Originally Posted by LivingInMEM
Given how you feel about the 737 rudder design, how do you feel about the use of composite materials in structural areas? If I were to call either one unusual, I'd go with the composite materials as their introduction is a more drastic change from tradition than Boeing's rudder design. If the use of composites or the failure of the vert stab is attributable in this mishap, then I would suppose that those two types of failures would have caused more deaths than the 737 rudder has. What about Airbus's use of brake-by-wire? How many runway over-runs has that caused? This is a complex and dynamic environment that we operate in, and I wouldn't go so far to say that every failure is a result of "unusually poor" design.
Again, I don't even get into the Airbus v Boeing debate. I like both firms.
Composites are complex. Getting into composite technology that was way ahead of its time got Rolls Royce into trouble decades ago. Fortunately they learned from this and turned the firm around.
In the 21st century, we now see Boeing and Airbus going down this route in a big way.
I only hope they can avoid major problems. Decades on, composites are still a huge gamble!
ICAO needs to make sure strict certification standards are applied to composite aircraft.