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Boeing, and FAA oversight

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Boeing, and FAA oversight

Old 14th Jan 2020, 00:25
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by UltraFan
In the midst of the Boeing 737 disaster, I'm thinking about the coming certification of 777X. The new folding-wings system would require an enormous amount of trust between Boeing and the FAA which is now lost. It would also require a whole range of previously undeveloped tests for civilian airliners with folding wings, a task that requires trust between the public and the FAA, which is also lost. And FAA wants to gain back the public trust as well as its international credibility. All that considered, will 777X be certified at all, or will it just drown in overcautiousness?
I find a "mildcautioness" could raise serious issues for the 777X's legal certification.

Given what has leaked out and still is leaking out over the MAX program, it would be irresponsible not to consider the 777X program does not have it's own Jedi/s working on the project.

There was even comment about the 777X program in the emails released.

The 777X certification will (and quite rightly) be correctly regulated and without short cuts or "favours" - when you lie and cheat to your peers, expect a response you will not like.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 02:18
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Can we stay on this subject a little longer, please? 777X will need to prove that the folding wingtips are safe, and there are no current tests to check that. I was thinking what kind of tests they could use for that purpose. Of course proving that folding of just one wingtip is safe at all speeds. Crosswinds with folded wingtips is another.

But the biggest problem I see from my fluffy seat is maneuverability while the wingtips are in transit. Even though the system is designed to only operate on the ground, it's quite possible that an ucommanded folding or mechanical break may occur causing one or both wingtips to fold inflight. Will they try to test all that? After last year's events, I doubt FAA will write this off as "highly improbable". I also doubt CAIC and EASA will be too happy to rubber-stamp such a decision. The question is, CAN it be tested? Both low- and high-rate banking at various speeds, especially in climb when the loading is at maximum, go-arounds, emergency landing, etc. How could that be tested while ensuring the test-flight crew's safety?

Basically, any ideas on how 777X wingtips can/should be tested?
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 02:21
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by UltraFan
In the midst of the Boeing 737 disaster, I'm thinking about the coming certification of 777X. The new folding-wings system would require an enormous amount of trust between Boeing and the FAA which is now lost. It would also require a whole range of previously undeveloped tests for civilian airliners with folding wings, a task that requires trust between the public and the FAA, which is also lost. And FAA wants to gain back the public trust as well as its international credibility. All that considered, will 777X be certified at all, or will it just drown in overcautiousness?
I don't get why some people are so bent out of shape about the folding wingtips on the 777X. It's not like it's the first time that commercial aircraft have used moveable surfaces, or even moveable surfaces that need to be prevented from moving in-flight (a thrust reverser deployment in-flight is already known to be catastrophic).
Take a look at the folded wingtips in this photo - does that look like it would be even remotely difficult to control if it happened in-flight?



Boeing's already into the 777X development something like $10 Billion (not to mention what GE has invested in the GE9X development). Heck, last time I was at Paine Field there were at least six completed 777X aircraft parked there (and that was two months ago). Sure, FAA/EASA oversight is going to be heightened after the MAX fiasco, but if Boeing can't certify the 777X, they might as well turn out the lights because the company won't have a future.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 02:52
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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People are not "bent out of shape" because of the moving surfaces. People are concerned about how thoroughly they've been tested. At the time when first flaps and slats and engine reversers were introduced people didn't know much about planes. Now they do. They also thought that plane makers were doing everything to make flying safe. Now they know that Boeing has been cutting corners for the past two decades, and they don't want to be the ink of "rules written in blood in aviation".

And because it's their own families travelling on those planes, they don't really mind if Boeing turns out the lights if it means safer travel. Recent developments in the world economy proves that it won't be long until another plane maker takes over.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 02:55
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer
I don't get why some people are so bent out of shape about the folding wingtips on the 777X. It's not like it's the first time that commercial aircraft have used moveable surfaces, or even moveable surfaces that need to be prevented from moving in-flight (a thrust reverser deployment in-flight is already known to be catastrophic).
Take a look at the folded wingtips in this photo - does that look like it would be even remotely difficult to control if it happened in-flight?



Boeing's already into the 777X development something like $10 Billion (not to mention what GE has invested in the GE9X development). Heck, last time I was at Paine Field there were at least six completed 777X aircraft parked there (and that was two months ago). Sure, FAA/EASA oversight is going to be heightened after the MAX fiasco, but if Boeing can't certify the 777X, they might as well turn out the lights because the company won't have a future.

I do not think or see the folding wing tips on the 777X to be an issue for certification, they are well documented and pretty hard to hide. The hidden extras in the "completed" aircraft are what will hinder certification.

Now there may well be none (hidden extras) but currently not a regulator would take Boeing's word on that. To date Boeing still have not shown a transparent side so till that changes lights are optional.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 03:57
  #126 (permalink)  
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F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F4U, Curtis SBD Helldiver, TBF/TBM Avenger, TBD Devastator, F8F Bearcat, A1 Skyraider, A3 Whale, A5 Viggie, A6, A7, F4, F8, F9F, F11F, ... F18, C1, S2, S3, etc
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yup, it's a worry trying new fangled modern technology.

