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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

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Boeing 737 Max Recertification Testing - Finally.

Old 2nd Oct 2022, 09:56
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Congress moves to give Boeing break

Different viewpoints:-

Does the FAA ‘dig-in’, holding the line for the required level of safety - for the future without political pressure; flexing their new found independence.
Perhaps aided by Canada and EASA who do not have to agree with either FAA or Congress; thus Boeing would have to modify the design or forego sales in those areas.

Congress are seen to be aiding US industry, but may have a hidden win-win agenda.

or

Have Boeing already decided to ‘pull the plug’ on the MAX variants. They lobby Congress for help, anticipating or generating failure (FAA stance) to avoid blame; where the balance of their certification cost and lost sales is offset by selling more of the basic MAX, is the best commercial option for the future.

FAA seen in a positive light - worldwide, which other views in Congress require.
Special aid for Boeing with Congressional support - the hidden cost of war.
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 11:15
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
Different viewpoints:-

Does the FAA ‘dig-in’, holding the line for the required level of safety - for the future without political pressure; flexing their new found independence.
Perhaps aided by Canada and EASA who do not have to agree with either FAA or Congress; thus Boeing would have to modify the design or forego sales in those areas.

Congress are seen to be aiding US industry, but may have a hidden win-win agenda.

or

Have Boeing already decided to ‘pull the plug’ on the MAX variants. They lobby Congress for help, anticipating or generating failure (FAA stance) to avoid blame; where the balance of their certification cost and lost sales is offset by selling more of the basic MAX, is the best commercial option for the future.

FAA seen in a positive light - worldwide, which other views in Congress require.
Special aid for Boeing with Congressional support - the hidden cost of war.

The saga is good for an afternoon soapie, replace "days of our lives".

At some point TBC needs to bring their product into the 21st century. The argument based on crew commonality didn't pass muster when first made, SWA went on to buy other carriers and maintain multiple types, and that was apparently considered to be beneficial. That desire to grandfather was a factor in the actions and inaction's that led to the Max debacle.

I doubt that the wing has much more development left in it to permit it to keep up with the developmental potential that the Airbus has. Tying an extension of the time to conclude the 7 and the 10 with a termination of any further grandfathering of that aircraft would be a win in the short term, and a win long term, as TBC needs to be producing a replacement airframe that can compete with the Airbus.

Changing the alerting functions right now would be a stressed program, and the potential to have a latent failure introduced is a higher risk than accepting the conclusion of a final series of aircraft in this program.

TBC has misbehaved and in normal times should be rapped over the knuckles, but the industry and country needs them to get on and sort out their litter box. senior management separately needs to be held accountable for the 27 years of degradation of the company, the ethics, production shambles and nonsense that have occurred.

IMHO...



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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 15:48
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
Hey BPF, the aero modification would have been to reduce the nacelle strakes, as the cowling was giving more lift than desirable, complementing what the strakes/chines/big VG's are doing at high AOA. In the cruise, there in no significant impact from the chine, nor from the nacelle, (...although there probably is a slight inboard/forward shift of Cp in the cruise from the nacelles, which would have had a slight trim drag impact, not affected by the chines).
I do not have enough knowledge of aerodynamics to provide an informed opinion. I was going by what I have read by what I thought were knowledgeable observers who surmised that using an aerodynamic fix to reduce the nacelle lift which was the root of the low speed pitch force issue, would have had a cruise flight drag penalty and therefore was almost immediately rejected by Boeing management.
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 20:44
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
senior management separately needs to be held accountable for the 27 years of degradation of the company, the ethics, production shambles and nonsense that have occurred.

IMHO...
Where is Alan Mulally just when he’s most needed?
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 21:21
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
That is proprietary information, not sure TBC would be dishing that out, but there is reasonableness that comes from renting a MAX sim and doing a QTG flyout. The margins permitted for an approved simulator are quite large but will give some semblance of the polar, at least within normal envelope, and will give a fair answer on control loads, and derivatives. Getting hands on the QTG cards themselves is probably going to be frowned on, they are still proprietary information. The sims aren't the M-CAB or the real thing. The airline operators have accurate information from the parameters that are being pulled for the QAR data for monitoring, W/delta is a pain from line data, you need a stack of it to get a statistically significant performance set unless you have some exact data points from the OPM and digital performance DB.
I was referring to the ones who wrote a report on their fix. It's not proprietary to them and no information from TBC required.
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 21:36
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When did SWA fly something besides the 737? If you mean when they bought AirTran - they kept the AirTran 737s and transferred their 717s to Delta.
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 22:46
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Originally Posted by MechEngr View Post
When did SWA fly something besides the 737?
Here's one of their 727 fleet, which of course meant they needed flight engineers :

