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chrisg

Problems with the 737MAX ?

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Hmm,

 

Very personal but I think they made a very big mistake in keeping the 737 but dropping the 767.

 

The latter was in many ways the best half-and-half, not quite a wide body  but a bit broader than a narrow that they ever produced. It needed improvements in engine fuel efficiency, but not by much, other than that it could easily have been sized up or down just as Airbus do with the 300x.

 

They've been finding that out as the core design takes on many new military roles, sort of a reversal of the KC-135 to -707 story.

 

I'll make a very long-term side-bet, the new "small" aircraft will owe  lot to the -767.

 

The others ?

 

Not enough for them to stay a front runner, the vote is in, people prefer overall the hub and spoke approach but by definition that means far more sales on the spokes than it does on the big jets servicing the hubs. Airbus have learned that and are retiring the -380 with no succession plans and the -747 is finally at EOL.

 

TBH I'm not quite sure yet where the 787 fits, probably long and thin routes but those still have spokes.

 

The 777 is taking over the role of the 747 in Boeing offerings, one last pass at the -800 but that will be it for the old lady.

 

It really will depend upon how nimble Boeing can be the next few years, at the moment Airbus has a decided edge.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hmm.

 

I had wondered about pilots keeping current with the MAX grounded for so long but apparently Air Canada, and only Air Canada being they have no other 737 models in their fleet have been using one example to keep their training pilots up to speed:

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-airplane-canada-jet/lone-737-max-criss-crossed-canada-for-pilot-checks-during-grounding-idUSKBN1W31BI?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

 

It's interesting as much as anything because it illustrates that the MAX is not exactly a death trap but there does have to be allowance of course for the pilots being aware of the potential for MCAS runaway. It would be interesting to know if any such potential events did occur but somehow I doubt we will ever know.

 

Note Boeing still suggest back in the air this year.

 

Cheers

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Holy hannah!!!

 

This is a long read, sent me by a mate this am, but if you want what will probably be the definitive reason why both those accidents occurred it is worth it to read.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/magazine/boeing-737-max-crashes.html

 

(You may have to create an account to read it but it's free to do so.)

 

To summarise  for those who do not have time the MCAS did indeed cause the crashes but the pilots were very, very incompetent, they actually could have disengaged the trim when seeing very apparent runaway and resolved the issue. In fact on the Lion Air flight, which had also had a 2nd hand AoA vane fitted the day before precisely that had happened and the problem was resolved - until next day.

 

There is however quite a bit more to the article.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

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Incompetent pilots doing the wrong thing running with a system they didn't know was installed ... WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

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*Sigh*

 

Yes indeed J. I guess I've been aware for quite a while that globally standards of piloting have been in decline for quite a while.

 

It at least partly explains why Airbus have gone out of their way to make their aircraft as easy to fly as possible but when you see it laid out as this reporter does, somewhat emotively no doubt, it pretty much rams it home.

 

Cheers

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Hmm,

 

Y'know what ?

 

I REALLY was hoping this guy was not a Trump nominee:

 

https://www.faa.gov/about/key_officials/dickson/

 

Turns out, he is....

 

And he apparently wants to fly the MAX before it gets certified, even though he is not a test pilot.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/18/faa-chief-says-he-wont-certify-the-737-max-until-he-flies-the-plane-himself.html?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

 

I really do not know whether to laugh or cry, the clown prince seems to have fingers everywhere.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

Edited by chrisg

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787 almost lands without the landing gear actually being deployed ... OK, not sure if this was pilot procedure error or technical problem with the plane as yet

https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/flight-was-one-minute-from-touchdown-at-melbourne-airport-without-landing-gear-down-20190919-p52t3j.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1568884026

Edited by Jeruselem

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That is a strange one.

 

It's not only part of a totally standard checklist to call three greens for gear down and locked, or some equivalent for the flying computer that the 787 is but at around 2,000 feet the system starts nagging you to remind you to lower the gear.

 

Also if anyone has been on board most any aircraft with retractable gear they'd know it's quite noisy when being extended.

