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Boeing could cancel the 737 MAX 10

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Boeing could cancel the 737 MAX 10

Old 22nd Jul 2022, 06:26
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What’s really astounding is Boeing on one hand saying they might cancel the -10, whilst at the same time selling that type by the bucket load - must recently at FAB where they racked up a couple hundred orders. Either Boeing are confident the certification will take place before December 20th, or that they can twist the arm of Congress to get an extension, or that they’re still arrogant enough to believe they’re “too big to fail” and that the FAA will be muscled into ensuring the aircraft is certified before the deadline.

Now if memory serves be right, EASA and other regulators were amongst those who agreed to certifying the -8 and -9, on the condition that the -10 would have EICAS and a 3rd AoA sensor, and that those enhancements would be back ported to all other models in the range. So what will happen if the -10 is certified without EICAS and any plans Boeing might have had to develop and implement the system are quietly scuttled?
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Old 22nd Jul 2022, 09:37
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I suspect that all of the recent sales have a get-out caveat if the 10 is not certificated, or within reasonable timescale / cost.

Reading between the lines of F’boro reports, the third AoA source has been provided, probably by electronic means by integrating other sensors, leaving the EICAS to be negotiated separately.
This might just tip the balance with other certification authorities, particularly if the FAA were to threaten hard ball with future bilateral agreements, then Europe / Brazil might be more be more amenable to accept the 10. But China, etc?

Any compromise would not be in the best interests of aviation safety, nor FAAs image, but then safety is dominated by money and national interests.


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Old 22nd Jul 2022, 11:32
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Agreed, and the Boeing team must be applauded. Evidently they’re able to install enough confidence amongst customers that the -10 will be certified within reasonable time, but without EICAS, whilst simultaneously threatening Congress with a cancellation of the program.
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Old 22nd Jul 2022, 11:46
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I think if the FAA threatened to play hard ball if Europe don't go along with an exemption to the 737Max, of all types, it would blow up right back in their faces. It would be good if someone would ask EASA right now in public what their attitude would be. I guess the FAA already have.

As another transport journalist once wrote "Statements that 'Safety is our First Priority' generally follow an event which shows that it isn't".
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Old 22nd Jul 2022, 17:29
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Originally Posted by SMT Member View Post
Agreed, and the Boeing team must be applauded. Evidently they’re able to install enough confidence amongst customers that the -10 will be certified within reasonable time, but without EICAS, whilst simultaneously threatening Congress with a cancellation of the program.
Given, how the Trump insurrection is being treated by roughly half the congress, we know, their knees are pretty weak......
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Old 22nd Jul 2022, 18:08
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But China, etc?
China has high hopes for selling their upcoming commercial jetliners in large numbers in the US (and the rest of the world). If the CAAC is seen as not playing ball with the rest of the world it could come back to bite them big time.
Airbus has to tread carefully on this as well - while they are relatively clean on certification at the moment - stuff happens. It's not a matter of if but when Airbus will find the need for a receptive FAA - having EASA refuse to bilateral with the FAA on the MAX-10 could easily come back to haunt them.
It's a big industry - it's too everybody's benefit if they play nice together.

BTW, I see where Delta is already lobbying for the MAX-10 to retain a common flightdeck - pointing out that a unique flight deck configuration will add to costs and reduce fleet commonality (Delta currently flies a large number of 737NG aircraft).
I can see an argument that since many operators will use both the MAX-10 as well as the MAX-8 and -9, having a completely different flight deck on the -10 would increase confusion and could easily hurt overall safety - not improve it.
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Old 22nd Jul 2022, 23:18
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Would you care to specify how the MAX 9 outperforms the A321 Neo "in every way"? I was under the impression that the MAX 10 was created because Boeing customers demanded something like the Airbus 321 Neo.

Edit: The post I'm referring to seems to have been deleted.