Boeing 727-227/Adv - Southwest Airlines | Aviation Photo #0805643 | Airliners.net
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 23:29
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It seems the 727s were leased between 1978 and 1985 from other airlines which provided support. That caption though. Passed around a bunch of airlines. Still, they have moved to an all 737 fleet; maybe the 727 experience taught them about mixed operations. Too bad about losing flight engineers.
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Old 3rd Oct 2022, 03:41
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Originally Posted by MechEngr View Post
When did SWA fly something besides the 737? If you mean when they bought AirTran - they kept the AirTran 737s and transferred their 717s to Delta.
I stand humbly corrected; MechEngr, I was not aware of the divestment. The prior purchases of Transtar by SWA did end up shedding all of their MD-82's & - 83's.
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Old 3rd Oct 2022, 23:16
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Originally Posted by fdr View Post
...

I doubt that the wing has much more development left in it to permit it to keep up with the developmental potential that the Airbus has. Tying an extension of the time to conclude the 7 and the 10 with a termination of any further grandfathering of that aircraft would be a win in the short term, and a win long term, as TBC needs to be producing a replacement airframe that can compete with the Airbus.
...
IMHO this is the most likely outcome. Give Boeing an extension to finish the Max7 and Max10 as-is, and that's the end of the line.
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 01:04
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I think the damage to Boeing if they are forced to cancel the dash 7 and dash 10 variants due almost entirely to Boeings inability to get their shyte together, is not that significant. There has been almost no take up for the dash 7 because a dash 8 costs virtually the same to operate and carries more pax and the dash 10 has been buried by the 321LR and XLR. The only way they are selling any dash 10's is with a huge discount.

This is an opportunity for the FAA to draw a line in the sand with Boeing. No more same old same old with the minimum cheap and nasty solution to everything, they need to meet the standards imposed 2 years ago or no FAA certification; full stop

The senior management of Boeing still thinks that spooling up their lobbyists, instead of their engineers is the preferred response when the FAA tells them they need to step up. They need to be disabused of that notion and Congress has got to support the FAA, not the company that caused the deaths of over 300 people because they were too cheap to properly design the MAX upgrades and then lied to the regulator about what they did.
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 01:54
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
I think the damage to Boeing if they are forced to cancel the dash 7 and dash 10 variants due almost entirely to Boeings inability to get their shyte together, is not that significant. There has been almost no take up for the dash 7 because a dash 8 costs virtually the same to operate and carries more pax and the dash 10 has been buried by the 321LR and XLR. The only way they are selling any dash 10's is with a huge discount.

This is an opportunity for the FAA to draw a line in the sand with Boeing. No more same old same old with the minimum cheap and nasty solution to everything, they need to meet the standards imposed 2 years ago or no FAA certification; full stop

The senior management of Boeing still thinks that spooling up their lobbyists, instead of their engineers is the preferred response when the FAA tells them they need to step up. They need to be disabused of that notion and Congress has got to support the FAA, not the company that caused the deaths of over 300 people because they were too cheap to properly design the MAX upgrades and then lied to the regulator about what they did.
+1

In an ideal world, the FAA would also issue an AD requiring the MAX-8 & -9 to be brought up to the standard required for the -10 (& -7) and provide a third AoA input (possibly synthetic) so that a single failure would neither create a catastrophe nor require the air system (MCAS to be precise) to reduce to a degraded/inoperative state.
It won't happen, though

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Old 4th Oct 2022, 02:12
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The image of the FAA being on some sort of high ground should rankle fair minded observers. In the many months of discussion on PPRuNe, it became obvious that this supposedly standard-setting body would have had to take on or divert substantial staff just to cover the Boeing work. It's even conceivable that new premises would have been needed to house enough skilled teams. What we had was a, "They wrote it, I signed it" means of not spending all that government money. I can even understand finding it not in the public interest to rewrite the mountainous piles of technical information Boeing produced. After all, who could know more about the content than Boeing? What could possibly go wrong? Well, what did go wrong. "They rote it, I signed it", was a real face into camera confession.

