Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
chrisg

Problems with the 737MAX ?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

And another Boeing goes down ... 737-800 (NG) in Iran owned by Ukraine Airlines. Looks like an uncontained engine failure.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/ukraine-drops-statement-blaming-iran-plane-crash-on-engine-failure-20200108-p53pyb.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1578508682

 

Iran isn't going shoot down a foreign airline where most of the passengers were Iranian in it's own airspace

Edited by Jeruselem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Intentionally no, but a totally uncontained engine failure in a 737 would be pretty much a first and the things have been flying one hell of a long time.

 

That's accepting the fact that this is a relatively new aircraft and the lack of any communication from the crew is puzzling.

 

However, it was a pretty full load of passengers and a full load of fuel so we will just have to wait and see.

 

Somewhat macabre after MH-17 but the Ukrainians can probably handle the investigation themselves and if not involve the Dutch who don't have any real skin in the game with Iran, apart from not talking to them at the moment.

 

Cheers

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the accident is in Iran, I can't see Boeing or any US investigators going there due to tensions as it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, most likely not but it probably will not make any difference. Boeing do not have some magic wand to wave over an accident and reveal the truth, others are just as capable, in fact given the mire the FAA has bee in of late possibly more capable.

 

Cheers

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A New Year but the Boeing MAX is still embroiled in controversy and it doesn't get any better when documents from Boeing themselves reveal that they were intentionally or not lying to the FAA and in fact at least one pilot had found difficulty flying a simulator. When you add to that employees saying they would not fly on one, you really have to wonder what the hell was going on at Boeing:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/business/boeing-737-messages.html?action=click&module=Alert&pgtype=Homepage

 

Simulator training looks to be a guarantee before there is any return to service and from the sound of it they are still turning up issues with the aircraft.

 

Now, some of those probably do not amount to much and may well have been in 737s all along but with the FAA not letting anything slip by Boeing are now heading toward the next horror of possibly older models needing rectifications, at Boeing expense. Then add crew training that they may have to pay for since it was a strong part of the sales pitch that no particular re-certification was needed for a 737 pilot on earlier models to fly the MAX.

 

Just how they are going to get out of this is impossible to say at the moment.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if the avalanche of order cancellations that was considered out of the question may yet happen - this aircraft is as jinxed as the Comet was.

 

The real shame though, and why I do have some sympathy, is that if they had been just a little more sensible, had non-optional redundancy on MCAS and featured it in training, including  how to disable the system if it failed none of this would have happened.

 

The sales team took over from the engineers - a typical recipe for disaster.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boeing's axed boss is walking away with a $90M severance even though he is not receiving any bonus for 2019.

 

In the end he had to be the scapegoat and he didn't really help his case by remaining upbeat about return-to-service when the FAA were being about as non-committal as they could be.

 

Now the new broom is in as someone with a reputation for turning things around.

 

I really do hope so but restoring faith in the MAX is going to be a herculean task.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jeruselem said:

 

Yeah,

 That tanker has given them a lot of trouble and really it shouldn't, Boeing would have to be THE most experienced company in the world for aerial tankers.

 

However to be fair the Air Force asked for the remote camera system that is giving trouble in connecting the boom to aircraft, Boeing were just as happy to continue with a boom operator at the rear of the aircraft as they had with the KC-135 and KC-10.

 

The USAF has been very stubborn over persevering with boom refueling when the rest of the world and the Navy and Marines are happy with drogues. It's understandable, fuel is transferred at a much higher rate via the rigid boom, but what is not so understandable is wanting to move to this camera system when the operator approach has always worked so well.

 

It's a bit like EMALS on the Ford class carriers but that has better justification in reducing stress on aircraft over steam catapults. It will get fixed the same way I expect, by persistence in climbing a new learning curve.

 

The other issues with the tanker are much more vague nit-picking but the difficulties with the boom are a real show-stopper although again to be fair it works fine in most conditions just not all.. That is of course not acceptable, but it is proving stubborn to completely cure.

 

I can't say I envy the new boss at Boeing much, but he is certainly getting the big bucks to fix the big problems.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

🙂

 

Boeing Australia is an interesting beast, I've considered working for them a few times but never been quite able to determine just what they do outside of supporting the large Boeing presence in Australia - that doesn't really interest me much.