Last edited by txl; 23rd Jul 2022 at 10:31.
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 05:19
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
As another transport journalist once wrote "Statements that 'Safety is our First Priority' generally follow an event which shows that it isn't".
I think it is possible that if the management of a US public company really did make safety their first priority, they would be acting illegally. Management seems to be legally required to put the interests of shareholders first. Of course, safety matters: there are legal obligations, though in some areas large companies treat fines for breach of regulations as part of the cost of doing business. Also, if a product gets a reputation as being unsafe, this could harm business, and so shareholders' interests, as has happened in the case of the Max 8. But to make safety the first priority would be the action of an engineering company, not a business.
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 06:40
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Re-reading the Boeing interview, with an alternative more speculative interpretation, is that the AoA sensing issue is fixed, and that the ‘European’ issue of multiple, consequential and coincident alerts for a single failure could be resolved with out resorting to EICAS.

EICAS is a neat (expensive and long timescale) solution with flexibility in display and computing logic, but requires differences training.

The much more difficult technical task is to use the existing (mainly analogue ?) alerting system with some fancy analogue to digital conversion, either embedded logic or an external ‘happy box’ - to provide a sufficient compromise of technical fix and dis-ambiguity, high workload.

The critical point will be if the ‘look alike’ fix will be sufficient to satisfy the tech, authority, and Congressional objections, and although this solution might not be in the stated timescale, can an waiver be granted - a timeline extension only.

If the alternative display-logic is acceptable to other authorities, then a time dispensation is much easier for Congress, particular if other authority's formal acceptance will be subsequent to - later than the FAA.

A lot of closed doors negotiation.

https://informamarkets.turtl.co/stor...sue-1/page/6/1
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 07:52
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Does this mean they now shift the pressure towards EASA to green light the extension first and maybe okay more limited modifications? Finally making it a Europe vs. US political topic?
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 08:14
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Less Hair, a political issue.

I hope not, there is no need for European politics if a further EASA technical appraisal finds the compromise fix sufficient. The compromise may not have been on the table during the first discussions - previous thoughts influenced by the immediate aftermath of the accidents.

Q, does the compromise meet the agreed requirements (grandfather rights and special conditions for Max in general).

Q, will an EASA view be similarly acceptable to other regulators.

Political problems are within the USA: Boeing are hoping that congress has not said something previously which cannot be overturned - without political embarrassment.

Thus Boeing have to find both a tech solution acceptable to the world, and present it in a manner which Congress might use to their advantage so that a change of position is not embarrassing - political success.
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 10:27
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Not much. The MAX 8 and 9 are the mass market aircraft, which Boeing expects to sell in the thousands. The MAX 10 is expected to sell in the hundreds - it's intended to take market from the A321 NEO, but mainly for those who already have 737s.
It's pretty simple math really - it'll cost well north of a $Billion to implement an EICAS system into the 737, plus recurring costs. If Boeing sells 500 MAX 10s, then they need to make an extra $2 million plus per aircraft just to pay for EICAS. Given Boeing might make a total profit on a 737 MAX sale of between $1 million and $2 million per aircraft, it simply doesn't make economic sense to produce the MAX 10 with EICAS. Better to save the money and devote it to a proper 737 replacement somewhere down the line.

Given that the 737 NG is statistically just as safe as an A320 with ECAM (that over hundreds of millions of flight hours), and given that the MAX 8 and 9 are considered "safe enough" with the same basic flight deck as the NG, it's difficult to argue a case for spending an extra couple $billion to make it 'safer'.
Why would it cost so much to put EICAS in the 737? It’s not like they don’t already know how to do it. The screen real-estate is there, so what’s the problem?
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 10:44
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It would kill the common cockpits with the rest of the family. And starting now would take years for the software development and more years for certification. Still it is Boeing's job to stick to the rules and to not base everything on grandfathering extensions. How could they end up in a corner like this?

Maybe they just should forget the -10, double the -8-rate, halve the price and flood the market with it while Airbus is sold out on the A321neo? And start to design the next family from scratch.
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 13:17
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
Why would it cost so much to put EICAS in the 737? It’s not like they don’t already know how to do it. The screen real-estate is there, so what’s the problem?
Where most people think the "designing" or "manufacturing" is the cost item, essentially the "certification" is the expensive part.

So, yeah, designing: No problem. Additional equipment: It hurts, though manageable. Get the spider in the web, with all its sensory extensions and actions certified: Pfffffffff, this gets complicated with a huge amount of reciprocal influences, which all need to be verified, blabla. So, expensive.

