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Boeing 737 MAX family NEWS ONLY

DWG

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There's an interesting article in this week's Flight International about the background to the launch of the Neo and the Max (and to a lesser extent the C Series/A220). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an online version of it (unless you're a Flight subscriber).
 

Grey Havoc

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In a memo on June 1, 2018, an employee vented about a culture where managers only give lip-service to quality. The sender was warning that Boeing might not be granted an extension to fix the Max simulator at London’s Gatwick airport, which would put the device at risk of losing its qualification.

“We put ourselves in this position by picking the lowest cost supplier and signing up to impossible schedules. Why did the lowest ranking and most unproven supplier receive the contract? Solely based on bottom dollar. Not just MAX but also the 777X!”

Added the employee: “I don’t know how to fix these things... it’s systematic. It’s culture. It’s the fact that we have a senior leadership team that understand very little about the business and yet are driving us to certain objectives. Its lots of individual groups that aren’t working closely and being accountable. It exemplifies the ‘lazy B’” -- the nickname the person used for Boeing.

 

DWG

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There's an interesting article in this week's Flight International about the background to the launch of the Neo and the Max (and to a lesser extent the C Series/A220). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an online version of it (unless you're a Flight subscriber).
And I noticed later that this week's Flight is one of their online only issues, so you're definitely out of luck unless you're a subscriber.
 

DWG

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ETA: This is coming up with the same "Are You A Robot" header as yesterday's link by Grey Havoc, but is a separate article - apparently Bloomberg's site is getting confused over external links.

"“Now friggin Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots,” one Boeing employee wrote in June 2017 text messages obtained by the company and released by the House committee. "

Which makes an interesting combination with MAX Chief Technical Pilot Mark Forkner's IM reported in yesterday's Bloomberg article that:

"Forkner told a colleague that MCAS was “running rampant in the sim on me,” referring to simulator tests of the aircraft. “Granted, I suck at flying, but even this was egregious.” "

That comment is likely to get them absolutely crucified in the legal actions over the crashes as it says even the test pilot most familiar with MCAS was struggling to control it. Doesn't matter if they improved it later, it will set the dominant tone for the jury by saying Boeing was handling the MCAS issue by obfuscation and denial.
 

TomcatViP

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Often those are segregated for a variety of reasons that are not technical.
 

TomcatViP

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The panel said that during interviews with industry and government experts, there was a clear consensus that evaluating the MAX as an all-new aircraft wouldn’t have produced “more rigorous scrutiny” or “a safer airplane.” Lawmakers and other FAA critics have reached conclusions that are odds with both of those points.
[...]
The panel—also headed by retired Air Force Gen. Darren McDew—urged stepped-up analysis of human factors that could lead pilots in the cockpit to act differently than existing assumptions, in line with earlier recommendations by other groups.

 

steelpillow

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A minor bug has been found in the new software linking the two flight control systems together. A common enough thing to expect in new software, but the report reveals that the FAA will be flying the fixed-up plane themselves before they are prepared to certify it. One trusts that they will be exercising the various control system failure modes to check how reliable the failover software is at judging which system has failed and which to believe.
 
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Grey Havoc

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steelpillow

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"total cost of the grounding could reach $20 billion"
"...taking on more debt, which Boeing is expected to do rather than cut shareholder dividends."
 

steelpillow

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An oddly ambivalent report.

The banks appear to be falling over themselves, and "The total amount could rise if there is additional demand from banks."​
"Boeing is trying to close its $4 billion acquisition of a majority stake in Embraer's commercial plane business," so business as usual there, too.​

All this despite:

"Moody's Investors Service last week said it was putting Boeing's credit rating, which is investment grade, on review for a potential downgrade due to the Max issues."​
"Spirit AeroSystems ... makes fuselages and other parts for the 737 Max ... Moody's downgraded Spirit to junk territory last week."​

Wile Moody's still see all this as:

"if certification of the Max comes relatively near-term, as expected"​

However they do not say exactly who is expecting the Max to make its comeback real soon now, nor why they are still giving them the benefit of the doubt after the FAA very publicly stated "as long as it takes" and the CEO was then sacked for lying about the timescale.
 

steelpillow

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One cannot help but wonder whether that acknowledgement of retreat will affect Moody's review of their credit rating.
 