 

Unless the crew were pretty much totally asleep at the wheel I can't think how such a thing could at all readily happen.

 

The incident report will be very interesting.

 

Cheers

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🙂

 

Actually I'm a little surprised that they were, the tower operators don't tend to look out the window anywhere near as much as they used to.

 

The old days of watching each aircraft on finals, often with binoculars is sort of gone really, apart from on carriers.

 

However Tullamarine does lend itself to plane spotting and the 787 is still sort of exotic enough to have a keen spotter in the tower pick up the binocs.

 

Bet it woke him or her up  🙂

 

Cheers

 

 

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🙂

 

Just  so it is not all Boeing knocking, there's a bit of an issue with the Airbus Neo, but not what you might think :

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherfarmbrough/2019/09/19/why-airlines-are-losing-weight-on-the-airbus-320neo/?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral#3400944b3f74

 

Yeah, apparently it is too light so you need to be careful how you distribute the SLFs (self loading freight) and in some configs not seat passengers in the last couple of rows.

 

Bet Boeing wish that was the only problem they had just now...

 

Cheers

 

 

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Hmm.

 

The first but completely unofficial really steps toward approving the MCAS modifications seem to have been cleared but I'm just a little disturbed that it talks more about the system being made less powerful than it does about introducing dual redundancy. It could just be the media of course.

 

https://www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/921B270A-DB2D-11E9-B3F8-84F0D56DB878?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

 

Unfortunately, as much as in an ideal world Boeing and for that matter Airbus, would not be self-regulating it really is just a fact of life in our highly complex world especially as we move to being more and more software dominated.

 

There's can old saying, software is never finished just abandoned, cold comfort in life critical systems.

 

I suppose we can only look forward to the next era of evolution, most all systems go from Simplex to Complex then finally to Multiplex.

 

It could be said that in hardware aircraft are pretty much multiplex but software control is much newer on the scene and definitely complex.

 

Cheers

Edited by chrisg

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Hmm.

 

Not quite sure what this means but the Indonesian report will be interesting.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-crash-boeing/indonesian-investigators-determine-737-max-design-flaw-and-oversight-lapses-in-lion-air-crash-wsj-idUSKBN1W70W1?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

 

NTSB has remained pretty quiet thus far- utterly independent of he FAA, could get very interesting.

 

Cheers

Edited by chrisg

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Well, I suppose everything really does have a price but less than the cost of one 737 MAX to compensate for all those lives sounds rather light to me:

 

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/boeing-starts-paying-compensation-to-families-of-737-max-crash-victims-1028547448?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

 

Cynical me says its a lot of money for an Indonesian or Ethiopian but there were other nationalities on both those flights whose survivors possibly wont see it that way.

 

Cheers

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On 9/21/2019 at 5:49 PM, chrisg said:

Yeah, apparently it is too light so you need to be careful how you distribute the SLFs (self loading freight) and in some configs not seat passengers in the last couple of rows.

" the captain of a BA A320neo approaching Heathrow asked passengers not to leave their seats on landing until the rear cargo had been unloaded, because of an “outsize” chance of the aircraft might tip up. "

 

Apart from any possible C of G issue in flight (I hope it's not that bad) Having a plane sit on it's arse with it's nose in the air at the terminal would be bloody embarrassing.

Has happened before but always seems to be freight configs.

https://pbase.com/airlinerphotos/image/43269461

Should be captioned "so who needs a nose wheel!".

 

 

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🙂

 

With some of the longer and longer twins being developed I guess it was likely just a matter of time.

 

Cheers

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Well, the most interesting article happens to be behind a paywall (Bloomberg) and I've used my limit so I wont link it but Steve Dickson, whilst it is very early days, looks like a breath of fresh air for the FAA.

 

He's now on the record as saying that the future needs to involve newer and better aircraft designs and improvements in piloting.

 

Just saying so does not make it so of course but his influence could and should open the door to some new designs and to clamping down on cookie cutter pilots.

 

It's about time.

 

To be blunt Boeing, the 787 aside, has hardly been innovative in a long, long time.