It's not that the unthinkable has happened that rankles with me, it's hearing the FAA echoing from the high ground - where in reality, they should be going to the same sack-cloth and ashes tailors as Boeing management.
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Old 4th Oct 2022, 03:28
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It's not the money. The FAA wants to have no responsibility. If they did, they could have asked to be put on a push-notification for the software that manages their software development. It would have cost nothing to get an e-mail notification. They would have gotten notice that the MCAS parameters had been changed when the status changed to "Approved for released," if not sooner. If Boeing was even more cooperative the FAA would have access to the linked documents showing the internal analysis of the change, but the FAA could have asked if that link wasn't given, also a cheap ask. The FAA doesn't need to be in every meeting, not read every memo - they just need to see what is going to production and that all passes through a document and software vault that can flag significant changes and alert a list of people when they do.

However, with that information they would have done what everyone else did and decide that the outcome of any problem was controllable and now would have that bit of evidence sitting right there when circumstances proved it was not. So they want to avoid ever having any responsibility. As a regulator they can make simple rules like, "Every system must be fail safe." They don't have any obligation to evaluate every system to ensure it is fail safe; just wash their hands of the results and blame the maker for not accomplishing that all-encompassing task.

It still bothers me more that for decades it was acceptable for an ADIRU to lie about the plane being in a stall when it wasn't. The FAA was OK with this. The airlines were OK with this. The maker of the plane was OK with this. And this lie got passed to MCAS. How did that ability to lie get approved? Oh - yes, there is a sink for handwashing in Washington DC. where that lie was deemed not a problem by the regulators.
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Old 5th Oct 2022, 23:10
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Allied Pilots Association President Capt. Edward Sicher said "Boeing needs to proceed with installing modern crew alerting systems on these aircraft to mitigate pilot startle-effect and confusion during complex, compound system malfunctions."
https://www.reuters.com/business/aer...on-2022-10-05/
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Old 5th Oct 2022, 23:51
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UPRT is on it's way, and that will address at least in passing startle and similar matters, but it doesn't get away from the fact that aircraft that have all the bells and whistles as is being asked for Boeing, still lose the plot biggly. We have seen drivers hold full backstick on SSCs to impact on many occasions, while every siren, bell and whistle under the sun has been blaring at the befuddled driver, assuming that they aren't committing Seppuku. Our fundamental frailty remains being in a device that necessitates prompt detection of anomalies before the kitty litter gets scattered untidily, which requires high levels of SA, and that SA gets eroded by the mundane and routine nature of 99.9% of the operation.

When you flop a Part 25 jet out of the normal envelope, the interesting observations are not that the stuff gets interesting, it is it gets noisy, and buffetty, and dynamic; it tends to spoil your latte sip.

The B737's have all the information under the sun provided to the crew already, other than a mandated, train station size AOA gauge in front and center of the drivers. Giving a linear scale would be nice, an E index would be helpful, but anything works better than nothing at all. Alternatively, hard wire the FPV for the B737... and every other aircraft that has a EADI/PFD.

When stuff goes kinetic, the most common outcome is narrowing of the processing bandwidth of the driver, and that gives target fixation on limited data, hopefully the stuff that is needed. Having more bells/whistles doesn't improve the outcome, the guys are forgetting that they are in a moving vehicle already on many occasions, we need simpler not more displays and presentations of information. What we have now still functions, where the crew are aware of the distractions that are inherent in the system architecture.


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Old 6th Oct 2022, 05:11
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It is not just the FAA that has a say in the dash 7 and dash 10 certification. I expect both Transport Canada and EASA were expecting these airplanes to meet the higher standards within the specified timelines. After the initial MAX certification fiasco the FAA is very cognizant of their breach of trust with other regulators who took the FAA stamp of approval at face value.

Congress can force the FAA to give Boeing a pass but they can’t demand the same of other countries regulators. A MAX variant that could only fly in US airspace would not be of much value to airlines.
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Old 6th Oct 2022, 16:29
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Standard Gold

It was once the case that FAA was considered the "gold standard" insofar as certification was concerned (and if I've been misled by everything I've read or heard about the good old days, I'm sure someone here will straighten it out).