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Grey Havoc

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Boeing chief on the Max: ‘I believe in this aeroplane’ (ft.com, registration may be required)
Boeing’s chief executive insisted on Wednesday that, despite delays and a damaged reputation, the 737 Max will fly again.“I believe in this aeroplane,” David Calhoun said. Mr Calhoun’s comments, during his first call with journalists since taking the helm nine days ago, came the day after Boeing said it did not expect the Max would be certified safe to fly until the middle of the year, months later than the previous estimate.But Boeing plans to restart production of the Max before mid-year, and the supply chain “will be reinvigorated before that”, Mr Calhoun said. “We got to get that line started up again,” he said. Boeing paused Max production at its factory in Renton, Washington, this month to avoid adding to the growing inventory of grounded planes that cannot be delivered to customers.It has been working on software changes and a pilot training plan to persuade the US Federal Aviation Administration to lift the grounding, which took effect 10 months ago following two fatal crashes of the jet. The company stretched out its timeline for the FAA’s certification process after it decided to recommend that pilots receive training in flight simulators.
 

steelpillow

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Um.

First we are told that the banks are falling over themselves to throw money at Boeing: Then we are told that “Banks I think are getting a bit nervous,” over throwing it at people who want to buy more Maxes: Makes you wonder who to believe.
 

steelpillow

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Lovely! But I had to save off the web page and strip out the obscuring code before I could read it. For those who do not like to enable javascript:
A pair of peregrine falcons have been nesting in the 737 assembly shed for some years. They feed on the other birds that fly in when the doors are opened, and supplement their diet by taking the same opportunity to fly out and go hunting. They have even bred. The mess has been a problem. Now the assembly line is silent, the opportunity is being taken to remove the birds - hopefully by letting them out for some fresh air and then (metaphorically) changing the locks.
As my neighbouring dairy farmers know only too well, you cannot stop wild birds flying in open doors and doing their business, you have to find ways to deal with it. I even suspect that the falcons may have helped keep the problem down by eating most of the other troublemakers.
Knowing Boeing's current run of luck, the next Max headline will be potential corrosion or seizure in one of the planes following the discovery of a dollop of you-know-what.
 
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RanulfC

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Lovely! But I had to save off the we page and strip out the obscuring code before I could read it. For those who do not like to enable javascript:
A pair of peregrine falcons have been nesting in the 737 assembly shed for some years. They feed on the other birds that fly in when the doors are opened, and supplement their diet by taking the same opportunity to fly out and go hunting. They have even bred. The mess has been a problem. Now the assembly line is silent, the opportunity is being taken to remove the birds - hopefully by letting them out for some fresh air and then (metaphorically) changing the locks.
As my neighbouring dairy farmers know only too well, you cannot stop wild birds flying in open doors and doing their business, you have to find ways to deal with it. I even suspect that the falcons may have helped keep the problem down by eating most of the other troublemakers.
Knowing Boeing's current run of luck, the next Max headline will be potential corrosion or seizure in one of the planes following the discovery of a dollop of you-know-what.
Ya, pretty much once a year, (not like clockwork but rather close) we'd have an accidental 'cleaning' of the depot hangers when I worked AWACS at Tinker. (Amazing what going full power on the radar INSIDE a hanger will do) Clean up was NOT looked forward to, at all.

Randy
 

RanulfC

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Amazing what going full power on the radar INSIDE a hanger will do)
Spooked, singed, or fried?
Amazing what going full power on the radar INSIDE a hanger will do
Did you fill the firehoses with barbecue sauce and run a test drill immediately beforehand?
Note the ' ' were around 'cleaning' not accidental :) The birds tended to be so 'fried' they could knock you out through a hard-hat! And no BBQ sauce since it was an accident. (Really, there was ONE switch you had to ensure was in "load" not "radiate" and it's in every checklist and Tech Order yet either in the hanger or on the Flight Line SOMEONE would forget to check at least once a month! *Aside story below)

This wasn't a weather or fighter radar mind you, but a AWACS, (707 with a frisbee on top as we always called it) survallance radar so not only did it kill the birds it tended to blow out light panels, speakers and other electrical circuts plus made a rather startling display across the metal roof and beams. So nobody on base was 'happy' when this happened.