 

To all intent and purpose they have stuck with two lines, the 737/757/767/787 ( the last is composite) and the 747 which is now ageing out.

 

All of the first batch are essentially grown out of the 737. They all have two engines, underwing, a low wing, of late some additional stretch but although different certifications were required for each model it was not particularly onerous and pilot skill transfers between them is likewise straight forward.

 

Not that Airbus are much different, they began with the A-320 and have been scaling it up and down ever since,  including the lovely but not very successful  A-340 only leaving the mold to do the now discontinued A-380.

 

I'm not suggesting evolution for the sake of evolution, perhaps a low wing twin is the epitome of aircraft development but I'm not particularly convinced. Time for some fresh ideas.

 

To give Boeing their due they did do the thought exercise of the Sonic Cruiser but it went nowhere.

 

We've had rear-engine designs, do have issues but  could stand a fresh look. Tri-jets, also worth a re-visit as engine thrust/economy seems to be peaking out there may be tri-jet alternatives with cheaper, lower thrust fuel efficient low maintenance engines for longer range.

 

One of the advantages of underslung engines is the weight of the engine actually allows you to have a wing that is NOT as strong as in for example the VC-10, the weight balances the lift, it was Boeing's biggest breakthrough.

 

However, as composites have allowed strength with lower weight so that is less of a plus and putting the engines at the rear, as with the VC-10 does have a deal of advantages, not least you don't have the problems that the MAX is experiencing of engines being too close to the ground. They are no more difficult to maintain really, which is less an issue these days anyway and the cabin is much quieter.

 

We probably do not want to do back to engine-in-wing designs like the Comet, even lower maintenance that still is a chore with those designs but there are other thoughts, such as high wing with underslung engines etc.

 

It bemuses me a bit that no one has yet put canards on an airliner. Again there are advantages, the wing can move further back,  the area between is an easy stretch, combine that with having the engines on the tail and see where that goes...

 

I'm not an aircraft designer but we have been stuck in a rut for a long time.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, chrisg said:

I'm not an aircraft designer but we have been stuck in a rut for a long time.

And I dare say quite a few who have influence over aircraft design are not designers or aviation engineers either.

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Ultimately it's the market and customers (airlines) that dictate what projects go ahead.

It seems maybe the hub model that favoured the biggest aircraft was overestimated.  Point to point more favourable to the end users.

Helped somewhat by the likes of longer range 777s and streched variants of the smaller ones.

 

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It's a bit of both really Ry.

 

The hub model works to a point but some of the city pairs are now supporting enough traffic for direct routes which has made highly fuel efficient twins rather popular with the so called "long thin" routes.

 

I'd never have tipped Dublin/Houston as a viable direct route a few years ago for example, but apparently it is.

 

Complicates the buying decisions of carriers no-end to get their mix right.

 

Cheers

 

 

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This just becomes more and more bemusing.

 

I can't find a link yet that is not tucked behind a pay-wall but it seems MCAS was not new to the 737, it had been on other Boeing designs, however when moving it to the 737 they reduced its fault tolerance.

 

Seems a bizarre thing to do, probably lost in the rush to market and complex engineering decisions.

 

However it does beg the question, why has it taken so long to engineer an upgrade if it already existed on other airframes ?

 

There must be more to it, but have not found it yet.

 

Cheers

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I'd think this is just a part of Boeing being in the spotlight but every bit of news keeps coming up bad:

 

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/boeing-found-cracking-issue-vital-part-737-next-gen-planes-2019-9-1028561206?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

 

I don't even vaguely know what that part is but cracks in airliners in service are not at all unusual.

 

Cheers

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I think you should put a powerpoint presentation together and invite Boeing and Airbus to Stanford so you can present your findings to the so called experts.

Why you're not on the NTSB or CASA boggles the mind.

You are cleary the expert on the matter.

 

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Pickle fork... why the article was too lazy to put an image in, no idea.  Though images of them aren't real easy to find.

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Would not have a clue, Ry, that's why I'm not an expert. Just an interested amateur.

 

Cheers

 

 

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