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Old 01-10-2020, 07:05 AM   #1  
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Default I知 starting to doubt viability of the MAX

Not the engineering. The MAX is hardly the first aircraft that has problems with aerodynamic stability in certain phases of flight. I’m aware if at least one aircraft that is totally unflyable if it loses its electronic stability augmentation system. SAS’s can be made robust and redundant.

Boeing didn’t HAVE to link it to a single AOA sensor and I’m pretty sure that the decision to avoid doing as much as possible to avoid the regulatory hoops of getting FAA approval on a novel system and perhaps even requiring the aircraft to be typed and trained differently than the ‘classic’ 737 was viewed as far more of an obstacle than the technical one of building a good robust and redundant SAS to handle the changes in CG and thrust vector fir the new engines and their placement, and maybe that ought to cause a little soul searching at FAA headquarters as well as Boeing.

Like everyone else, I initially believed the 737 MAX, with hundreds already bought and thousands of orders was too big to fail. Technical fixes would be done, additional training would be provided, the aircraft would eventually have the sort of SAS, MCAS, or whatever you want to call it, that it=should have had to begin with, and life would go on and the MAX woukd go on to be a commercial success. But I’ve begun to wonder if that’s really the case.

This has gone on too damn long. Too many people have been demagoguing this, using it as a vehicle to flog Boeing and to flog the FAA, or to demonstrate the virtue of their country’s certification system over that of the US’s certification system either due to honest concern, national pride, or to screw over a competing manufacturer to their own,...perhaps all three.

And it’s taken it’s toll. Lots of people, naive people who don’t even really understand the issues involved, are declaring they will never fly in a MAX, or let their family fly in one. Airline pilot and flight attendant unions have voiced their own strong concerns about when/how/if it can be safely returned to service. More recently a treasure trove of company emails have been released with scurrilous comments about it’s design and certification process. A representative sample being put out worldwide by the BBC:

...
One unnamed employee wrote in an exchange of instant messages in April 2017: "This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys."
The documents, which have been published by the Washington Post, appear to show that Boeing rejected pilots being trained on simulators, which would have led to higher costs for its customers, making its aircraft less attractive.
"I want to stress the importance of holding firm that there will not be any type of simulator training required to transition from NG to Max," Boeing's 737 chief technical pilot at the time, Mark Forkner, said in a March 2017 email.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51058929

...

And some of the absolutely idiotic and unprofessional internal documents that have now been released to Congress and hence to the public are only making things worse:

https://www.scribd.com/document/4423...mulator-2-of-3

Legally, these are going to be disastrous for Boeing, but PRwise they may be even worse. While all the problems are amenable to a technical fix, will the aircraft ever be economically viable once it is fixed? Or will so many people just refuse to fly in it, or even to fly it, that it is now doomed? What if it isn’t too big to fail.

I am reminded of the propjet (turboprop) Lockheed Electra airliner in the 1950s. Early in its career as an airliner, two of them were lost because of a resonance problem which allowed a buildup of harmonic vibration between the outboard engine prop and the wing main spar that caused violent up and down motions until eventually a wing woukd break off - in cruise at altitude with loss of the two aircraft and all aboard. The fix - a little stiffening and strengthening to change resonant frequencies was quite effective, and as the P-3 Orion the aircraft continues to fly to this day for the Navy, but the civilian model was blighted in the public opinion. People wouldn’t fly on it. Production Of the airliner version was stopped at 170 aircraft and most of those eventually converted to cargo or military aircraft.

Is this the fate that awaits the MAX?

Last edited by Excargodog; 01-10-2020 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Correcting massive numbers of typos...
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:45 AM   #2  
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I think Boeing has a very deep hole to climb out of, and they will be losing some business for a long time because of it. They are also apparently still digging the hole deeper...

But ultimately they are too big to fail, and max failure would equal Boeing failure in all likely-hood. That's their bread-and-butter income stream. The can eat it for a year+ because they have access to lots of cash but not forever.

And it's not just their US economic impact which makes them too big to fail... numerous airlines are depending on max availability and few of them can wait 6-7 years for an A320 slot.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:56 AM   #3  
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There's something like 5500 MAX's on order with no competitor besides Airbus. And Airbus can't even begin to make up that kind of shortfall should the MAX fail.

In other words, it's viability is pretty much guaranteed. We just have to make it through the recertification and political theater first.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:19 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Boeing ended the year with negative commercial airplane orders for the first time in decades, CNBC reports. At the end of 2019, the aerospace giant lost orders for 87 airplanes, meaning it had more cancellations than new orders.
The high rate of cancellations is the latest sign that the crisis surrounding the 737 Max the airplane involved in two fatal crashes that took the lives of 346 people is continuing to affect Boeing痴 bottom line. Its order book for the troubled jet shrank by 183 planes though much of that had to do with some low-cost overseas airlines, like India痴 Jet Airways, going bankrupt. But thanks to ongoing problems getting the 737 Max certified, there wasn稚 enough demand to make up the losses.

There was a 90 percent drop in orders for 737 models during the year, according to CNN. Boeing barely had any firm orders for the Max after the grounding in mid-March, but other models also suffered a 29 percent drop in new orders.
i can稚 really DISAGREE with the above comments, but neither of them approached the subject of how the CUSTOMER might feel about the MAX. If I recall correctly the largest single disqualified for military service remains the inability to deploy in military aircraft.

Those of us who enjoy flying tend to forget that 25-30% of people are uncomfortable flyers and ~6-7% can稚 bring themselves to fly at all. There will be people - at least initially - who WILL NOT fly in the MAX. With time AND THE LACK OF OTHER ADVERSE EVENTS that MAY change. But we have a 24/7 news cycle and a constant drone of ill-advised company email and messages (電esigned by idiots and supervised by monkeys being my personal favorite) risks depressing load factors for awhile, which gives impetus for at least those who have ordered planes years out to reconsider.

I知 not anti-Boeing although I believe the company needs a major shakeup. But I think those of us who love flying don稚 necessarily understand our fellow citizens who are nervous flyers at best. Or the willingness of the media to push those buttons.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:02 PM   #5  
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Meh. Nervous flyers may avoid the Max for a year. After that it値l have tens of thousands of hours in use without a blip. And some other issue will give them reason for pause on another plane or airline.

And the the ones who avoid it will likely do it at higher expense. The almighty dollar is an excellent motivator.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:01 AM   #6  
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The US government will bail out Boeing with taxpayer dollars if they need to. Or with newly printed Federal Reserve notes.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:53 PM   #7  
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The US government will bail out Boeing with taxpayer dollars if they need to. Or with newly printed Federal Reserve notes.
Yes. The economy couldn't take the hit and the USG needs Boeing Defense.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:59 PM   #8  
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But we could see the Blackstone/Welch-GE alum new CEO split the company Commercial-Military a la Dow/DuPont, GE, United Technologies, etc.

Keep all the private money and profit and executive compensation in the defense side and spin off BCA to become a ward of the state. Might even be able to load up BCA with all the debt and pension obligations for the whole company prior to the split for good measure.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:19 PM   #9  
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Yes. The economy couldn't take the hit
All of Boeing wouldn't just close up shop. As mentioned before the vast majority of their operations would still continue, maybe under a different name or multiple different names.

What WOULD hurt is if the Federal Reserve bails out Boeing with printed dollars which cause inflation to rise for everyone.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:48 AM   #10  
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What WOULD hurt is if the Federal Reserve bails out Boeing with printed dollars which cause inflation to rise for everyone.
Long term ache vs. immediate kick in the junk... which do you think the pols will choose?
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