Randy
*Now you'd think that this happening on the flight line might be a bit dangerous but there's a safety feature that as long as there is weight on the landing gear the radard can't be commanded below a certain very high angle. Now having said that there are 'side-lobes' to this radar energy and on the other side of our flight line is a Ford assembly and shipping plant. (Or there was at this time) So one Saturday our Control gets a call from the on-site manager of the plant. Do we have a radar going? Control checks schedule and says no we don't according to that. Well you do have one going says the manager as I have a set of florescent lights that are flashing on once every minute. Control asks if it could simply be an electrical problem in the light pane and the manager notes that might be possible... If they weren't in a box, in a closet and not IN a light panel. Yep, someone had forgotten to put the radar into "load"... Again...
 

steelpillow

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you had to ensure was in "load" not "radiate" ... it tended to blow out light panels, speakers and other electrical circuts plus made a rather startling display across the metal roof and beams.
A 50 ohm load I would assume?

In a past life I was an electromagnetics test engineer.
All I will say is that my immediate boss once nearly killed himself when he approached a test unit that had just fired, tripped over the rod used to discharge the residual but still lethal energy, and instinctively put his hand out to save himself falling. Luckily he remembered just in time to retarget his grab to an insulation post.
Or that playing with plasma balls in a discharge chamber is fun.
Fond memories.
But I digress.
 

RanulfC

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you had to ensure was in "load" not "radiate" ... it tended to blow out light panels, speakers and other electrical circuts plus made a rather startling display across the metal roof and beams.
A 50 ohm load I would assume?

In a past life I was an electromagnetics test engineer.
All I will say is that my immediate boss once nearly killed himself when he approached a test unit that had just fired, tripped over the rod used to discharge the residual but still lethal energy, and instinctively put his hand out to save himself falling. Luckily he remembered just in time to retarget his grab to an insulation post.
Or that playing with plasma balls in a discharge chamber is fun.
Fond memories.
But I digress.
All I'll say is if you ever want to exchange "engineer" stories ... ;)

Randy
 

starviking

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you had to ensure was in "load" not "radiate" ... it tended to blow out light panels, speakers and other electrical circuts plus made a rather startling display across the metal roof and beams.
A 50 ohm load I would assume?

In a past life I was an electromagnetics test engineer.
All I will say is that my immediate boss once nearly killed himself when he approached a test unit that had just fired, tripped over the rod used to discharge the residual but still lethal energy, and instinctively put his hand out to save himself falling. Luckily he remembered just in time to retarget his grab to an insulation post.
Or that playing with plasma balls in a discharge chamber is fun.
Fond memories.
But I digress.
All I'll say is if you ever want to exchange "engineer" stories ... ;)

Randy
Sounds like a good "Bar" topic!
 

RanulfC

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Sounds like a good "Bar" topic!
Oh it is, it is. Sitting around drinking beer and talking about some of the 'smart' things some officially 'smart' people have done while they look down on "us"... And they themselves are usually right there giving as good as they get :)

Oh wait, you mean THE "Bar" don't you :)

Randy

Edit: So why not?
Be warned it's "me" so it may be a bit long-ish but includes a TLDR :)
 
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DWG

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Um.

First we are told that the banks are falling over themselves to throw money at Boeing: Then we are told that “Banks I think are getting a bit nervous,” over throwing it at people who want to buy more Maxes: Makes you wonder who to believe.
They're talking about two different areas of financing. Lending money to Boeing to pay its operating costs is a no-brainer if you assume Boeing is too big to fail - and it's widebody sector and non-commercial aerospace activities are still sound even if MAX should turn into a long term problem. You'll definitely get your money back.

Lending billions to leasing companies to buy fleets of MAXs on the assumption the airlines who have yet to commit will still want them when it's allowed back into service, that's a much chancier bet.
 

DWG

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There's some interesting discussion of MAX related issues in Flight's bi-annual safety round-up in the 21-27 Jan issue. In fact almost all the discussion is MAX related, either directly, or in talking about the wider issues it raises. I particularly liked:

"There is an implication throughout the reports that reviews of assumed pilot reaction to failures must be conducted from time to time because, in a digital age, new young pilots will have been educated differently, so their knowledge, understanding and reactions may be different from that of their forebears."
 
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