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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 18:23
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
Boeing's near to medium term future is totally dependent on what happens to world air travel. I would suggest that one of the major drivers of recent new MAX orders is the fact that it will be several years before an airline will be able to take delivery of a Airbus 320/321 aircraft ordered now, given how far out the production slots are sold out. If there is another economic contraction then the reality is Airbus could meet nearly all the narrow body demand and Boeing will only be able to move product at an uneconomic price point. In any case I don't think the MAX 10 will ever fly and Boeing has effectively already ceded the 757 size market to Airbus with the A321XLR given the failure to launch the NMA

The wide body market is equally fraught with airlines giving up on the 787 in favor of he A330NEO and the A350 after all the 787 production woes. The future of the 777X program is also looking increasingly uncertain.

If there is a rapid and sustained rebound in world air travel, then I think Boeing may have a chance to dig itself out of the hole it made.

Personally I think there is no longer a future for Boeing commercial and the only question is how long it hangs on before being spun off into bankruptcy
The A330 NEO is pretty much a failure with Delta the only airline showing it real Love. Orders are terrible and it’s questionable how long Airbus will maintain the production line even at the fire sale prices they gave Delta.
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 21:39
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Originally Posted by WideScreen View Post
Where most people think the "designing" or "manufacturing" is the cost item, essentially the "certification" is the expensive part.

So, yeah, designing: No problem. Additional equipment: It hurts, though manageable. Get the spider in the web, with all its sensory extensions and actions certified: Pfffffffff, this gets complicated with a huge amount of reciprocal influences, which all need to be verified, blabla. So, expensive.
Thanks for trying to explain, but my ignorance of the process makes it hard to understand why it’s difficult to certify. It’s not as if they’re reinventing the wheel.
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Old 23rd Jul 2022, 22:51
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Just a general question and clarification, but are the issues preventing straightforward certification also an issue for the A320 series, which is living on grandfathering as well, or is that aircraft compliant with them ? If so, when did they put these features in ?
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 01:10
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
Thanks for trying to explain, but my ignorance of the process makes it hard to understand why it’s difficult to certify. It’s not as if they’re reinventing the wheel.
It's not difficult, it's just a lot of (paper)work and, as such, expensive.

The same reason, why adding a USD 25 camera "to monitor XXXXX" explodes in costs before it even can be installed as a useful device.
The same reason, why adding a nice device for whatever function in a private GA airplane, costs a multitude of the device costs itself, just to pay somebody to give its blessings, there will not be any additional risk, when adding that device.
The same reason why flying an N-reg GA airplane in Europe is cheaper than a locally registered airplane.
Maybe, even the same reason, why 'mericans hate a government.

Note: During design, a lot of extra effort is spent, preparing for the certification, so the exact cost allocation is somewhat diffuse.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 05:47
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No it's not just paperwork. It would open a can of worms to finally put in EICAS. This is why they avoided it through all those years.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 07:13
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Design, engineer, certification, all cost in their own way … and in this instance, the cost of non commonality.

Although the flight deck displays appear spacious, its what goes on behind the scenes could be a problem, particularly the warning philosophy - integrated; new centralised warning display combining the critical alerts and logic (in this instance), or a distributed concept where alerts are still associated with the relevant system (existing aircraft ?).

See overhead panel. The 737 Overhead Panel

Also not to forget that the original aircraft was analogue; how and where are the conversions to digital made or will have to change. What is the computing architecture, old new, processors, …

737 Centre Instrument Panel

This type of discussion would be ongoing throughout the aircraft’s development - when and where is there sufficient balance to change.

For the Max, previous balances might have been finely judged, but the 737 was ageing, Airbus had some surprises; and then there was the surprise of the extent of MCAS late in the testing. No dedicated MCAS alert, ‘failure’ had to be deduced, etc, … FAA will approve … etc …

Given this, it is more than likely that Boeing’s design was significantly influenced by operators; they wanted “faster, better, cheaper”, which aligned with Boeings requirement's, but then with hindsight how often is it concluded that this ideal is impossible, time and time again. We don't learn, or those that have, retire.
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