 

They do seem to from time to time get involved in various IT and defense projects but it is always rather quiet which I suppose really is the case, they are simply a quiet achiever.

 

However they are pretty much disconnected from the Boeing design and production sides of the business. The big Boeing customers in Australia are of course Qantas, Virgin and Defense but those deal directly with Boeing most of the time or are, apart from when making new buys pretty much self-sufficient apart from spares.

 

It's a somewhat strange amorphous entity - some years ago I had a chat with one of their managers - he really could not tell me what, exactly, he did. I suppose it must make money, it's a large organisation unto itself.

 

Appointing a pollie as Chairman is not exactly unusual though, sort of reminds me of the Hunter Biden fiasco. In general you rarely see much of chairmen in the daily running of a business, makes you wonder what boards do sometimes 🙂

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, chrisg said:

🙂

 

Boeing Australia is an interesting beast, I've considered working for them a few times but never been quite able to determine just what they do outside of supporting the large Boeing presence in Australia - that doesn't really interest me much.

 

They do seem to from time to time get involved in various IT and defense projects but it is always rather quiet which I suppose really is the case, they are simply a quiet achiever.

 

However they are pretty much disconnected from the Boeing design and production sides of the business. The big Boeing customers in Australia are of course Qantas, Virgin and Defense but those deal directly with Boeing most of the time or are, apart from when making new buys pretty much self-sufficient apart from spares.

 

It's a somewhat strange amorphous entity - some years ago I had a chat with one of their managers - he really could not tell me what, exactly, he did. I suppose it must make money, it's a large organisation unto itself.

 

Appointing a pollie as Chairman is not exactly unusual though, sort of reminds me of the Hunter Biden fiasco. In general you rarely see much of chairmen in the daily running of a business, makes you wonder what boards do sometimes 🙂

 

Cheers

 

Not the first time to have a former pollie - Andrew Peacock (former Lib leader) was President of Boeing Australia in the past.

 

Several parts to the company in Australia. The commercial stuff with Qantas etc is run pretty separately from the Defence/Military gear, as it reaches back to different divisions of the US parent.

Boeing Defence Australia do the defence systems work, including military platforms. BDA is one of the 6-7 major defence prime* contractors in Australia  that generally lead the large air/land/sea projects. BDA is mostly air and some land (at least until ADF tag everything as 'Joint').

 

The big primes have not historically always been the biggest contractors. ADF pushes a lot of money through domestic services and asset management organisations. The buildings, maintenance, cooking, cleaning, security guards etc all costs a fair chunk of cash same as any large government department. It's only the last few years of recapitalisation of the military with lots of new platforms that the the primes have moved up the $s leader boards again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

🙂

 

Figured you would know more about them stadl, I think I must have hit them in a doldrums period between bigger contracts/projects.

 

Still no one is game to name a return to service date for the MAX:

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/20/business/boeing-737-max-return/index.html

 

I'm beginning to think mid-year as in July before they are carrying passengers again, at the earliest.

 

One thing is certain, it is going to be one very safe aircraft when it does fly again.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone working on 777x program said they found similar issues from the 737 max there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Jeruselem said:

Someone working on 777x program said they found similar issues from the 737 max there.

 

Unfortunately it is becoming a witch hunt against Boeing.

 

Any new airliner is going to have issues during its first months of service, they are so complex that there will always be things that slip past.

 

The intent of the test pilots is to push the aircraft further than it could reasonably be expected to experience in service flying and be satisfied that it will be able to deal with emergencies of all types.

 

Sometimes they really do push it hard, D.P. Davies in the classic "Handling the Big Jets"  very matter-of-factly reported flying a 747 on one engine, an outboard one at that, to a full  stop. So far as I'm aware no 747 has ever lost three engines.

 

John Cunningham when queried over possible tail-slaps with the Comet put a rubber bumper on it and tail walked it down a runway. I don't recall a Comet ever suffering a tail-slap.

 

All of which makes it difficult to understand how the MAX was so easily "rubber-stamped" into service.

