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chrisg

Problems with the 737MAX ?

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No,

 

So far as I know always turbofans Ry, low bu-pass but still turbofans.

 

Boeing had enough time to spec fans onto the 737, had to go with turbojets for a while on the 707, until they produced the most successful model, the 320B, .low bypass but a fan.

 

Cheers

 

 

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The corporate PC appeasing response there is "We're assisting the people of developing nations".

 

And IT gets another kick in the nuts... as if there's not enough charlotans in the industry already.

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Somewhere beyond scary really.

 

I've no problem with Indian IT schools developing code but mission critical stuff without oversight! ?!

 

Beyond a concern and 346 people have died because of it it seems.

 

Cheers

 

 

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The devs can't really test that code, given the behaviour of the code is subject to so many unexpected factors ... like system failures on the actual plane.

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New flaw seems to be related to faulty microprocessor related to MCAS ...

 

 

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That really is just crazy.

 

Not unusually in aviation the processors used are positively ancient, 286's I think. They do that because a long established and usually ruggedised processor can be expected to be almost if not completely bug-free and they don't need a lot of computing power in real terms anyway.

 

So it sort of begs the question - where are the processors coming from ?

 

The major fabs stopped making them years ago so yet again a reasonable bet that they are coming from Asia, quite possibly China.

 

Cheers

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A lot of the common embedded processors are still made decades after the mainstream versions were superceded.

But even in the 90s a lot of it was offshored anyway.

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Hmm,

 

I have to wonder if it is a processor issue itself or some glitch in the micro-code, but that is completely speculative.

 

One thing seems certain, Boeing are going to have to go back and fix all the aircraft that are piling up.

 

I'm beginning to think that it is only a matter of time before there is a rush of cancellations.

 

There has not been a single bit of good news since the global grounding.

 

Cheers

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One article linked from somewhere around here mentioned "faulty chip" which I assumed was dumbarsed journalism but then another mentioned a specialized microprocessor.

 

It seems weird to me that a dedicated processor would be used for sensory input but maybe that's the case - these days you have things like phone and powertool batteries with dedicated controllers that do all sorts of stuff so why not a similar thing that might crunch sensory data for a plane into a summary set that's then passed up the line.

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Duuno Ry.

 

I'm a bit over digging through the spec for the Max, it is  a rather masterful piece of marketing that in the end doesn't really say much, including any specifics about systems. MCAS barely gets a mention.

 

I suppose it is perfectly possible but if so following traditional aviation practice it would have needed extensive testing and debugging and I'm not convinced there would have been enough time in the rapid, in aviation terms, development cycle of the MAX.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Correction ... the microprocessor is not faulty, it's too SLOW

 

 

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Hmm,

 

Which means what ?

 

Sloppy code would be the first thought - hope so, for Boeing's sake.

 

Cheers

 

 

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50 minutes ago, chrisg said:

Hmm,

 

Which means what ?

 

Sloppy code would be the first thought - hope so, for Boeing's sake.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Maybe the chip is under-powered for what it's being asked for it to do.

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In theory it really doesn't do much, but if it is burdened by spaghetti code that might explain it.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not surprised the FAA testing picked that up and not the Boeing testing so Boeing's testing has been pretty much deficient since day zero. So if the FAA was actually doing it's job ... this would have been fixed earlier.

Edited by Jeruselem

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Posted (edited)

In the end there are numerous reasons that could explain how this came about:

 

  • Complacency on the part of the FAA because Boeing had always played it straight
  • THE FAA being over-worked
  • The FAA not really doing its job, giving Boeing too much slack
  • A degree of national bias on the part of the FAA because Airbus were stealing U.S. business

 

It get more complicated from there forward but unfortunately the smoking gun of the FAA dragging its feet on grounding the U.S. MAX fleet suggests a good possibility that the last was at least a factor.

 

Airbus made a few really big wins in the U.S. the past few years, American the largest and the numbers are very high and close to equal in terms of sales versus deliveries.

 

I'd love to believe that FAA high level personnel were not influenced by that but no, I'm skeptical. In the end the FAA is a U.S. body with global influence and it doesn't take much to have even unintended favoritism emerge.

 

By the same token Airbus are far from blameless.

