douglas. Every aircraft built by that formerly proud company after 1967 was pared to the penny. So many opportunities were lost due to the reticence of the accountants and they ended their days 30 years later still stretching and tweaking their mid-60s designs

Donald Douglas knew it would happen, but needed McDonnell's Pentagon dollars. Boeing had no excuses for not foreseeing the same fate.
 
The British Airline Pilots' Association say the proposed fixes for the Boeing 737 Max don't actually fix the problem encountered in the Ethiopian crash.
In public comments submitted to the FAA's notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), BALPA warned that one of the proposed workarounds for a future MCAS failure could lead to a repeat of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302.

The issue seems to be that one of the proposed "fixes" is to tell the pilot to turn off the automatic system if there are problems, and then the pilot and co-pilot are to both haul on the manual trim wheel to regain control of the aircraft.

There are two problems with this. One is that under this sort of situation the pilot is supposed to be trying to regain control of the aircraft while the co-pilot is supposed to be flipping through the manual trying to read off the checklist to see what they are supposed to be doing next. If the co-pilot is helping on the manual trim wheel, he can't do his intended job.

The other problem is that in the Ethiopian crash, the MCAS system had pushed the plane nose down and caused it to pick up speed, which meant that aerodynamic forces on the plane were so great as to make it beyond human ability to correct it using the manual trim wheel. It also doesn't help that the trim wheel was made smaller in order to cram in the new larger display screens.

Also noted in the story is that Boeing has rebranded the 737 Max as the 737-7, 737-8, and 737-9. I'm sure that will fix things.
 
The British Airline Pilots' Association say the proposed fixes for the Boeing 737 Max don't actually fix the problem encountered in the Ethiopian crash.


The issue seems to be that one of the proposed "fixes" is to tell the pilot to turn off the automatic system if there are problems, and then the pilot and co-pilot are to both haul on the manual trim wheel to regain control of the aircraft.

There are two problems with this. One is that under this sort of situation the pilot is supposed to be trying to regain control of the aircraft while the co-pilot is supposed to be flipping through the manual trying to read off the checklist to see what they are supposed to be doing next. If the co-pilot is helping on the manual trim wheel, he can't do his intended job.

The other problem is that in the Ethiopian crash, the MCAS system had pushed the plane nose down and caused it to pick up speed, which meant that aerodynamic forces on the plane were so great as to make it beyond human ability to correct it using the manual trim wheel. It also doesn't help that the trim wheel was made smaller in order to cram in the new larger display screens.

Also noted in the story is that Boeing has rebranded the 737 Max as the 737-7, 737-8, and 737-9. I'm sure that will fix things.
I assumed that Boeing's solution to the problem would at minimum not see pilots having to turn off the software and then both try to correct the issue manually (with the implication that it would be an attempt to regain control).
I am genuinely shocked that that is still even a possibility. If so, the aircraft seems beyond saving. Who would fly knowing a potentially fatal error hadn't been fixed?
Although it was a very different technical issue, the Comet saga ended with an aircraft that was actually fixed.
 
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Although EASA expects the technical ban to be lifted ‘not long’ after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), possibly in November, operational clearances required for individual airlines to resume services in Europe could take longer, EASA executive director Patrick Ky told Reuters.
Reuters quoted Ky as saying: “For the first time in a year and a half, I can say there’s an end in sight to work on the MAX.”

 

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