 

It appears that inside Boeing there was an awareness of issues with the aircraft but the FAA seems to have taken Boeing at its word that it was just another 737. Even a cursory examination of the aircraft should have shown that not to be so. In sort all the holes in the cheese chose to line up and anther learning curve in aviation began-hardly the first one.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, chrisg said:

So far as I'm aware no 747 has ever lost three engines.

Well BA Flight 9 in 1982 lost all 4 for a little while.

That was due to volcanic ash though, not systems failure and they did eventually get 3 of them restarted.

Now that would have had a pretty big pucker factor.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, aliali said:

Well BA Flight 9 in 1982 lost all 4 for a little while.

That was due to volcanic ash though, not systems failure and they did eventually get 3 of them restarted.

Now that would have had a pretty big pucker factor.

 

 

🙂

 

True Ali, but he didn't have to land it on one or none.

 

Davies described landing the 747 on one engine in such a matter-of-fact manner that it was difficult to see it as much of a problem, until he mentioned the crab angle requiring the pilot to be looking out of one of the side windows...

 

I don't completely recall if he actually flew the aircraft to a full stop or just set up the approach and theorised the rest, I can check that when I get my books back, all in storage at the moment. The book is an absolute classic, especially the later editions when he moved it from being purely generic to admitting that since only one aircraft at the time, the 747, was truly a BIG jet he might as well identify it. He was chief test pilot for the UK's CAA for quite a number of years.

 

Cheers

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jeruselem said:

 

 

I'd missed their reporting another software glitch. Doesn't sound anywhere near as bad as MCAS but still another delay.

 

I suppose in the big scheme of things having access to rather than actually drawing down on a $10B loan is just prudent but it would certainly make my head spin 🙂

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 777x flies and doesn't try to crash itself into the ground on it's first test flight

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

🙂

 

They could have had better weather, but it is Washington State in January.

 

Seems they have automated the wing fold, and presumably unfold, yet more automation, not totally comfortable about that but it doesn't look like enough of a fold to take THAT much lift away from the aircraft if they system failed.

 

I haven't taken too much notice of this aircraft but it gives the impression from window location that it may have a double deck up front.

 

All thoughts about Boeing aside though, I do have to say that is a beautiful aircraft.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had some good news for Boeing but ... more fail from them again

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes,

 

 I don't think Boeing really want or perhaps can afford to get involved in another rather risky space project at the moment. The internal financing of their space division is somewhat complex but it has had a profit motive all along with some pushing of the envelope.

 

To be honest I was surprised they won the bid but DARPA do like going with the big boys. However that are also persistent so I doubt they will just give up. Even though they have lost a few years it is still a project that is breaking new ground so they may well issue a new competition.

 

The Masten offering really does look very cool but with the benefit of experience SpaceX may have another look at it as well.

 

Boeing are pretty much acknowledged as the experts in this field with the X-37 but if they don't want to play I guess they can't be forced.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm,

 

That Charleston factory is certainly getting bad press. It's sort of understandable, Boeing went there because the State offered a lot of tax breaks but there was no evident aviation culture, they were literally recruiting people who had previously worked at McDonalds and training them in assembly. 

 

That contrasts very unfavorably with the long term population in Seattle and surrounds where the culture of aviation has been baked in literally over generations. The stories from Seattle are completely different, in occasional slow downs when workers are let go you hear of them taking short term jobs until production picks up then being re-hired.

 

Anecdotally I heard that when Air New Zealand took delivery of their famous "Black Beauty" 787 they went through it with a fine tooth comb and rejected several areas that Boeing had to send engineers to rectify before they put it into service.

 

Just how long it is going to take to instill the correct culture into the Charleston work-force is anyone's guess but a massive seachange seems to be essential at Boeing to recover confidence.

 

Their production is spread across a lot of the US of course with all the divisions but I think  Long beach has closed.

 

The tendency is that over time a very tangible technology culture builds up in the populations around an area - Silicon Valley is a good example.

 

In American aviation the areas that have that culture are Seattle, was Long Beach, Long Island and Dallas/Fort Worth in the main. Other areas of aviation such as smaller aircraft developed similar breeding in places like Wichita Kansas, long the home of Cessna. 

 

Maybe the new head will make a dramatic difference or maybe more heads are going to have to roll but to have two of your aircraft under a cloud is a very bad look.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×