 

The business of selling airliners is among the most ruthless "games" on earth with billions hanging in the balance. It took Airbus more than a little while to really iron out all the known bugs, let alone the as yet unknown ones in their FBW systems. They were just somewhat protected by the accidents fortunately not being replicated, as happened with Boeing, and being rather few and far between.

 

Boeing are in a very real dilemma now, MAX stock that is demonstrably damaged goods is piling up whilst industry demand subtly just wants them released but Boeing do not dare - one more accident, even an apparently unrelated one, and the entire MAX programme is pretty much doomed.

 

It's bitter sweet, i take no solace in it, but the 707 triumphed over the Comet because the Comet had a fatal but at the time unrecognised flaw. Sad really, the Comet once the problem was fixed was a lovely airliner, but as always with English designs, too small.

 

Boeing has ridden a long, long path of success, the 707, the 727, which had some horrible deep stall issues initially, again ironically inadequate training, the 75 and 767 lines almost unblemished, the 747, the most successful airliner ever to date and the 777 doing well with the 787 rather slowly gaining favor.

 

Who could have known that the lowly 737 cash cow could plunge the company into so much disarray ?

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Edited by chrisg

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The 787 dreamliner is also an issue with the dodgy RR engines as well as the South Carolina plant putting out dodgy planes.

Oh yes, the new 797 is falling behind due to ... engine problems!

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No argument from me J, RR need to get their act together but we shall see....

 

Cheers

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I guess it has long been pretty much an open secret that Airbus enjoys subsidies, not just from one government but several. However it is a bit more of a surprise to have it come out into the open that Boeing get the same assistance although possibly in a slightly different way.

 

According to people I know the commonest way Boeing is subsidised is via inflated costs on military aircraft and also on heavy maintenance and rebuilds.

 

The GAO seems to have politely ignored that for years.

 

However if both sides are enjoying subsidies, and realistically they are for good reason, to keep people employed I find it a bit difficult to see how Trump increasing tariffs will make much difference, it will be simply tit for tat.

 

In many ways the EU plays a somewhat straighter bat, they have tried but never actively coerced European airlines into buying Airbus and many of them stick to Boeing where it is appropriate.

 

As Airbus uses its agility to fill in identified gaps in the Boeing lineup and sheds the nice-to-have but unprofitable 380 Boeing are going to be scrambling harder and harder to hang onto European airlines and to retain market penetration in the massive Chinese market.

 

That last depends to a degree upon how quickly or if the Chinese come into the market as a competitor - if they do you can be sure they'll be hugely subsidised.

 

Cheers

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Chinese have tried making planes and some have got to western nations but the last few well had ... safety problems.

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Yeah,

 

You don't get to build reliable airplanes from scratch.

 

Airbus never even tried, they assembled a core of long-lived, very talented aviation companies and their designers and basically told them to think new.

 

The Chinese have the capability but they need to build, or import, the experience.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

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Hmm,

 

Usually I find Forbes pretty reliable but this article:

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/07/11/five-basic-facts-about-boeing-missing-from-coverage-of-the-737-max-story/?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral#7b1033f2521b

 

Kind of overlooks the earlier discussed code writers in India...

 

What I do agree with is that Boeing really need to get the 737MAX back in the air, fast, it is already being reported that Airbus have overtaken them in this quarter on deliveries.

 

Both companies have projected that the big growth for the next decade or so will be in single aisle aircraft. Airbus have a rich mixed offering in that area, Boeing are down to the presently grounded MAX. That's a serious miscalculation on their part. It's all very well to be offering the very nice 777X which is so big it has to fold it's wing tips like a navalised aircraft to fit into airport bays but the fact is that airlines are not buying anything like as many of those as they are of smaller single aisle aircraft.

 

Airbus of course seemingly stumbled with the 380 but perhaps it also was a strategic case of saying "we have arrived" with the biggest aircraft yet. That doesn't quite add up because 747 sales dwarf the 380 but that is old news. Airbus can afford a bit of largess, in the end the 380 is a status symbol it doesn't have to be a money maker.

 

Boeing really have to get their act together, it would be absolutely disastrous for there not to be an ongoing effective competitor to Airbus, no market remains healthy for long if there is only one provider.

 

Cheers

 

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