Now where we're at is that the MAX crew alerting system is at a technology level of something like "your father's Oldsmobile". (That is, if I've understood the discussions of this factor here.) Leave to the side the current question of whether the Congressionally imposed deadline will be retained in place or extended.

The point I'm interested in is, with Transport Canada and EASA stepping up their game, so to speak, and possibly having leveraged previous certification practices into higher fidelity with current levels of technology, will FAA return the courtesy, and begin to see the work of those CAAs as now constituting the gold standard? I mean, this isn't to disrespect or disparage the FAA whatsoever . . . but just as elections have consequences, so also do certification debacles, especially ones involving 346 fatalities.

And on the engineering and/or technology isn't it widely accepted by people who do understand the aerodynamics (I'm not among them) that the MAX still has questionable, or at least subpar, stability in some parts of its flight regime? It seems unlikely either TC or EASA would have allowed this.

Also, if TC and EASA gain higher levels of recognition for setting the standard, will China's CAAC follow suit?

Last edited by WillowRun 6-3; 6th Oct 2022 at 21:25.
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Old 6th Oct 2022, 22:20
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I really don't get this about "extending" the time to complete certification of the additional models. It seems that, for a global aviation leader, Boeing were given quite sufficient time before the deadline date to get everything done, dusted and documented, with time to spare before things change. Basically, they blew it, yet again. And that's why one really can't support extending things. If they blew this, what else have they blown. Could the full resources have been made available if the funds had not been squandered on stock buybacks ?

I wonder how those arguing for an extension would feel if their pilots on their next flight were out of currency. "Hey ho, it's not really important, on we go" ? Sorry guys, it was up to you to manage the dates. If you're out of currency you are out of currency. Period.
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Old 7th Oct 2022, 12:56
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Originally Posted by WillowRun 6-3 View Post
It was once the case that FAA was considered the "gold standard" insofar as certification was concerned (and if I've been misled by everything I've read or heard about the good old days, I'm sure someone here will straighten it out).

Now where we're at is that the MAX crew alerting system is at a technology level of something like "your father's Oldsmobile". (That is, if I've understood the discussions of this factor here.) Leave to the side the current question of whether the Congressionally imposed deadline will be retained in place or extended.

The point I'm interested in is, with Transport Canada and EASA stepping up their game, so to speak, and possibly having leveraged previous certification practices into higher fidelity with current levels of technology, will FAA return the courtesy, and begin to see the work of those CAAs as now constituting the gold standard? I mean, this isn't to disrespect or disparage the FAA whatsoever . . . but just as elections have consequences, so also do certification debacles, especially ones involving 346 fatalities.

And on the engineering and/or technology isn't it widely accepted by people who do understand the aerodynamics (I'm not among them) that the MAX still has questionable, or at least subpar, stability in some parts of its flight regime? It seems unlikely either TC or EASA would have allowed this.

Also, if TC and EASA gain higher levels of recognition for setting the standard, will China's CAAC follow suit?
History...

The B737 as it stands with the Max meets the requirements of Subpart B to Part 25... however, the inherent issue of the stabilizer-elevator problems when manual trim is applied with a substantial miss-trim condition is not a pleasant feature of the aircraft. The 737 is the last of the manual trim wheel backups to the stabilizer.

early on with the Max acceptance by EASA, the ELS related to stab trim was B-05/MAX: Longitudinal trim at Vmo
It covered:
  • CS 25.161(a),
  • CS 25.161(c)(3),
  • CS 25.1301(a) and
  • CS 25.1309(a)
The unfortunate matter was missed due to lack of information on system architecture and the pertinent comment was:

"The need to use the trim wheel is considered unusual, as it is only required for manual flight in those corners of the envelope".

As the Max introduced a second electrical circuit to the trim motor, EASA was slightly surprised. However, to the best of my awareness, the cut tout switches take out both yoke and pedestal trim switches, which left the manual trim as a necessity following a stab runaway, in order to comply with §25.161. Unfortunately, the fact that the manual stab trim can be defeated where there is a severe out of trim condition even within the envelope was either unknown or overlooked, it being a latent issue of the 737 design, which followed prior types that had accepted the issue through training and crew awareness.

The trim system could have the ratios changed which would be a significant design change, or have a second trim motor/power/control circuit to give full redundancy, that would then have full trim authority, like a B777, B744, or B747 (levers v alternate trim switches).

It still is a poor system and questionably compliant as it stands to §25.161 IMHO.
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