The failures in the majority of fold in flight cases was taking off with the wings still folded. More than a phew Phantom Phlew with the F104 configuration, and many returned on their own pheet. Not sure that it is a major hurdle for the certification other than the advisory system reliability.

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Old 14th Jan 2020, 05:39
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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B777X

Not directly comparable, but the "impossible" inflight deployment of a thrust reverser on the Lauda Air 767 showed a couple of things:

1. the impossible does happen
2. a deliberate test of deployment of the thrust reverser at 10,000' was controllable while a deployment at the more realistic altitude of 30,000'+ was not

Will Boeing be conducting a certifiable test of one, then both wing tips, folding at operational altitudes and weights?

And, if you want to be really perverse, what if one or both became unlocked? Would the tip 'flap'? If so, what impact would / could that have on flight dynamics and structural integrity?


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Old 14th Jan 2020, 05:57
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by layman
Not directly comparable, but the "impossible" inflight deployment of a thrust reverser on the Lauda Air 767 showed a couple of things:

1. the impossible does happen
2. a deliberate test of deployment of the thrust reverser at 10,000' was controllable while a deployment at the more realistic altitude of 30,000'+ was not

Will Boeing be conducting a certifiable test of one, then both wing tips, folding at operational altitudes and weights?

And, if you want to be really perverse, what if one or both became unlocked? Would the tip 'flap'? If so, what impact would / could that have on flight dynamics and structural integrity?
In-flight deployment wasn't certified to be 'impossible' prior to Lauda, because it was considered to be controllable. After Lauda, the T/R system was modified to make it 'impossible' since it was demonstrated to not be controllable.
BTW, what made Lauda uncontrollable was that it deployed at max climb power - the 10k flight test was with the engine already at idle. By design, the FADEC limits thrust to idle with the reverser in an uncommanded position, but aircraft control was lost and the aircraft started to break up before the engine reached idle. Oh, and it wasn't "30,000'+", it was 24k, Mach 0.78.

I don't know what the Boeing plan is for certifying the folding wingtips is - if they are going to certify 'impossible', or show it's controllable. But there are a number of systems on an aircraft that can cause a crash if they malfunction in the wrong way. All this focus on one system - which I seriously doubt has catastrophic failure modes - is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees. The very sort of thing that caused the FAA to miss the consequence of MCAS while going over other systems (that have never resulted in a catastrophic accident) with a fine tooth comb (and yes, I have first hand knowledge of that last part).
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 06:27
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer
- is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees. The very sort of thing that caused the FAA to miss the consequence of MCAS while going over other systems (that have never resulted in a catastrophic accident) with a fine tooth comb (and yes, I have first hand knowledge of that last part).
Sorry to pick a bone with you td, always appreciate your insights into the engineering side. But for the MCAS, the FAA were totally unaware of the low speed functionality of the system, only the high speed as originally implemented, as I understand it.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 06:55
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bend alot
,,,

The 777X certification will (and quite rightly) be correctly regulated and without short cuts or "favours" ....
I'm curious what makes you think this. What do you think has meaningfully changed at the FAA or at Boeing?
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 07:31
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Therhino
I'm curious what makes you think this. What do you think has meaningfully changed at the FAA or at Boeing?
The fact the FAA seem to know a problem exists and they seemed to have thrown the "phased in un-grounding idea" in the bin - not going alone and blindly expecting other regulator will follow.

The FAA seem far from knowing what the actual problem is or how to fix it - but they have put the brakes on hard.

Nothing has changed at Boeing, they just tried to put all the blame on the last CEO over the low media period.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 08:40
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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777 Folding...

Starting from a clean aircraft we have:

Civilian aircraft with

Retractable gear
Retractable flaps
Retractable slats
Speed brakes
Variable position tail mounted air brakes
Powered flight control surfaces
Thrust reversers
Variable pitch props

Military Aircraft with
All the above plus
Flight opening tail ramps
Folding wings on ground/board
Variable Sweep in flight
Retractable flight refuelling equipment

Add to the list as required - all of these items operate in the air flow and affect aerodynamics and possibly structural integrity.
They are all long since accepted as normal.

What will be more critical than these with a folding wing tip on an airliner? Not the reliability or feasibility.
Ground handling in case of failure in open position may present a problem depending on airfield - but there will be procedures to deal with this condition.
Even better, The tip will only be actuated (extended / retracted) on terra firma, unlike some of the other accepted items which can cause in flight problems.

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Old 14th Jan 2020, 09:24
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Design, certification, oversight; human factors without solution

The history of aviation safety has been built on learning from events involving technical failure - structure, engine, aerodynamics, etc. Human misjudgements reflected the knowledge existing at that time; we learnt, adding knowledge, improving experience - safer.
In this instance (737 Max) the technical knowledge was available; the issue is not of human misjudgement, but of human failure - violation of the principles embedded in the process of design, certification, and regulatory oversight.

The industry’s surprise was that these events did not involve technical failure (although initially thought most likely), but of the ‘failure’ of the humans in the process. Initial reactions, typical of self-denial, sought to blame those nearest to the accident, pilots, maintenance, which only masked the fundamental factors.

One viewpoint is that the violation was deliberate, people knowingly set out to deceive; if so the law will judge.
Alternatively the violation was influenced by ‘environmental’ factors; commercial pressure, faster, better, cheaper, government objectives; normal pressures in the world environment requiring management: - self-management, awareness of personal behaviour and influence on others.

Thus the immensity of the surprise; human failure, not technical.
With technical failure trust can be restored because it is possible to demonstrate that technical aspects have been improved.
However, in this instance the human aspects have to be demonstrated to be ‘improved’, world wide trust re-established, recognition of the falsehood of self generated illusion of being the best - manufacturing or safety oversight, and that the culture which resulted in violation is itself wrong.

Such realisation will take time - how long, has this ever been encountered before? These events will change aviation, a change which requires management, but within a world which is changing even more quickly, and where the greatest ‘environmental’ pressure is time itself.
Aviation has to slow down, balance the pace of certification and regulation with safety. It is not possible to be faster, better, cheaper, all of the time; some aspects have to give way, it must not be safety or the processes which aim to achieve that.

But who judges these, and in a situation where previous measures of being ‘the best’ are broken. First rebuild and calibrate the measuring device - ourselves - an issue without solution, but one which might be contained.

Last edited by alf5071h; 15th Jan 2020 at 06:08.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 13:18
  #134 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bend alot
Yes, they made many comments about simulator issues but - "Would you allow your family to fly in a MAX aircraft" clearly is not talk about a simulator issue.

First big issue is that, the now 34 MAX simulators will actually need to simulate correctly. It seems that they have been substandard for some time, I expect that the simulators have received far less FAA oversight and scrutiny than the MAX ever did.

Should the MAX simulator be required to accurately simulate the full envelope with and without MCAS and accurately replicate the trim wheel forces, and should the simulator be compared to the aircraft independently of Boeing and the FAA to verify it simulates true aircraft performance?
Simulators when qualified are checked to ensure they accurately match the OEMs supplied data. Whether this simulates the true aircraft performance is somewhat immaterial as the regulators are only comparing OEM data to simulator data. Often this OEM data is gathered from engineering derived means as opposed to flight test data mainly (I suspect) as a cost saving exercise!

The TDMs and the operators very restricted (by regulators)to deviate from supplied data.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 14:39
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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The text in the actual transcript of the chat circa Feb 2, 2018 (never believe the press blindly, try to cross-check) is:
(Boeing employee A) 03:50:
Honesty is the only way in this job - integrity when lives are on the line on the aircraft and training programs shouldn't be taken with a pinch of salt. Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft?
I wouldn't
(Boeing employee B) 03:51:
No
I read this particular statement as an assertion that the MAX would be unsafe due to lousy simulator training. It's also important to understand that this was a chat between colleagues (though Boeing likely made them aware that their conversation was recorded).

Last edited by fgrieu; 14th Jan 2020 at 14:48. Reason: Add date
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 14:52
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft?


we have aircraft trained by simulators?

hat, coat, door locked behind me
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 15:12
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by golfbananajam
fgrieu

Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft?


we have aircraft trained by simulators?

hat, coat, door locked behind me
Or maybe MAX are so unsafe it's dangerous to put your family even in MAX simulator.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 16:16
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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This Bloomberg article and videos don't inspire me to get on a 737 Max when/if they ever get back into service.

In fact I think I'll wait until they have been in service for a few 10's of thousands of hours before any of my family set foot on one.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 18:03
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bend alot
I find a "mildcautioness" could raise serious issues for the 777X's legal certification.

Given what has leaked out and still is leaking out over the MAX program, it would be irresponsible not to consider the 777X program does not have it's own Jedi/s working on the project.

There was even comment about the 777X program in the emails released.

The 777X certification will (and quite rightly) be correctly regulated and without short cuts or "favours" - when you lie and cheat to your peers, expect a response you will not like.

I know the current 777X Chief Technical Pilot and I;m pretty sure he will not be making the same mistakes as the past 737 MAX CTP.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 23:28
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Originally Posted by Spooky 2
I know the current 777X Chief Technical Pilot and I;m pretty sure he will not be making the same mistakes as the past 737 MAX CTP.
Spooky, can you publicly state who the 777X Chief Pilot is? I'm curious - I know many of the pilots, although not as many as I used to as several have retired. I have a pretty high opinion of most of them (no, I didn't know the MAX pilots that have caused such an uproar).
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